Dr Erin Campbell

Dr Erin Campbell

Brief Profile / Biography 

Dr. Campbell is a behavioural neuroscientist ranked in the top 0.4% of researchers examining alcohol use disorder across the world. Her research is focused on understanding how alcohol can change the brain's chemistry, structure and function. For example, Erin and her colleagues are currently examining the neural circuitry underlying relapse to alcohol-seeking following voluntary abstinence.  

Erin completed her PhD at The University of Newcastle in 2016. During this time, she trained at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the world-leading addiction research institute. Here she learnt novel viral techniques to manipulate cellular function in freely behaving animals. From 2016-2021, Erin conducted her postdoctoral work at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne – the largest neuroscience research institute in the Southern Hemisphere. Recently, she has begun to translate her findings from the rodent into the clinic. She is currently examining whether existing medications for obesity can be repurposed to prevent craving in individuals with alcohol use disorder. Erin is now back in Newcastle to establish her own research group. 

Why did you get into research? 

I have always been curious about how the brain drives behaviour. This is particularly interesting since the brain contains ~one hundred billion neurons and we are only just beginning to understand how these neurons work to influence our behaviour. 

I am also interested in mental health disorders, particularly given the ever-present stigma from a lack of understanding of these disorders. 

What would be the ultimate goal for your research? 

I hope to identify successful new treatments for alcohol use disorder by discovering new brain areas and circuits that future studies can target in treatment-seeking individuals with alcohol use disorder. 

Future Focus 

To address the translational hurdle that prevents the discovery of new, effective pharmacotherapeutics for the treatment of alcohol use disorder. 

Specialised/Technical Skills  

  • Animal behaviour 
  • Translationally-relevant models of mental health disorders 
  • Chemogenetics 
  • Immunohistochemistry 
  • In-situ hybridization 
  • Retrograde tracing 

Affiliations 

  • HMRI Brain Neuromodulation Research Program 
  • The University of Newcastle 
  • The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health 
  • The University of Melbourne