Justin J. Anker, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Justin J. Anker

Contact Info


Office Phone 612-273-9819

Administrative Assistant Name
Lois Laitinen

Administrative Email

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

PhD, Cognitive and Biological Psychology, University of Minnesota (2009)

BA, Psychology, University of Minnesota (2005)


Dr. Anker received his Ph.D. in Cognitive and Biological Psychology from the University of Minnesota. In his graduate work, Dr. Anker developed and tested preclinical models to identify biological and behavioral factors that mediate the vulnerability to and treatment of substance use disorders (SUD). As a postdoctoral clinical researcher, Dr. Anker elucidated important factors that mediate SUD treatment receptivity such as motivations and expectancies regarding the use of drugs to self-medicate anxiety symptoms. Dr. Anker’s current work focuses on the development and testing of translational models that combine preclinical methods of assessing biological stress system function with clinical SUD treatment methods. 

Awards & Recognition

  • Hazelden-Betty Ford Adjunct Faculty of Excellence Award
  • College on Problems of Drug Dependence Early Career Investigator Award
  • Committee on Animal Research and Ethics Imprinting-Interdivisional Mentoring Fellowship Award
  • David Campbell Graduate Research Fellowship

Professional Associations

  • Minnesota Academy of Science
  • APA Division 28: Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse


Research Summary/Interests

  • Comorbidity
  • Alcohol Use Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Drinking to Cope
  • Drinking Motives
  • Network Analysis


  1. Anker JJ, Forbes MK, Almquist ZW, Menk JS, Thuras P, Unruh AS, Kushner MG. (2017) A Network Approach to Conceptualizing Comorbid Internalizing and Alcohol Use Disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 126(3): 325-339. 
  2. Anker JJ, Kushner MG, Thuras P, Menk J, Unruh A. (2016) Drinking to Cope with Negative Emotions Moderates Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment Response in Patients with Co-Occurring and Anxiety Disorder. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 159: 93-100.
  3. Klein AA, Nelson LM, Anker JJ. (2013) Attention and recognition memory bias for alcohol-related stimuli among alcohol-dependent patients attending residential treatment. Addict Behav 38: 1687-1690.
  4. Anker JJ, Baron TR, Zlebnik NE, Carroll ME (2012) Escalation of methamphetamine self-administration in adolescent and adult rats. Alcohol and Drug Dependence 124: 149-153
  5. Anker JJ, Brimijoin S, Gao Y, Zlebnik NE, Parks RJ, Carroll ME (2012) Cocaine hydrolase encoded in viral vector blocks the reinstatement of cocaine seeking in rats for 6 months. Biological Psychiatry 71: 700-705.
  6. Anker JJ, Holtz NA, Carroll ME (2012) Effects of progesterone on the escalation of intravenous cocaine self-administration in rats selectively bred for high or low saccharin preference. Behavioural Pharmacology 23: 205-210. 
  7. Anker JJ, Carroll ME (2011) Adolescent nicotine exposure sensitizes cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking in rats bred for high and low saccharin intake. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 118: 68-72.
  8. Anker JJ, Navin S, Zlebnik N, Carroll ME (2011) Responding during signaled availability and nonavailabilty of iv cocaine and food in rats: age and sex differences. Psychopharmacology 215: 785-799
  9. Anker JJ, Carroll ME (2010) Sex differences in the effects of allopregnanolone on yohimbine-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking in rats. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 107: 264-267
  10. Anker JJ, Zlebnik NE, Carroll ME (2010) Differential effects of allopregnanolone on the escalation of cocaine self-administration and sucrose intake in female rats. Psychopharmacology 212: 419-429
  11. Anker JJ, Carroll ME (2010) The role of progestins on the behavioral effects of cocaine and other drugs of abuse: human and animal research. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 35: 315-333