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Dr. Lopez's research interests are the effect of stress and other environmental factors on alcohol intake and relapse, and the role of learning in the development of addictive behaviors. He is conducting studies to evaluate the effect of stress at different developmental stages on voluntary alcohol intake. Dr. Lopez conducts behavioral pharmacology studies utilizing numerous rodent models of alcohol exposure. This includes studying alcohol dependence and relapse drinking involving a mouse model of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure that produces escalation of drinking. This model that has been used to characterize genetic, neurobiological, and behavioral (motivational) factors that influence alcohol self-administration including measures of relapse, tolerance, and behavioral flexibility.
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