Nathan Marchant (Behavioral and Translational Neuroscience Group, Department of Anatomy & Neurosciences, VUmc) receives a Vidi grant from NWO. This grant of 800,000 euros enables researchers to establish their innovative research line.
This Vidi grant will enable Nathan and his team to study the underlying neurobiology of two critical aspects of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). The AUD clinical population is defined as people that continue to use alcohol despite the harm it is causing, however not all people that use alcohol become addicted. To study this variation, Nathan and his team will use advanced neuroscience techniques, such as chemogenetics, optogenetics, calcium imaging, and transcriptomics, to identify innovative treatment targets for restoring control of alcohol use. In parallel Nathan and his team will identify a causal role for a genetically defined sub-population of neurons in the lateral hypothalamus in encoding the alcohol memories that cause relapse during abstinence. This project may open the door for future studies aiming to suppress the expression of these tenacious memories, reducing relapse propensity.