How useful are animal models in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie addiction?
As a warmup for the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition we have invited one of the teams from the event to tell us about their work.
Dr Matt Parker of Queen Mary, University of London will talk about how studying the impulsive nature of zebrafish can tell us about the cycle of addiction, specifically, the move from occasional drug use to habitual and compulsive drug seeking, withdrawal and relapse.
Dr Parker will discuss some of the difficulties associated with treatment, and how understanding more about the genetics and early markers of addiction may help to develop more effective treatments and even prophylactic interventions.
You can learn more about the Zebrafish Neurobiology and Behavioural Genetics Group’s work and their exhibit at http://zebrafish-genetics.tumblr.com/