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About Jessica Loweth

A major challenge for treating cocaine addiction is the propensity for abstinent users to relapse. Two important triggers for relapse are cues associated with prior drug use and stressful life events. Stress is one of the most common triggers for relapse, but the underlying neuronal mechanisms are not fully understood. Human studies indicate that exposure to chronic adverse life events is associated with increased relapse vulnerability in abstinent cocaine addicts, indicating a need for animal models that explore interactions between chronic stress and drug withdrawal. Studies in my laboratory are focused on studying the effects of cocaine and chronic stress exposure on long-lasting changes in relapse vulnerability, with the ultimate goal of developing treatment strategies to help recovering addicts maintain abstinence. To do so we use the `incubation of cocaine craving' animal model, in which cue-induced cocaine seeking in rats progressively intensifies during the first month of withdrawal from extended-access drug self-administration. By combining behavioral and biochemical techniques, we will assess the synergistic effects of cocaine and stress exposure during withdrawal on cellular and behavioral measures and, using stress resilience models, identify strategies to reverse such effects. Together, these studies will ultimately bring us closer to developing effective pharmacotherapies to prevent relapse.


Present Assistant Professor Cell Biology & Neuroscience, Rowan University Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
2010 - 2017 Fellow, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science ‐ Neuroscience
2001 - 2002 Research Technician, Northwestern University ‐ Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center

Curriculum Vitae


2014 - Present Do Cocaine and Chronic Stress Converge in the Basolateral Amygdala?
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse - K99/R00 DA038110
Pathway to Independence Award
Role: PI
Colleague(s): Marina E Wolf, PhD
2011 - 2014 Cocaine-Induced AMPAR Plasticity: Modulation by Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors?
NIH/National Institute on Drug Addiction - F32 DA030844
Postdoctoral Individual NRSA Fellowship
Role: PI
Colleague(s): Marina E. Wolf, PhD
2007 - 2009 Viral-mediated Regulation of CaMKII and Behavioral Responding to Amphetamine
NIH/National Institute on Drug Addiction - F31 DA022834
Predoctoral Individual NRSA Fellowship
Role: PI
Colleague(s): Paul Vezina, PhD
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Professional Service and Affiliations

2013 - Present Member, Association for Women in Science
2013 - Present AdHoc Reviewer, Multiple Journals
2003 - Present Member, Society for Neuroscience
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Honors and Awards

  • Young Investigator Award Gordon Conference on Catecholamines August 2011
  • Travel Fellowship Award Winter Conference on Brain Research January 2012
  • Travel Award Neurotherapeutics Discovery and Development Course February 2013
  • ACNP Early Career Travel Award December 2014


2009 PhD, University of Chicago ‐ Neurobiology
2001 BS/BA Double Degree, Psychology and Spanish, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research Works (21)