Ethan Anderson

Ethan Anderson

Assistant Professor

Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences

LSU School of Veterinary Medicine
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803



PhD, University of Florida, 2012

BS, University of Florida, 2008

Research Interest

Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) and Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs) are major problems in our society today, and there is a great need for better therapies. Repeated substance and alcohol use causes neuroplastic adaptations in the brain through molecular mechanisms. These changes lead to cravings, increased motivation to take the drug, and can cause relapse during times of abstinence. I have studied these lasting effects of abused drugs on the brain since 2009. Almost all of my research experiences have focused on neuroplastic molecular mechanisms that underlie drug-induced behavioral changes in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain area in the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway vital for reward, stress, and anxiety. I employ cutting-edge viral and chemical tools to manipulate molecular pathways to reverse or mimic drug/alcohol-induced changes in NAc and study their behavioral relevance. The Anderson Lab aims to discover novel, translational treatments for SUDs and AUDs that are capable of reducing drug use by reversing neuroplastic adaptations that occur following chronic use.

Teaching Interest

I teach neuroscience courses in the Veterinary School and also teach graduate students. I also participate in outreach efforts aimed at local schools in the area.

Clinical Interest

I am not a clinician, however, I study translational neuroscience and am currently working on a novel pharmacotherapy for Alcohol Use Disorder and Substance Use Disorder (AUD/SUD). See:

Awards & Honors

2023, NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research: Training in Neurotherapeutics Discovery and Development for Academic Scientists Course at UC Davis

2020, Selected as an American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) Advocacy Ambassador for Society for Neuroscience’s (SfN) Hill Day

2020, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Volterra R13 AA017581 conference travel award (Awarded, but the conference was cancelled by the pandemic)

2019, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) Travel Award

2018, First Place Winner in the Perry V. Halushka MUSC Student Research Day 2018, Oral Presentation Category

2016, Postdoctoral Teaching Certificate - University of Texas at Dallas

2016, University of Texas – Partnership in Advancing Clinical Transition Teaching Fellowship (UT-PACT)

2015, University of Texas – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Teaching Fellowship (STEMS)

2013-2015, Postdoctoral Training Certificate in Research - UT Southwestern, Dallas, TX

2012, University of Florida Office of Research Travel Award


Anderson EM, Tsvetkov E, Galante A, DeVries D, McCue LM, Wood D, Barry S, Berto S, Lavin A, Taniguchi M, Cowan CW. “Epigenetic function during heroin self-administration controls future relapse-associated behavior in a cell type-specific manner.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U S A. 2023 Feb 14;120(7):e2210953120. (PMID: 36745812)

Anderson EM and Taniguchi M. “Epigenetic effects of addictive drugs in the nucleus accumbens.” Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience. 2022 Jun 23;15:828055. (PMID: 35813068)

Anderson EM, Lopez MF, Kastner A, Mulholland PJ, Becker HC, and Cowan CW. “The histone methyltransferase G9a mediates stress-regulated alcohol drinking.” Addiction Biology. 2021 May 19;e13060. (PMID: 34013595)

Garcia-Keller C, Scofield M, Neuhofer D, Varanasi S, Reeves M, Hughes B, Anderson EM, Richie C, Pickel J, Mejiás-Aponte C, Hope B, Harvey B, Cowan CW, and Kalivas P. "Relapse-associated Transient Synaptic Potentiation Requires Integrin-mediated Activation of Focal Adhesion Kinase and Cofilin in D1-expressing Neurons." The Journal of Neuroscience. 2020 Oct 28;40(44):8463-8477. (PMID: 33051346)

Anderson EM, Sun H, Guzman D, Taniguchi M, Cowan CW, Maze I, Nestler EJ, and Self DW. Knockdown of the histone di-methyltransferase G9a in nucleus accumbens shell decreases cocaine self-administration, stress-induced reinstatement, and anxiety. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019 Jul;44(8):1370-1376. (PMID: 30587852)

Anderson EM*, Penrod RD*, Barry SM*, Hughes BW*, Taniguchi M*, and Cowan CW. It's a complex issue: Emerging connections between epigenetic regulators in drug addiction. European Journal of Neuroscience. 2019 Aug;50(3):2477-2491. (PMID: 30251397)

Penrod RD, Anderson EM, Cowan CW. Any Way You Splice It: New Molecular Mechanisms of Cocaine-Induced Alternative Gene Expression. Biol Psychiatry. 2018 Aug 1;84(3):162-164. (PMID: 29941147)

Anderson EM, Larson EB, Wissman, AM, Guzman D, Neve RL, Nestler EJ, and Self DW. Overexpression of the histone methyltransferase G9a in the accumbens shell increases cocaine self-administration, reinstatement, and anxiety. The Journal of Neuroscience. 2018 Jan 24, 38(4):803-813. (PMID: 29217682)

Sapio MR, Neubert JK, LaPaglia DM, Maric D, Keller JM, Raithel SJ, Rohrs EL, Anderson EM, Butman JA, Caudle RM, Brown DC, Heiss JD, Mannes AJ, Iadarola MJ. Pain control through selective chemo-axotomy of centrally projecting TRPV1+ sensory neurons. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2018 Apr 2;128(4):1657-1670. (PMID: 29408808)

Anderson EM, Wissman AM, Chemplanikal J, Buzin N, Guzman D, Larson EB, Neve RL, Nestler EJ, Cowan CW, and Self DW. BDNF-TrkB controls cocaine-induced dendritic spines in rodent nucleus accumbens dissociated from increases in addictive behaviors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U S A. 2017 Aug 29;114(35):9469-9474 (PMID: 28808012)



Grant Funding

R41 AA029365 $392,942, Anderson (MPI) and Cowan (MPI), 2022-2023, NIH/NIAAA, “Development of novel pharmacotherapies for AUD”, STTR Small Business Grant awarded to NeuroEpigenix, LLC

Discovery Grant Award, $25,000, Anderson (PI), 2022-2023, South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute (SCTR) “Novel epigenetic pharmacotherapies for AUD and SUD”

Yale/NIDA Neuroproteomics Center Pilot Project Grant, $7,500+, Anderson (PI), 2021-2022, Yale/NIH/NIDA, “Phospholipase Cγ1 in the nucleus accumbens reduces heroin-seeking: Effects on synaptic phospholipids and the synaptoproteome.”

P50 AA010761, $1,397,332, Becker (PI), Anderson (Role: Co-investigator), 2021-2026, NIH/NIAAA, “Alcohol Research Center – Treatment and Implications”

K01 DA046513, $942,625, Anderson (PI), 2019-2024, NIH/NIDA, “Targeting Phospholipase C and Dendritic Spines to Reduce Cocaine and Heroin Motivation”

P50 AA010761, $25,000, Anderson (PI), 2019, Charleston Alcohol Research Center (ARC) Pilot Grant Renewal, “The Epigenetics of Alcohol Addiction: Histone Methylation and G9a”

P50 AA010761, $25,000, Anderson (PI), 2018, Charleston Alcohol Research Center (ARC) Pilot Grant, “The Epigenetics of Alcohol Addiction: Histone Methylation and G9a”

T32 DA007290, Eisch (PI), 2013-2016 NIH/NIDA, T32 NIDA postdoctoral fellowship, Basic Science Training Program in Drug Abuse, National Institute on Drug Abuse Institutional Training Grant.

Chapter Grant Award, Anderson and Banuelos (co-writers/PIs),  2012, Society for Neuroscience (SfN), Chapter Grant Award to the North Central Florida Chapter of SfN

Bryan W. Robinson Neuroscience Endowment Grant, Anderson (PI), 2011, The Bryan W. Robinson Endowment, “Morphine alters NMDA Receptor splicing in the nucleus accumbens”

Chapter Grant Award, Anderson and Marcinkiewcz (co-writers/PIs), 2011, Society for Neuroscience (SfN), Chapter Grant Award to the North Central Florida Chapter of SfN