Nicole Schramm-Sapyta, Ph.D.

Photo of Nicole Schramm-Sapyta

Phone: 919-684-4909

Room 124A Research Park Bldg IV
PO Box 103604
Duke University Med. Center
Durham, NC 27710

Email: nicole DOT schrammsapyta AT duke DOT edu

Assistant Professor

Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Division of Medical Psychology, School of Medicine

DIBS Staff, DIBS Faculty, DIBS Investigator

Research Description

Drug addiction is a disease that must be addressed at all levels of research: molecular, physiological, behavioral, psychological, sociological, epidemiological, and political. In my laboratory, we use rodent behavioral models to address the question of what differentiates a casual drug user from a drug addict. Our goal is to develop rodent models which closely mimic addiction in humans so that we can explore neurobiological and molecular mechanisms. Current research is focused on the mechanisms of adolescent vulnerability to addiction and the role of stress and aversive effects of drugs of abuse on subsequent drug taking and development of addiction-like behavior. We use multiple behavioral techniques to address this question, including intravenous cocaine self-administration, voluntary ethanol drinking, conditioned taste aversion, and others.


Ph.D., Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Pharmacology, 2000

B.S., North Carolina State University, Biochemistry, 1994

Recent Publications

Schramm-Sapyta, NL, Kingsley, MA, Rezvani, A, Propst, K, Swartzwelder, HS and Kuhn, CM. Early ethanol consumption predicts relapse-like behavior in adolescent male rats. (2008) Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. May; 32(5):754-62.

Schramm-Sapyta, NL, Cha, YM, Chaudhry, S, Wilson, WA, Swartzwelder, HS, and Kuhn, CM. Differential anxiogenic, aversive and locomotor effects of THC in adolescent and adult rats. (2007) Psychopharmacology, 191 (4): 867-877.

Schramm-Sapyta, NL, Morris, RW, and Kuhn, CM. Adolescent Rats are protected from the conditioned aversive properties of cocaine and lithium chloride. (2006) Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 84: 344-352.

Research Areas

Research Topics

  • Adolescence
  • Stress
  • Drug Addiction