Marina Rachel Picciotto is an American neuroscientist known for her work on the role of nicotine in addiction, memory, and reward behaviors. She is the Charles B. G. Murphy Professor of Psychiatry and professor in the Child Study Center and the Departments of Neuroscience and of Pharmacology at the Yale University School of Medicine. Since 2015, she has been editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neuroscience.
On April 7, 2013, Quinnipiac University's Department of Psychology hosted it's 23rd annual NEURON Conference. Professor of Psychiatry, Neurobiology and Pharmacology at Yale University, Marina Picciotto, PhD, presented the keynote lecture, "From Molecules to Behavior: Role of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Nicotine Addiction, Food Intake and Depression."
Nicotine is the primary addictive component of tobacco. We now know a great deal about the targets for nicotine in the brain and the circuits involved in its behavioral effects. There is also a longstanding association between tobacco smoking, anxiety and depressive disorders. In this presentation, I will discuss studies in mice and humans that have identified the targets and brain areas that are important for the addictive effects of nicotine and how this relates to brain circuits that are impaired in individuals with anxiety and depression.