Program Director, Medications Development Branch (MDB)

Jenica D. Patterson, Ph.D.

Focus Area

co-occurring disorders; IND-enabling SBIR; medications development; translational research

Biographical Summary

Dr. Jenica Patterson is a Program Officer in the Division of Treatment and Recovery, Medications Development Branch, at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). She oversees a research portfolio that focuses on pharmacotherapies for alcohol use disorder (AUD) with an emphasis on genetics, translation, and co-occurring disorders. Dr. Patterson serves as a co-Principal Investigator on several pharmacotherapy trials to treat AUD conducted under the NIAAA Clinical Investigations Group (NCIG). Dr. Patterson earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She completed her post-doctoral fellow in the NIAAA Intramural Research Program, Laboratory of Clinical and Translational Sciences. Prior to joining NIAAA, Dr. Patterson was a Senior Scientific Advisor to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where she advised on neurotechnology, gene editing technologies and therapies, and large-scale omics analyses. She also served as a staff scientist in the NIAAA Intramural Research Program.

Selected Publications

Lee, ML, Tapocik JD, Ghareeb M, Schwandt ML, Dias AA, Le AN, Cobbina E, Farinelli LA, Bouhlal S, Farokhnia M, Heilig M, Akhlaghi F, Leggio L. The novel ghrelin receptor inverse agonist PF-5190457 administered with alcohol: preclinical experiments and a Phase 1b human laboratory study. Mol Psychiatry. 2020 Feb;25(2):461-475. doi: 10.1038/s41380-018-0064-y. Epub 2018 May 4. PMID: 29728704

Thorsell A., J.D. Tapocik, K. Liu, M. Zook, L. Bell, M. Flanigan, S. Patnaik, J. Marugan, R. Damadzic, S.J. Dehdashti, M.L. Schwandt, N. Southall, C.P. Austin, R. Eskay, R. Ciccocioppo, W. Zheng, M. Heilig. A novel brain penetrant NPS receptor antagonist, NCGC00185684, blocks alcohol-induced ERK-phosphorylation in the central amygdala and decreases operant alcohol self-administration in rats. J Neurosci. 2013 Jun 12;33(24):10132-42

Tapocik J.D., E. Barbier, M. Flanigan, M. Solomon, H. Sun, A. Pincus, A. Pilling, J. Schank, C. King, M. Heilig. microRNA-206 in rat medial prefrontal cortex regulates BDNF expression and alcohol drinking.  J Neurosci. 2014 Mar 26;34(13):4581-8.