Marisela Morales, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Integrative Neuroscience Research Branch, Neuronal Networks Section

NIDA

Biomedical Research Center
251 Bayview Boulevard
Suite 200, Room 08A705
Baltimore, MD 21224

443-740-2717

MMORALES@intra.nida.nih.gov

Research Topics

We are investigating the molecules, cells and neuronal pathways central to the neurobiology of drug addiction. Towards this end, we apply anatomical, cell molecular, cell biological and electrophysiological experimental approaches. Our research focus on two issues: what is the brain circuitry through which addictive drugs have their habit-forming actions, and what are the neuroadaptations in this circuitry that accompany the transition from recreational to compulsive drug-taking?

Selected Publications

  1. Qi J, Zhang S, Wang HL, Wang H, de Jesus Aceves Buendia J, Hoffman AF, Lupica CR, Seal RP, Morales M. A glutamatergic reward input from the dorsal raphe to ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons. Nat Commun. 2014;5:5390.

  2. Barbano MF, Wang HL, Zhang S, Miranda-Barrientos J, Estrin DJ, Figueroa-González A, Liu B, Barker DJ, Morales M. VTA Glutamatergic Neurons Mediate Innate Defensive Behaviors. Neuron. 2020;107(2):368-382.e8.

  3. Root DH, Barker DJ, Estrin DJ, Miranda-Barrientos JA, Liu B, Zhang S, Wang HL, Vautier F, Ramakrishnan C, Kim YS, Fenno L, Deisseroth K, Morales M. Distinct Signaling by Ventral Tegmental Area Glutamate, GABA, and Combinatorial Glutamate-GABA Neurons in Motivated Behavior. Cell Rep. 2020;32(9):108094.

  4. Volkow ND, Morales M. The Brain on Drugs: From Reward to Addiction. Cell. 2015;162(4):712-25.

  5. Zhang S, Qi J, Li X, Wang HL, Britt JP, Hoffman AF, Bonci A, Lupica CR, Morales M. Dopaminergic and glutamatergic microdomains in a subset of rodent mesoaccumbens axons. Nat Neurosci. 2015;18(3):386-92.

Related Scientific Focus Areas


This page was last updated on November 2nd, 2018