Linking stress, alcohol, and brain disorders

Catherine Marcinkiewcz’s research is fueled by a personal need to understand the effects of stress, alcohol, and antidepressants on the brain and to find better ways to treat depression and alcohol addiction through targeted therapies.  

Catherine receives NARSAD Young Investigator Award

Catherine Marcinkiewcz, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology in the UI Carver College of Medicine, received a two-year, $70,000 NARSAD Young Investigator grant from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation for her project deconstructing connectivity with the Dorsal Raphe in social behavior.

First awarded in 1987, Young Investigator grants help promising young scientists launch careers in neuroscience and psychiatry. The two-year, $70,000 grants enable investigators to either extend research fellowship training or begin careers as independent research faculty.  

UI scientists have a strong track record of success securing NARSAD Young Investigator funding. Since 1987, 29 UI scientists have received this award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. NARSAD is the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders, now part of the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.

“These grants are extremely important in supporting the early careers of young neuroscientists across the country and around the world,” says Ted Abel, PhD, director of the INI. “We are very proud of our young scientists’ success. It illustrates the caliber of the next generation of neuroscientists we have working here at the UI. The Iowa Neuroscience Institute seeks to create an environment and a research community where they can continue to thrive and make discoveries that will advance our understanding of neuropsychiatric disease and improve the care of people affected by these conditions.”

We are very fortunate to have received generous support from NIH/NIAAA, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the Iowa Neuroscience Institute and Department of Pharmacology at the University of Iowa. Below is a summary of current funded projects. 

NIAAA K99/R00 (2017-2022)
The role of serotonin signaling in the nucleus accumbens in escalated alcohol drinking

NIA Alzheimer’s Disease and its related Dementias (AD/ADRD)-focused administrative supplements
Converging neural pathways in Alzheimer’s disease and alcohol dependence

NARSAD Young Investigator Award (2019-2021)
Deconstructing prefrontal connectivity with the dorsal raphe in mouse models of schizophrenia