Steven Garcia

 Steven Garcia
Mentor: Dr. Lori Knackstedt
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
 
"I got into research to establish a foundation for my future academic and research interests so I may participate in the advancement of scientific knowledge and human progress."
 

Major

Biology

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • Drug Addiction
  • Mental Illness
  • Neurological Disorders

Academic Awards

  • N/A

Organizations

  • Preprofessional Service Organization

Volunteer

  • Shands Hospital - Inpatient Psychiatric Unit
  • Camp Boggy Creek

Hobbies and Interests

  • Art
  • Philosophy
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Literature

Research Description

Effects of Ceftriaxone on Cocaine Relapse
The topic of investigation within which I will preform my research is ithe underlying brain mechanisms of compulsive cocaine use and addiction. It is known that a brain structure called the nucleus accumbens has been associated with drug addiction and that the effects of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate help give rise to addictive behavior when high levels are present in this brain region. Further insight into the particular mechanisms and neurotransmitters that account for this behavior will lead to the development of new drug treatments for cocaine addiction and possibly provide a basis from which treatments for addiction to other harmful drugs may be developed. Specifically, the role of the transporter for the neurotransmitter glutamate in the nucleus accumbens will be assessed in relation to cocaine relapse in rats.  The FDA-approved antibiotic Ceftriaxone increases glutamate transporter expression and reduces relapse in rodents.  The ability of Ceftriaxone to attenuate cocaine relapse will be investigated in the presence of an antisense morpholino, which will reduce expression of the major glutamate transporter, GLT-1.