R. Andrew Chambers, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Director, Laboratory for Translational Neuroscience of Dual Diagnosis Disorders
1992-1996 Duke University School of Medicine M.D.
1996-2000 Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Residency in Psychiatry and Neuroscience Research
2000-2002 Yale University School of Medicine, Fellowship/post-doc in Translational Neuroscience
Laboratory for Translational Neuroscience of Diagnosis & Development (LTN D3).
My research aims to uncover the neural systems mechanisms underlying substance use disorders comorbidity in mental illness. A guiding theoretical perspective holds that varieties of mental illness reflect characteristic patterns of distributed neurocircuit dysfunction that also produce heightened or prolonged motivational responses to addictive drugs. The primary methodological approach centers on the use of neurobehavioral rat models of psychiatric illness in paradigms measuring endophenotypes of addiction vulnerability and drug intake behavior. Comprehensive neurobehavioral models of schizophrenia and affective-spectrum disorders are chosen by virtue of their multifaceted behavioral syndromes produced by neurodevelopmental and/or adult onset lesions targeting specific components of cortico-limbic circuitry implicated in human disorders. These models are studied in the context of exposure to one or more of a variety of addictive substances including cocaine, alcohol, and nicotine. Some studies will address the periadolescent period of neurodevelopment as a critical period of addiction vulnerability and onset of mental illness. Characterizations of co-occuring cognitive, affective and drug-motivational phenotypes are correlated with neurobiological changes in key regions including the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala and nucleus accumbens. A secondary methodological interest involves the study and development of computational models of neural systems underlying motivational and cognitive disturbances in mental illness potentially related to addictions. These approaches aim to help bridge micro-level (molecular and genetic research) with macro-level (clinical and neuroimaging) studies of dual diagnosis disorders, and ultimately, to inform the development of new treatments for dual diagnosis patients.
Chambers, RA, Bickel, WK, Potenza, MN (2007) "A scale-free systems theory of motivation and addiction" Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 31, 1017-1045.
Chambers, RA, Krystal, JH, Self, DW. (2001) "A neurobiological basis forsubstance abuse comorbidity in schizophrenia" Biological Psychiatry, 50:2: 71-83.
Chambers, RA, Self, DW. (2002) "Motivational responses to natural and drug rewards in rats with neonatal ventral hippocampal lesions: an animal model of dual diagnosis schizophrenia" Neuropsychopharmacology, 27:6: 899-905
Chambers, RA, Taylor, JR, Potenza, MN. (2003) "Developmental neurocircuitry of motivation in adolescence: a critical period of addiction vulnerability" American Journal of Psychiatry, 160: 1041-1052
Chambers, RA, Potenza, MN, Hoffman, RE, Miranker, W. (2004) "Simulated apoptosis/neurogenesis regulates learning and memory capabilities of adaptive neural networks" Neuropsychopharmacology, 29: 747-758