Shawn K. Acheson

Shawn K. Acheson

Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

External Address: 
PO Box 108, Waynesville, NC 28786
Internal Office Address: 
PO Box 108, Waynesville, NC 28786


In collaboration with Dr. Scott Swartzwelder, research in our lab has focused on the neurodevelopmental effects of alcohol and other drugs of abuse. In particular, we have been interested in how and why adolescents are more sensitive to some effects of ethanol and THC (e.g., learning and memory) and less sensitive to other effects (e.g., sedation). Beginning in Fall 2011, my lab will begin a new line of research focused on potential pharmacotherapies for TBI and the basic underlying mechanisms of recovery of function following acquired brain injury. This work is funded by a Career Development Award from the Veterans Administration Biomedical Laboratory Research & Development service.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Southern Illinois University 1997

Swartzwelder, Nicholas A., et al. “Effects of ethanol, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, or their combination on object recognition memory and object preference in adolescent and adult male rats.Neurosci Lett, vol. 527, no. 1, Oct. 2012, pp. 11–15. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2012.08.037. Full Text

Fleming, Rebekah L., et al. “In the rat, chronic intermittent ethanol exposure during adolescence alters the ethanol sensitivity of tonic inhibition in adulthood.Alcohol Clin Exp Res, vol. 36, no. 2, Feb. 2012, pp. 279–85. Pubmed, doi:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01615.x. Full Text

Gierisch, Jennifer M., et al. “Tobacco use among Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans: a qualitative study of barriers, facilitators, and treatment preferences.Prev Chronic Dis, vol. 9, 2012, p. E58. Pubmed, doi:10.5888/pcd9.110131. Full Text

Fleming, Rebekah L., et al. “GABA transport modulates the ethanol sensitivity of tonic inhibition in the rat dentate gyrus.Alcohol, vol. 45, no. 6, Sept. 2011, pp. 577–83. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.alcohol.2011.03.003. Full Text

Acheson, S. K., et al. “Characteristics and correlates of cigarette use among recent U.S. veterans.” Military Psychology, vol. 23, no. 3, May 2011, pp. 297–314. Scopus, doi:10.1080/08995605.2011.570589. Full Text

Zaborowski, Daphne E., et al. “Public health clinical demonstration project for smoking cessation in american veterans who served since september 11, 2001.J Addict Med, vol. 5, no. 1, Mar. 2011, pp. 79–83. Pubmed, doi:10.1097/ADM.0b013e3181df97d5. Full Text

Acheson, Shawn K., et al. “The synthetic cannabinoid WIN 55212-2 differentially modulates thigmotaxis but not spatial learning in adolescent and adult animals.Neurosci Lett, vol. 487, no. 3, Jan. 2011, pp. 411–14. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2010.10.067. Full Text

Moore, Nicole L. T., et al. “Role of cannabinoid receptor type 1 desensitization in greater tetrahydrocannabinol impairment of memory in adolescent rats.J Pharmacol Exp Ther, vol. 335, no. 2, Nov. 2010, pp. 294–301. Pubmed, doi:10.1124/jpet.110.169359. Full Text

White, Aaron M., et al. “Predictors of relapse during treatment and treatment completion among marijuana-dependent adolescents in an intensive outpatient substance abuse program.Subst Abus, vol. 25, no. 1, Mar. 2004, pp. 53–59. Pubmed, doi:10.1300/J465v25n01_08. Full Text

Acheson, S. K., et al. “Age-independent and dose-response effects of ethanol on spatial memory in rats.Alcohol, vol. 23, no. 3, Apr. 2001, pp. 167–75. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/s0741-8329(01)00127-6. Full Text