Three Questions for Andrey Ryabinin

Andrey Ryabinin, Ph.D., is a professor of behavioral neuroscience in the OHSU School of Medicine and a faculty member in the Behavioral Neuroscience and Neuroscience Graduate Programs.

May 11, 2015

Andrey Ryabinin, Ph.D.What’s been the most interesting development in your area in the last two years?

I study neural systems contributing to alcohol and drug addiction. My area of research has seen a number of breakthroughs. Previous studies established that addiction is a disease and not simply a flaw of character, and that genetic and environmental factors both contribute to this disease. Our current goal is to disentangle specific biological factors that regulate multiple facets of addiction. We have developed excellent animal models of various aspects of alcoholism and drug dependence. These models together with advances in molecular technologies bring us closer to designing rational therapies for individuals suffering from addiction.

What projects are you currently working on and are there opportunities for fellow faculty to participate? 

My laboratory has described a previously uncharacterized group of neural cells regulating excessive alcohol drinking. These neural cells appear to regulate not only how much alcohol is consumed but also how it can disrupt social behaviors. It is clear that our understanding of relevant neural systems is far from complete. So we are adapting the recently developed method called CLARITY that should allow us simultaneous analysis of all neural cells responding to drugs of abuse. This method is heavily dependent on advanced microscopy. My research would greatly benefit if others on campus would also adapt these technologies.

What is the most important aspect of support that OHSU provides to you currently and how would you like this or other support to grow in the future?

My colleagues at OHSU are highly enthusiastic and collaborative. My success would have been impossible without their contribution. Most recently, I received great help from Dr. Stefanie Kaech Petri of the Advanced Light Microscopy Core. My studies would greatly benefit from expanding capabilities of our animal facilities and cores providing light microscopy, viral and transgenic technologies.

About Three Questions
This Q&A series features OHSU School of Medicine faculty members talking about their work with the goal of getting to know them and different areas across the school. View more