Erin Siciliano Calipari, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

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Faculty Appointments
Assistant Professor of Pharmacology Assistant Professor of Molecular Physiology & BiophysicsAssistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Ph.D., Neuroscience, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North CarolinaB.S., Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MassachusettsB.S., Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts
Office Address
865F Light Hall
2215 Garland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37232
Research Description
Our research seeks to characterize and modulate the precise circuits in the brain that underlie both adaptive and maladaptive processes in reward, motivation, and associative learning, to develop improved treatments for complex and devastating psychiatric disorders.

Our research is guided by two overarching questions:

1. How do neural circuits integrate experiences with positive and negative stimuli to guide future behavior?

2. What are the molecular dysregulations that drive maladaptation in these processes?

One of the most fundamental forms of learning is the ability to associate positive and negative stimuli with cues that predict their occurrence. The ability to seek out rewarding stimuli and avoid negative stimuli is critical to survival and is evolutionarily conserved across species. Organisms achieve this by assigning value to cues that predict these stimuli; however, dysregulation of these processes can precipitate a number of psychiatric disease states. Addiction, depression, and anxiety are all examples of syndromes characterized in part by dysregulation of associative learning. These are among the most prevalent neuropsychiatric disorders and are highly comorbid. Therefore, understanding the neural mechanisms governing associative learning has widespread implications for developing treatment interventions for psychiatric disease. Our work aims to combine cutting edge technology with comprehensive models of psychiatric disease to understand the circuit and molecular dysregulation that underlies these disorders.

Learn more about our work at:
Research Keywords
Dopamine, Cocaine, Drug Addiction, Motivation, Calcium Imaging, Optogentics,
Calipari ES, Godino A, Peck EG, Salery M, Mervosh NL, Landry JA, Russo SJ, Hurd YL, Nestler EJ, Kiraly DD. Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor controls neural and behavioral plasticity in response to cocaine. Nat Commun. 2018 Jan 1/16/2018; 9(1): 9. PMID: 29339724, PMCID: PMC5770429, PII: 10.1038/s41467-017-01881-x, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01881-x, ISSN: 2041-1723.

Juarez B, Morel C, Ku SM, Liu Y, Zhang H, Montgomery S, Gregoire H, Ribeiro E, Crumiller M, Roman-Ortiz C, Walsh JJ, Jackson K, Croote DE, Zhu Y, Zhang S, Vendruscolo LF, Edwards S, Roberts A, Hodes GE, Lu Y, Calipari ES, Chaudhury D, Friedman AK, Han MH. Midbrain circuit regulation of individual alcohol drinking behaviors in mice. Nat Commun. 2017 Dec 12/20/2017; 8(1): 2220. PMID: 29263389, PMCID: PMC5738419, PII: 10.1038/s41467-017-02365-8, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-02365-8, ISSN: 2041-1723.

Engmann O, Labonté B, Mitchell A, Bashtrykov P, Calipari ES, Rosenbluh C, Loh YE, Walker DM, Burek D, Hamilton PJ, Issler O, Neve RL, Turecki G, Hurd Y, Chess A, Shen L, Mansuy I, Jeltsch A, Akbarian S, Nestler EJ. Cocaine-Induced Chromatin Modifications Associate With Increased Expression and Three-Dimensional Looping of Auts2. Biol. Psychiatry [print-electronic]. 2017 Dec 12/1/2017; 82(11): 794-805. PMID: 28577753, PMCID: PMC5671915, PII: S0006-3223(17)31517-2, DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.04.013, ISSN: 1873-2402.

Siciliano CA, Saha K, Calipari ES, Fordahl SC, Chen R, Khoshbouei H, Jones SR. Amphetamine reverses escalated cocaine intake via restoration of dopamine transporter conformation. J. Neurosci [print-electronic]. 2017 Nov 11/24/2017; PMID: 29175958, PII: JNEUROSCI.2604-17.2017, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2604-17.2017, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Barker DJ, Miranda-Barrientos J, Zhang S, Root DH, Wang HL, Liu B, Calipari ES, Morales M. Lateral Preoptic Control of the Lateral Habenula through Convergent Glutamate and GABA Transmission. Cell Rep. 2017 Nov 11/14/2017; 21(7): 1757-69. PMID: 29141211, PMCID: PMC5699228, PII: S2211-1247(17)31529-2, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.10.066, ISSN: 2211-1247.

Labonté B, Engmann O, Purushothaman I, Menard C, Wang J, Tan C, Scarpa JR, Moy G, Loh YE, Cahill M, Lorsch ZS, Hamilton PJ, Calipari ES, Hodes GE, Issler O, Kronman H, Pfau M, Obradovic ALJ, Dong Y, Neve RL, Russo S, Kazarskis A, Tamminga C, Mechawar N, Turecki G, Zhang B, Shen L, Nestler EJ. Sex-specific transcriptional signatures in human depression. Nat. Med [print-electronic]. 2017 Sep; 23(9): 1102-11. PMID: 28825715, PII: nm.4386, DOI: 10.1038/nm.4386, ISSN: 1546-170X.

Dash S, Balasubramaniam M, Rana T, Godino A, Peck EG, Goodwin JS, Villalta F, Calipari ES, Nestler EJ, Dash C, Pandhare J. Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1 (PARP-1) Induction by Cocaine Is Post-Transcriptionally Regulated by miR-125b. ENeuro. 2017 Jul; 4(4): PMID: 28828398, PMCID: PMC5562297, PII: eN-NWR-0089-17, DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0089-17.2017, ISSN: 2373-2822.

Dash S, Balasubramaniam M, Rana T, Godino A, Peck EG, Goodwin JS, Villalta F, Calipari ES, Nestler EJ, Dash C, Pandhare J. Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1 (PARP-1) Induction by Cocaine Is Post-Transcriptionally Regulated by miR-125b. ENeuro. 2017 Jul; 4(4): PMID: 28828398, PMCID: PMC5562297, PII: eN-NWR-0089-17, DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0089-17.2017, ISSN: 2373-2822.

Muir J, Lorsch ZS, Ramakrishnan C, Deisseroth K, Nestler EJ, Calipari ES, Bagot RC. In Vivo Fiber Photometry Reveals Signature of Future Stress Susceptibility in Nucleus Accumbens. Neuropsychopharmacology [print-electronic]. 2017 Jun 6/7/2017; PMID: 28589967, PII: npp2017122, DOI: 10.1038/npp.2017.122, ISSN: 1740-634X.

Calipari ES, Juarez B, Morel C, Walker DM, Cahill ME, Ribeiro E, Roman-Ortiz C, Ramakrishnan C, Deisseroth K, Han MH, Nestler EJ. Dopaminergic dynamics underlying sex-specific cocaine reward. Nat Commun. 2017 Jan 1/10/2017; 8: 13877. PMID: 28072417, PMCID: PMC5234081, PII: ncomms13877, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13877, ISSN: 2041-1723.

Mews P, Calipari ES. Cross-talk between the epigenome and neural circuits in drug addiction. Prog. Brain Res [print-electronic]. 2017; 235: 19-63. PMID: 29054289, PII: S0079-6123(17)30113-9, DOI: 10.1016/bs.pbr.2017.08.012, ISSN: 1875-7855.

Mews P, Calipari ES. Cross-talk between the epigenome and neural circuits in drug addiction. Prog. Brain Res [print-electronic]. 2017; 235: 19-63. PMID: 29054289, PII: S0079-6123(17)30113-9, DOI: 10.1016/bs.pbr.2017.08.012, ISSN: 1875-7855.

Kiraly DD, Walker DM, Calipari ES, Labonte B, Issler O, Pena CJ, Ribeiro EA, Russo SJ, Nestler EJ. Alterations of the Host Microbiome Affect Behavioral Responses to Cocaine. Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 10/18/2016; 6: 35455. PMID: 27752130, PMCID: PMC5067576, PII: srep35455, DOI: 10.1038/srep35455, ISSN: 2045-2322.

Wook Koo J, Labonté B, Engmann O, Calipari ES, Juarez B, Lorsch Z, Walsh JJ, Friedman AK, Yorgason JT, Han MH, Nestler EJ. Essential Role of Mesolimbic Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Chronic Social Stress-Induced Depressive Behaviors. Biol. Psychiatry [print-electronic]. 2016 Sep 9/15/2016; 80(6): 469-78. PMID: 26858215, PMCID: PMC4909591, PII: S0006-3223(15)01045-8, DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.12.009, ISSN: 1873-2402.

Damez-Werno DM, Sun H, Scobie KN, Shao N, Rabkin J, Dias C, Calipari ES, Maze I, Pena CJ, Walker DM, Cahill ME, Chandra R, Gancarz A, Mouzon E, Landry JA, Cates H, Lobo MK, Dietz D, Allis CD, Guccione E, Turecki G, Defilippi P, Neve RL, Hurd YL, Shen L, Nestler EJ. Histone arginine methylation in cocaine action in the nucleus accumbens. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A [print-electronic]. 2016 Aug 8/23/2016; 113(34): 9623-8. PMID: 27506785, PMCID: PMC5003250, PII: 1605045113, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1605045113, ISSN: 1091-6490.

Siciliano CA, Calipari ES, Yorgason JT, Lovinger DM, Mateo Y, Jimenez VA, Helms CM, Grant KA, Jones SR. Increased presynaptic regulation of dopamine neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens core following chronic ethanol self-administration in female macaques. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) [print-electronic]. 2016 Apr; 233(8): 1435-43. PMID: 26892380, PMCID: PMC4814331, PII: 10.1007/s00213-016-4239-4, DOI: 10.1007/s00213-016-4239-4, ISSN: 1432-2072.

Calipari ES, Bagot RC, Purushothaman I, Davidson TJ, Yorgason JT, Peña CJ, Walker DM, Pirpinias ST, Guise KG, Ramakrishnan C, Deisseroth K, Nestler EJ. In vivo imaging identifies temporal signature of D1 and D2 medium spiny neurons in cocaine reward. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A [print-electronic]. 2016 Mar 3/8/2016; 113(10): 2726-31. PMID: 26831103, PMCID: PMC4791010, PII: 1521238113, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1521238113, ISSN: 1091-6490.

Siciliano CA, Calipari ES, Yorgason JT, Mateo Y, Helms CM, Lovinger DM, Grant KA, Jones SR. Chronic ethanol self-administration in macaques shifts dopamine feedback inhibition to predominantly D2 receptors in nucleus accumbens core. Drug Alcohol Depend [print-electronic]. 2016 Jan 1/1/2016; 158: 159-63. PMID: 26627912, PMCID: PMC4698076, PII: S0376-8716(15)01728-7, DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.10.031, ISSN: 1879-0046.

Sun H, Calipari ES, Beveridge TJ, Jones SR, Chen R. The brain gene expression profile of dopamine D2/D3 receptors and associated signaling proteins following amphetamine self-administration. Neuroscience [print-electronic]. 2015 Oct 10/29/2015; 307: 253-61. PMID: 26321241, PMCID: PMC4591251, PII: S0306-4522(15)00785-X, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.08.053, ISSN: 1873-7544.

Ferris MJ, Calipari ES, Rose JH, Siciliano CA, Sun H, Chen R, Jones SR. A Single Amphetamine Infusion Reverses Deficits in Dopamine Nerve-Terminal Function Caused by a History of Cocaine Self-Administration. Neuropsychopharmacology [print-electronic]. 2015 Jul; 40(8): 1826-36. PMID: 25689882, PMCID: PMC4839519, PII: npp201545, DOI: 10.1038/npp.2015.45, ISSN: 1740-634X.

Siciliano CA, Calipari ES, Cuzon Carlson VC, Helms CM, Lovinger DM, Grant KA, Jones SR. Voluntary ethanol intake predicts ¿-opioid receptor supersensitivity and regionally distinct dopaminergic adaptations in macaques. J. Neurosci. 2015 Apr 4/15/2015; 35(15): 5959-68. PMID: 25878269, PMCID: PMC4397597, PII: 35/15/5959, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4820-14.2015, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Calipari ES, Siciliano CA, Zimmer BA, Jones SR. Brief intermittent cocaine self-administration and abstinence sensitizes cocaine effects on the dopamine transporter and increases drug seeking. Neuropsychopharmacology [print-electronic]. 2015 Feb; 40(3): 728-35. PMID: 25212486, PMCID: PMC4289961, PII: npp2014238, DOI: 10.1038/npp.2014.238, ISSN: 1740-634X.

Siciliano CA, Calipari ES, Ferris MJ, Jones SR. Adaptations of presynaptic dopamine terminals induced by psychostimulant self-administration. ACS Chem Neurosci [print-electronic]. 2015 Jan 1/21/2015; 6(1): 27-36. PMID: 25491345, PMCID: PMC4304501, DOI: 10.1021/cn5002705, ISSN: 1948-7193.

Dias C, Feng J, Sun H, Shao NY, Mazei-Robison MS, Damez-Werno D, Scobie K, Bagot R, LaBonté B, Ribeiro E, Liu X, Kennedy P, Vialou V, Ferguson D, Peña C, Calipari ES, Koo JW, Mouzon E, Ghose S, Tamminga C, Neve R, Shen L, Nestler EJ. ß-catenin mediates stress resilience through Dicer1/microRNA regulation. Nature [print-electronic]. 2014 Dec 12/4/2014; 516(7529): 51-5. PMID: 25383518, PMCID: PMC4257892, PII: nature13976, DOI: 10.1038/nature13976, ISSN: 1476-4687.

Siciliano CA, Calipari ES, Jones SR. Amphetamine potency varies with dopamine uptake rate across striatal subregions. J. Neurochem [print-electronic]. 2014 Nov; 131(3): 348-55. PMID: 24988947, PMCID: PMC4205180, DOI: 10.1111/jnc.12808, ISSN: 1471-4159.

Calipari ES, Jones SR. Sensitized nucleus accumbens dopamine terminal responses to methylphenidate and dopamine transporter releasers after intermittent-access self-administration. Neuropharmacology [print-electronic]. 2014 Jul; 82: 1-10. PMID: 24632529, PMCID: PMC4028393, PII: S0028-3908(14)00086-0, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2014.02.021, ISSN: 1873-7064.

Calipari ES, Sun H, Eldeeb K, Luessen DJ, Feng X, Howlett AC, Jones SR, Chen R. Amphetamine self-administration attenuates dopamine D2 autoreceptor function. Neuropsychopharmacology [print-electronic]. 2014 Jul; 39(8): 1833-42. PMID: 24513972, PMCID: PMC4059891, PII: npp201430, DOI: 10.1038/npp.2014.30, ISSN: 1740-634X.

Calipari ES, Ferris MJ, Siciliano CA, Zimmer BA, Jones SR. Intermittent cocaine self-administration produces sensitization of stimulant effects at the dopamine transporter. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther [print-electronic]. 2014 May; 349(2): 192-8. PMID: 24566123, PMCID: PMC3989803, PII: jpet.114.212993, DOI: 10.1124/jpet.114.212993, ISSN: 1521-0103.

Siciliano CA, Calipari ES, Ferris MJ, Jones SR. Biphasic mechanisms of amphetamine action at the dopamine terminal. J. Neurosci. 2014 Apr 4/16/2014; 34(16): 5575-82. PMID: 24741047, PMCID: PMC3988413, PII: 34/16/5575, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4050-13.2014, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Calipari ES, Ferris MJ, Melchior JR, Bermejo K, Salahpour A, Roberts DC, Jones SR. Methylphenidate and cocaine self-administration produce distinct dopamine terminal alterations. Addict Biol [print-electronic]. 2014 Mar; 19(2): 145-55. PMID: 22458761, PMCID: PMC3390453, DOI: 10.1111/j.1369-1600.2012.00456.x, ISSN: 1369-1600.

Calipari ES, Ferris MJ, Jones SR. Extended access of cocaine self-administration results in tolerance to the dopamine-elevating and locomotor-stimulating effects of cocaine. J. Neurochem [print-electronic]. 2014 Jan; 128(2): 224-32. PMID: 24102293, PMCID: PMC3947316, DOI: 10.1111/jnc.12452, ISSN: 1471-4159.

Calipari ES, Ferris MJ, Zimmer BA, Roberts DC, Jones SR. Temporal pattern of cocaine intake determines tolerance vs sensitization of cocaine effects at the dopamine transporter. Neuropsychopharmacology [print-electronic]. 2013 Nov; 38(12): 2385-92. PMID: 23719505, PMCID: PMC3799057, PII: npp2013136, DOI: 10.1038/npp.2013.136, ISSN: 1740-634X.

Ferris MJ, Calipari ES, Melchior JR, Roberts DC, España RA, Jones SR. Paradoxical tolerance to cocaine after initial supersensitivity in drug-use-prone animals. Eur. J. Neurosci [print-electronic]. 2013 Aug; 38(4): 2628-36. PMID: 23725404, PMCID: PMC3748159, DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12266, ISSN: 1460-9568.

Calipari ES, Ferris MJ, Salahpour A, Caron MG, Jones SR. Methylphenidate amplifies the potency and reinforcing effects of amphetamines by increasing dopamine transporter expression. Nat Commun. 2013; 4: 2720. PMID: 24193139, PMCID: PMC4017736, PII: ncomms3720, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3720, ISSN: 2041-1723.

Ferris MJ, Calipari ES, Mateo Y, Melchior JR, Roberts DC, Jones SR. Cocaine self-administration produces pharmacodynamic tolerance: differential effects on the potency of dopamine transporter blockers, releasers, and methylphenidate. Neuropsychopharmacology [print-electronic]. 2012 Jun; 37(7): 1708-16. PMID: 22395730, PMCID: PMC3358740, PII: npp201217, DOI: 10.1038/npp.2012.17, ISSN: 1740-634X.