Enrolled PhD student
Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology
Jagtvej 160, 2100 København Ø
I am Medical Doctor from Colombia, with experience in basic and clinical research. Now in the KU I am learning and doing a new approach to the magic world of Neuroscience. Stress and drug taking and depression are insidiously and intimately associated. Stressful situations often precede drug taking behaviors and are highly promotive of a relapse to drug use, even after years of abstinence. Sadly, chronic stress is associated with depression and can cause those who did not have a history of abusing drugs to turn to them illicitly during stressful times. Since stress is an adaptive response, and unavoidable in a rich, enjoyable life, understanding the neurological basis by which stress precipitates drug use and depression is critical for developing strategies to reduce this risk. We have developed a novel hypothesis by which stress could enhance drug use, and facilitate depression via induction of a hypercholinergic state. In this proposal, we will test this hypothesis, which if supported, suggests revised pharmaceutical strategies for treatment of drug addiction and depression targeting brainstem-sourced cholinergic mechanisms.