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Gina Forster, Ph.D.

gina.forster@usd.edu

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Position:

  • Associate Professor, Basic Biomedical Sciences
  • USD Sanford School of Medicine

Education:

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Neuroendocrinology, University of South Dakota
  • Ph.D., Neuroscience, Macquarie University, Australia
  • B.Sc., University of Otago, New Zealand

Current Research: The goal of our research is to understand the neurobiology that underlies anxiety states and addiction. Sensitivity to stressors and heightened anxiety states are thought to both predispose individuals to substance use and abuse, as well as being a symptom of withdrawal from psychostimulant abuse. In turn, heightened anxiety states during drug withdrawal promote, in part, drug seeking and relapse. Our research explores the neurobiological and behavioral interactions between early-life stress, psychostimulant abuse, and drug withdrawal with a major focus on monoamine and neuroendocrine systems and anxiety behaviors.