Kenneth D. Carr

Kenneth D. Carr, PhD

Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

molecular, cellular, & translational neuroscience, pharmacology, systems, neurobiology of ingestive behavior and drug addiction, dopamine, reward

Our laboratory has a general interest in the relationship between CNS mechanisms that regulate ingestive behavior and drug abuse, with a particular interest in neuroadaptations induced by food restriction that increase the reward magnitude of abused drugs and predispose subjects to binge-eating. In behavioral studies we have used a psychophysical curve shift method of intracranial self-stimulation testing to demonstrate that rewarding effects of diverse drugs of abuse and dopamine receptor agonists are increased by food restriction. Food restriction has also been shown to enhance the magnitude and persistence of preference for a drug- paired environment, while diminishing avoidance of an environment associated with visceral illness. A variety of neuroadaptations have been identified in ventral striatum of food-restricted rats including decreased basal and evoked dopamine release, upregulated intracellular signaling and gene expression downstream of the D1 receptor, and increased synaptic incorporation of AMPA receptors. These alterations are being established as mechanistic underpinnings of the aforementioned behavioral effects. Current studies are focused on phosphorylation and synaptic insertion of AMPA receptors, and modulation of dopamine release and reuptake by hypoinsulinemia. The long term goal of our research is to illuminate the way in which adaptive responses to food scarcity may be subverted by drugs of abuse and supranormally rewarding foods to promote maladaptive reward-directed behavior. This work may improve understanding of the high comorbidity of eating disorders and drug abuse, and the basis of severe dieting as a risk factor for binge pathology.



Academic office

450 East 29th Street

Eighth Floor

New York, NY 10016

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These focus areas and their associated publications are derived from medical subject headings from PubMed.
represents one publication

Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

PhD from New York University

Ouyang, Jiangyong; Carcea, Ioana; Schiavo, Jennifer K; Jones, Kymry T; Rabinowitsch, Ariana; Kolaric, Rhonda; de Vaca, Soledad Cabeza; Froemke, Robert C; Carr, Kenneth D

European journal of neuroscience. 2017 Feb 15; 45(6):826-836

Jones, Kymry T; Woods, Catherine; Zhen, Juan; Antonio, Tamara; Carr, Kenneth; Reith, Maarten E A

Journal of neurochemistry. 2017 Jan 31; 140(5):728-740

Jung, Caroline; Rabinowitsch, Ariana; Lee, Wei Ting; Zheng, Danielle; de Vaca, Soledad Cabeza; Carr, Kenneth D

Psychopharmacology. 2016 Sep; 233(17):3161-3172

Woods, C A; Guttman, Z R; Huang, D; Kolaric, R A; Rabinowitsch, A I; Jones, K T; de Vaca, S Cabeza; Sclafani, A; Carr, K D

Physiology & behavior. 2016 May 15; 159:52-63

Stouffer, Melissa A; Woods, Catherine A; Patel, Jyoti C; Lee, Christian R; Witkovsky, Paul; Bao, Li; Machold, Robert P; Jones, Kymry T; de Vaca, Soledad Cabeza; Reith, Maarten E A; Carr, Kenneth D; Rice, Margaret E

Nature communications. 2015 Oct 27; 6:8543-8543

Zheng, Danielle; Cabeza de Vaca, Soledad; Jurkowski, Zachary; Carr, Kenneth D

Psychopharmacology. 2015 Jul; 232(13):2313-2322

Peng, X-X; Lister, A; Rabinowitsch, A; Kolaric, R; Cabeza de Vaca, S; Ziff, E B; Carr, K D

Neuroscience. 2015 Jun 04; 295:58-71