Sean P. Farris, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine




Education & Training

PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2012

Campus Address

6060 Biomedical Science Tower-3

One-Line Research Description

Neurobiology of addiction and co-morbid disorders

Addiction to alcohol and other drugs of abuse is a significant issue around the world. The transition from initial substance use to persistent abuse and dependence involves an imbalance in neurobiological processes that alter both positive and negative affective states. Genetics and environmental factors interact to facilitate long-term brain activity and maladaptive behavior. The goal of my laboratory is to understand the underlying pathophysiology of addiction to alcohol, other drugs of abuse, and co-morbid disorders. Our work uses a combination of approaches to conduct collaborative and innovative cellular and behavioral research to identify novel molecular mechanisms and potential treatments for the neurobiology of disease.  

Representative Publications

Farris SP, Arasappan D, Hunicke-Smith S, Harris RA, Mayfield RD. Transcriptome organization for chronic alcohol abuse in human brain. Mol Psychiatry. 2015 Nov;20(11):1438-47. doi: 10.1038/mp.2014.159. Epub 2014 Dec 2. PubMed PMID: 25450227

Wolfe SA, Workman ER, Heaney CF, Niere F, Namjoshi S, Cacheaux LP, Farris SP, Drew MR, Zemelman BV, Harris RA, Raab-Graham KF. FMRP regulates an ethanol-dependent shift in GABABR function and expression with rapid antidepressant properties. Nat Commun. 2016 Sep 26;7:12867. doi: 10.1038/ncomms12867. PubMed PMID: 27666021

Augier E, Barbier E, Dulman RS, Licheri V, Augier G, Domi E, Barchiesi R, Farris SP, Nätt D, Mayfield RD, Adermark L, Heilig M. A molecular mechanism for choosing alcohol over an alternative reward. Science. 2018 Jun 22;360(6395):1321-1326. doi: 10.1126/science.aao1157. PubMed PMID: 29930131.

Kapoor M, Wang JC, Farris SP, Liu Y, McClintick J, Gupta I, Meyers JL, Bertelsen S, Chao M, Nurnberger J, Tischfield J, Harari O, Zeran L, Hesselbrock V, Bauer L, Raj T, Porjesz B, Agrawal A, Foroud T, Edenberg HJ, Mayfield RD, Goate A. Analysis of whole genome-transcriptomic organization in brain to identify genes associated with alcoholism. Transl Psychiatry. 2019 Feb 14;9(1):89. doi: 10.1038/s41398-019-0384-y. PubMed PMID: 30765688

Farris SP, Tiwari GR, Ponomareva O, Lopez MF, Mayfield RD, Becker HC. Transcriptome Analysis of Alcohol Drinking in Non-Dependent and Dependent Mice Following Repeated Cycles of Forced Swim Stress Exposure. Brain Sci. 2020 May 2;10(5). doi: 10.3390/brainsci10050275. PubMed PMID: 32370184