Welcome to the Center for Neural Circuits in Addiction!

We are driven to discover neural circuits that are related to addiction. Our goals are to create new technologies and approaches for studying neural circuits and addiction and make them available to researchers world-wide to solve the societal challenge of addiction. We are also committed raising awareness of the biological basis of addiction, and erasing the stigma that prevents so many from accessing and receiving the services needed for this serious medical condition.

The Center comprises an interdisciplinary team of outstanding University faculty, trainees and staff working together to create tools to transform researchers’ ability to discover how brain circuits change with addiction. Their findings will be leveraged to develop new treatments. The Center for Neural Circuits in Addiction will also raise awareness of the biological basis of addiction.

"We want to emphasize that addiction is not a failure of moral character or will. It’s a serious and chronic brain-based medical condition in need of much better treatments. Addiction and relapse result from changes to neural circuits through repeated exposure to drugs in some people. The Center will enable researchers and scientist-clinicians to  better understand how the circuits that control emotions, motivation and decision-making are altered by addiction and recovery. This is essential to finding new, more effective therapies."

- Mark Thomas


According to the Minnesota Department of Health, an estimated 450,000 to 500,000 Minnesotans struggle with a substance use disorder. To help address this problem of addiction in Minnesota and beyond, the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has awarded the University of Minnesota $9.9 million to establish the Center for Neural Circuits in Addiction.