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Katie Serafine

 
216B
Psychology
El Paso Texas, 79968
Homekmserafine2@utep.edu
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Katie M Serafine
Associate Professor, Psychology
Director, Graduate Program - Psychology

Research in Dr. Serafine’s Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory focuses on the different factors that contribute to individual differences in vulnerability to drug abuse. The Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory uses preclinical models to investigate how age, sex and diet impact sensitivity to drugs of abuse like cocaine. Drug sensitivity is assessed using behavioral pharmacological models ranging from unconditioned behavior (e.g., locomotion) to more complex behaviors using classical and operant conditioning (e.g., conditioned place preference, drug discrimination, or intravenous self-administration). Students in the laboratory receive hands on training on how to conduct behavioral experiments that help answer important questions about abuse vulnerability. Dr. Serafine’s current research interests include studying how diets high in fat or sugar change individual sensitivity to drugs that act on dopamine systems, including recreational substances. Dr. Serafine is also interested in considering differential impact of age, sex and diet on sensitivity to prescription drugs such as medications used to treat conditions like Parkinson's disease, obesity and binge eating disorder.

KEYWORDS

  1. Pharmacology
  2. Neuroscience
  3. Addiction
  4. Binge-eating disorder
  5. Parkinson's disease
  6. Obesity

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