Andrew Holmes, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Laboratory of Behavioral and Genomic Neuroscience


5625 Fishers Lane
Room 2N09
Rockville, MD 20852


Research Topics

The mission of the Laboratory of Behavioral and Genomic Neuroscience is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the causes of alcoholism and comorbid neuropsychiatric conditions such as mood and anxiety disorders. Our goal is to help identify new directions for the prevention and effective treatment of these devastating diseases. To this end, we are using models of chronic alcohol exposure and chronic stress to examine how these environmental insults reshape brain circuits to modify behavior, and why they do so in a manner that varies greatly from individual to individual as a function of genetics, sex and age. A major current focus of our work is how alcohol and stress affect the structure and function of circuits interconnecting the prefrontal cortex with limbic and dorsal striatal regions that are critical for the regulation of emotion, cognition and executive control over drug-seeking.


Andrew Holmes was trained in the UK, where received his Bachelor’s (Hons) degree in Psychology and his Doctorate in Behavioral Pharmacology. He received postdoctoral training in behavioral neuroscience and behavioral genetics from Dr. Jacki Crawley at the NIMH. He was recruited to the NIAAA in 2004 and is currently Chief of the Laboratory of Behavioral and Genomic Neuroscience, where he studies brain regulation of emotion and cognition using animal models.

Selected Publications

  1. Gunduz-Cinar O, Brockway E, Lederle L, Wilcox T, Halladay LR, Ding Y, Oh H, Busch EF, Kaugars K, Flynn S, Limoges A, Bukalo O, MacPherson KP, Masneuf S, Pinard C, Sibille E, Chesler EJ, Holmes A. Identification of a novel gene regulating amygdala-mediated fear extinction. Mol Psychiatry. 2019;24(4):601-612.
  2. Bergstrom HC, Lipkin AM, Lieberman AG, Pinard CR, Gunduz-Cinar O, Brockway ET, Taylor WW, Nonaka M, Bukalo O, Wills TA, Rubio FJ, Li X, Pickens CL, Winder DG, Holmes A. Dorsolateral Striatum Engagement Interferes with Early Discrimination Learning. Cell Rep. 2018;23(8):2264-2272.
  3. Bukalo O, Pinard CR, Silverstein S, Brehm C, Hartley ND, Whittle N, Colacicco G, Busch E, Patel S, Singewald N, Holmes A. Prefrontal inputs to the amygdala instruct fear extinction memory formation. Sci Adv. 2015;1(6).
  4. Hagihara KM, Bukalo O, Zeller M, Aksoy-Aksel A, Karalis N, Limoges A, Rigg T, Campbell T, Mendez A, Weinholtz C, Mahn M, Zweifel LS, Palmiter RD, Ehrlich I, Lüthi A, Holmes A. Intercalated amygdala clusters orchestrate a switch in fear state. Nature. 2021;594(7863):403-407.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Thursday, July 14, 2022