Behavioural Neurobiology – Neurobiology of Drug Abuse
About the research
Dr. Uri Shalev, head of the laboratory for Studies of the Neurobiology of Drug Abuse and Relapse in the Dept. of Psychology and the Centre for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology (CSBN), is searching for candidates for MA/PhD in Psychology that will join a team of enthusiastic graduate and undergraduate students.
The research project aims to elucidate the neuronal mechanisms that underlie the effect of exposure to chronic stress on relapse to heroin and cocaine seeking following prolonged abstinence, using animal models and state-of-the-art behavioural and neurobiological techniques.
The research will be conducted in the Shalev laboratory at the Richard J. Renaud Science Complex. Students also have access to shared research resources in the CSBN. Techniques that are commonly used in the laboratory include drug self-administration, rodent mazes and cognitive assessments, immunohistochemistry, protein analyses (e.g., Western blots), in vivo microdialysis combined with HPLC systems, chemogenetic manipulations (DREADDs), and many more techniques through collaborations (e.g., electrophysiological recordings).
Graduate students at the CSBN have the opportunity to attend lectures, seminars and workshops offered at Concordia or other institutions in Montreal by leading researchers in the field of Behavioural Neurobiology and Psychology. Attendance in at least one national and one international conference per year is encouraged, and travel expenses are typically fully funded.
Graduate students at the Dept. of Psychology are guaranteed $17,500 annually throughout their studies, but financial support might increase depending on available funding. This support may include internal and external scholarships and awards, teaching assistance salary, and direct support from the supervisor.
Candidates for the MA program (Research Option) should have an undergraduate honours degree, or its equivalent, in Psychology or closely related discipline (e.g., Exercise Science, Biology, or Neuroscience). The candidate is expected to be inquisitive, enthusiastic, and dedicated to basic science research that requires fast learning of new techniques. Previous experience with animal research is desirable but not mandatory. Fast-tracking into the PhD program is an option for outstanding candidates.
Candidates for the PhD program (Research Option) should have a Master’s degree in Psychology or closely related discipline. Previous experience with neurobiological/neuropharmacological animal research is essential.