University of Texas at El Paso
Psychology Department
Laura E. O'Dell    

Laura O'Dell
Personal Information    

Ph.D., Arizona State University (1997)


Curriculum Vitae

Neural Basis of Addiction Lab

O'Dell Selected Works
Research Interests    

My research program is focused on the neural mechanisms that mediate addiction to drugs of abuse. Our laboratory combines neurochemical and molecular approaches with behavioral models in order to provide a better understanding of the neural basis of addiction.  
 Specific research questions of interest include:
What are the underlying factors that promote tobacco use in vulnerable populations, such as adolescents, females and persons with diabetes?
What are the mechanisms that modulate the neurochemical effects of nicotine and withdrawal from this drug?
What are the biological underpinnings that promote escalation of the intake of drugs of abuse, such as methamphetamine?

Recent Publications    

D’Arcy, C., Luevano, J.E., Miranda, M.M., Pipkin, J.A., Jackson, J.A., Castañeda, E., Gosselink, K.L., and O'Dell, L.E. (2015). Extended access to methamphetamine self-administration up-regulates dopamine transporter levels 72 hours after withdrawal in rats. Behavioural Brain Research, in press.

O’Dell, L.E. and Nazarian, A. (2015). Enhanced vulnerability to tobacco use in persons with diabetes: A behavioral and neurobiological framework. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, in press.

Torres, O.V. and O’Dell, L.E. (2015). Stress is an important factor that promotes tobacco use vulnerability in females. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, in press.

Torres, O.V., Pipkin, J.A., Ferree, P., Carcoba, L.M., and O’Dell, L.E. (2015). Nicotine withdrawal increases stress-associated genes in the nucleus accumbens of female rats in a hormone-dependent manner. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 17: 422-430.

O’Dell, L.E., Natividad, L.A., Pipkin, J.A., Roman, F., Torres, I.D., Juardo, J., Torres, O.V., Friedman, T.C., Tenayuca, J.M., and Nazarian, A. (2014). Enhanced nicotine self-administration and suppressed dopaminergic systems in a rat model of diabetes. Addiction Biology, 19: 1006-1019.

Richardson, J.R, Pipkin, J.A., O’Dell, L.E., and Nazarian, A. (2014). Insulin-resistant rats display enhanced nicotine reward following a high-fat diet regimen. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 140: 205-207.

Carcoba, L.M., Orfila, J.E., Natividad, L.A., Torres, O.V., Pipkin, J.A., Ferree, P.L., Castañeda, E., Moss, D., and O'Dell, L.E. (2014). Cholinergic transmission during nicotine withdrawal is influenced by age and pre-exposure to nicotine: Implications for teenage smoking. Developmental Neuroscience, 36: 347-355.

Torres, O.V., Walker, E.M., Beas, B.S., and O’Dell, L.E. (2014). Female rats display enhanced rewarding effects of ethanol that are hormone dependent. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 38:108-115.

Natividad, L.A., Torres, O.V., Friedman, T.C., and O’Dell, L.E. (2013). Adolescence is a period of development characterized by short- and long-term vulnerability to the rewarding effects of nicotine and reduced sensitivity to the anorectic effects of this drug. Behavioural Brain Research, 257:275-285.

O’Dell, L.E. and Torres, O.V. (2014). A mechanistic hypothesis of the factors that enhance vulnerability to nicotine use in females. Neuropharmacology, 76:566-580.

Contact Information    


Phone: 1-915-747-6557
Fax: 1-915-747-6553

216A Psychology Building
Department of Psychology
University of Texas at El Paso
El Paso TX, 79968

Courses Minimize    

Psychobiology-PSYC 4324
Drugs of Abuse & Beh.-PSYC 3346
Animal Learning & Beh.-PSYC 5371
Grant Writing-PSYC 5355
Adv. Topics in Neurosci.-PSYC 5355
Other Resources