UMBC CSEE Seminar Series
Genetic ancestry predicts striatal dopamine D2 receptors
Dr. Corinde Wiers
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, MD
1-2pm Friday, 2 December 2016, ITE 229, UMBC
Genetic ancestry was recently found to be associated with cortical geometry, cortical surface, and total brain volume in humans. Despite ethnic differences in allele frequency in dopaminergic genes associated with dopamine D2/D3 receptor availability (D2R), no study to date has investigated the relationship between genetic ancestry and striatal D2R. Here, we show that genetic informative markers significantly predict dorsal striatal D2R in 117 healthy ethnically diverse residents of the New York metropolitan area using Positron Emission Tomography (PET) with [11C]raclopride, while correcting for age, sex, BMI, education years, and estimated socioeconomic status based on individuals’ ZIP codes. Striatal D2R may thus be modulated by genetic ancestry, although differences in environmental factors between ethnic groups could mediate these effects. Findings may have implications for pharmacological treatment targeting D2R, such as antipsychotic D2R antagonists.
Corinde Wiers, PhD, is a Research Fellow at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in the Laboratory of Neuroimaging of Nora D. Volkow, M.D. After her studies in Psychology and Psychobiology at the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Sussex University (UK) in 2010, she completed her PhD in Psychology at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain and Free University Berlin (Germany) in 2014, where she investigated neural underpinnings of automatic approach behavior to alcohol cues, and neural effects of behavioral trainings in patients with alcohol use disorder. The main goal of Dr. Wiers’ research is to understand cognitive, neurobiological and (epi)genetic processes involved in drug addiction, using functional MRI, PET, psychophysics and molecular techniques. She currently works on how peripheral epigenetic markers relate to brain functioning in drug addiction and other psychiatric disorders. Further research interests include the neurobiology of sleep, effects of sleep deprivation, comorbidities of sleep and substance use disorders, and how neuroimaging techniques can be of use for treatment in psychiatry.
Host: Tulay Adali
About the CSEE Seminar Series: The UMBC Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering presents technical talks on current significant research projects of broad interest to the Department and the research community. Each talk is free and open to the public. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for future talks.
Organizers: Tulay Adali and Alan Sherman