Lori Knackstedt, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Lori Knackstedt, PhD
Department of Psychology
University of Florida
PO Box 112250
Gainesville, FL 32611-2250
Email: knack@ufl.edu


Dr. Knackstedt is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

Research Area

Dr. Knackstedt is interested in the neurobiology of drug addiction with a focus on the glutamate neurotransmitter system.


B.S. Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

Current Research

Dr. Knackstedt is focusing on gaining a better understanding of the neurochemical and molecular changes that occur following the learned response of drug self-administration in order to develop effective behavioral and pharmacological therapies for addiction. . Therefore, the primary goal of her research is to determine biological factors contributing to the long-term behavioral adaptations produced by cocaine and alcohol self-administration in rodents. Secondary to this is goal is exploring methods of counteracting these pathological neuroadaptations to reverse the pathologies of learning and memory which drive relapse to drug-seeking. Her current research is working to assess the role of the neurotransmitter glutamate in the nucleus accumbens in relapse to alcohol and cocaine. To do so, she uses animal models of drug self-administration and relapse to identify alterations in glutamate levels using microdialysis procedures and protein expression using western blotting. She targets the identified pathologies with pharmacotherapies and genetic approaches, such as AAV-mediated over-expression.

Recent Publications:


Lacrosse AL, O’Donovan S, Sepulveda-Orengo MT, McCullumsmith R, Reissner KJ, Schwendt M, and Knackstedt LA. Contrasting the role of xCT and GLT-1 upregulation in the ability of ceftriaxone to attenuate the reinstatement of cocaine-seeking and normalize AMPA receptor subunit expression. Journal of Neuroscience, 37(24): 5809-5821. PMID: 28495973

Stennett B, Frankowski, JC, Peris J, and Knackstedt, LA.  2017. Ceftriaxone reduces alcohol intake in outbred rats while upregulating xCT in the nucleus accumbens core.  Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior.  159: 18-23.

Hadad NA, Wu L, Hiller H, Krause EG, Schwendt M, Knackstedt LA. (2016). Conditioned stress prevents cue-primed cocaine reinstatement only in stress-responsive rats. Stress, 19(4):406-18. PMID: 27181613

Pati D, Kelly K, Stennett B, Frazier CJ, Knackstedt LA. (2016). Alcohol self-administration increases basal glutamate in the nucleus accumbens of outbred rats without affecting pre-synaptic release properties. European Journal of Neuroscience, 44(2):1896-1905. PMID: 27207718

Knackstedt LA, Schwendt M. (2016). mGlu5 receptors and relapse to cocaine-seeking: the role of receptor trafficking in post-relapse extinction learning deficits. Neural Plasticity, 2016:9312508. PMID: 26881139

Weiland A, Garcia. S, Knackstedt LA. (2015). Cefazolin and ceftriaxone attenuate the cue-primed reinstatement of alcohol-seeking. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 6 (44). PMID:25805996