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Epigenetics, Extinction, and the Problem of Persistent Memory in Rodent Approaches to PTSD and Addiction - K. Matthew Lattal, PhD

When: Tuesday, September 28, 2021
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Michelle Mohney   (312) 503-5602

Group: Center for Translational Pain Research

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Keynote Lecture of the Center for Translational Pain Research Annual Review
A National Institute of Drug Abuse funded (NIDA; P50 DA044121) Center of Excellence regarding Chronic Pain and Drug Abuse

K. Matthew Lattal, PhD
Associate Chair and Professor, Department of Behavioral Neuroscience
Oregon Health & Science University

A key component of treatments for PTSD and addiction is attenuating the powerful reactions that occur to cues associated with trauma or drug taking. Encountering these cues can trigger relapse, even long after successful treatment. The challenge for therapies is to develop treatments that cause lasting suppression of the relapse behaviors triggered by these powerful memories. Most successful treatments incorporate behavioral approaches that involve direct or indirect exposure to these salient cues, with the goal of weakening the maladaptive reactions evoked by those cues. In this seminar, I will review work from rodents showing persistent reductions in drug-seeking and PTSD-like behavior when cue exposure (extinction) is paired with pharmacological approaches that may promote the suppression of these deleterious memories. Drugs that target epigenetic mechanisms, such as histone acetylation, are particularly promising because they create a form of extinction that appears to persist, even in the face of relapse-inducing events, resulting in a lasting suppression of PTSD-like and addiction-like behaviors.

Matthew Lattal, PhD, is Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health & Science University.  Dr. Lattal received his B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania under the mentorship of Robert A. Rescorla.  After receiving his Ph.D., he stayed at Penn as a post-doctoral fellow with Ted Abel in the Department of Biology before moving to OHSU in 2005.  He has been president of the Pavlovian Society and received the Pavlovian Research Award from that society for his work on theoretical and neurobiological mechanisms of learning.  His research is broadly focused on behavioral and neurobiological mechanisms that underlie learning and memory, with a specific interest on weakening maladaptive behaviors.  Recent work has examined how promoting a specific epigenetic mechanism during behavioral extinction may create a persistent form of extinction that resists relapse.  Dr. Lattal’s research has been supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Department of Defense.



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