Heather Kimmel, PhD, received her doctorate in neuroscience from Emory University. Dr. Kimmel studies the neurochemical and reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse using nonhuman primate and rodent models. The research focus of the Kimmel lab is to determine the mechanism by which cocaine and other psychostimulants exert their effects on the brain and use this information to develop medications to treat pyschostimulant addiction. In doing this, Dr. Kimmel is examining the roles various neurotransmitters play in the neurochemical and behavioral effects of cocaine in squirrel and rhesus monkeys as well as in rodents. Techniques Dr. Kimmel and her team use include operant behavior, in vivo microdialysis and positron emission tomography (PET).
Dr. Kimmel collaborates with a number of researchers at Yerkes, including Drs. Mark Goodman, Leonard Howell and John Votaw.
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