Reward and Addictive Disorders (RAD) Lab

Reward and Addictive Disorders (RAD) Lab


In the Reward and Addictive Disorders (RAD) Lab we use animal models to study motivational brain circuits on a systems level. Our goal is to understand how these neural circuits function in a healthy state as well as to uncover adaptations that contribute to maladaptive behaviors such as addiction.  To address these questions, we study reward-seeking and compulsive behaviors in mice.  We employ both pharmacological and genetic approaches to manipulate and uncover the neural circuits responsible for these behaviors. 

The RAD Lab is looking for talented students to join our BCD graduate program! 

Inquire here: or email Anna Radke (

Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @aradprof* (HyperLink-

Research Directions:

  1. Dopaminergic contributions to inflexible alcohol drinking in mice.  We are using a chemogenetic approach to investigate the contribution of specific neural structures and neuronal populations to inflexible, aversion-resistant alcohol drinking.
  2. Changes in dopamine release during inflexible alcohol drinking.  Using fast scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) we will ask how the development of inflexible alcohol drinking correlates with changes in dopamine release.
  3. Cortical glutamatergic contributions to compulsive reward-seeking in mice.  We are using intracranial, pharmacological manipulations to investigate the contribution of cortical NMDA receptors to food- and alcohol-seeking in the face of punishment.

About Dr. Radke

Radke Fall 2016

I completed my BA in Biology at St. Olaf College in 2006 and my PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota in 2011.  I completed postdoctoral fellowships with Dr. Marilyn Carroll at the University of Minnesota and Dr. Andrew Holmes at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.  Throughout my training I have gained considerable experience in rodent (rat and mouse) measures of behavior, with a specific focus on motivational brain systems.  I am currently interested in studying the neural mechanisms of compulsive behavior, specifically as it relates to alcohol-seeking and the effects of alcohol on neural function.  Techniques and measures I have experience with include operant responding for food/drug/electrical stimulation, fear conditioning and measures of anxiety, measures of drug withdrawal, fast scan cyclic voltammetry to measure dopamine release, and opto/chemogenetic control of behavior.  Finally, I have a strong interest in mentoring students, both undergraduate and graduate, in the lab.



My Bibliography:

LabTV Video Profile (from my postdoc at NIAAA):