Olivier George has a major interest in the brain stress and cognitive systems in drug addiction. The main goals of his lab are to unveil the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the transition to drug addiction, and to develop novel pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments to reduce compulsive drug seeking and taking. Dr George and his team have identified that activation of the CRF system in the extended amygdala and prefrontal cortex during withdrawal mediates excessive nicotine and alcohol intake. He has also demonstrated that escalation of cocaine, methamphetamine and alcohol intake produces a dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex leading to cognitive impairment. Dr. George has also pioneered the development of two novel animal models of escalation of nicotine intake and exposure to electronic cigarette. Current studies are exploring the role of the CRF, dynorphin, hypocretin and steroid systems in addiction to alcohol, nicotine, cocaine and prescription opiates. Dr. George is also CoDirector of the Animal Models/Biochemical Core of the TSRI-Alcohol Research Center and his work is funded by NIAAA and NIDA.
Olivier George researches addiction at the Scripps Research Institute. He describes the effects of drugs on the brain, including alcohol, nicotine, cocaine and opioids; why some people, but not others, develop an addiction; and highlights new therapeutic strategies to fight addiction. Recorded on 11/17/2018. Series: "Saturday Science at Scripps Research "