Camron D. Bryant, Ph.D.

2012-11-08 13.08.21Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry
Department of Pharmacology

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Laboratory: Laboratory of Addiction Genetics

Research Interests

Dr. Bryant is the Director of the Laboratory of Addiction Genetics.  Dr. Bryant’s research program is focused on determining the genetic basis of behavioral and molecular traits relevant to substance dependence in mice.  The ultimate goal is to improve our understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms of addiction and to translate these findings toward treatment and prevention strategies in humans.  A current focus is to determine the genetic basis of the rewarding properties of opioids in mice by combining quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of behavior and gene expression in genetic reference populations that yield high resolution QTLs.  This multi-pronged approach to gene mapping will accelerate the nomination of candidate genes for validation via direct gene targeting.  A separate focus with regard to functional characterization of candidate genes is the dissection of the hypothesized opposing roles of casein kinase-1 (CK-1) isoforms in regulating dopaminergic signaling and the motivational properties of drugs of abuse.  Last, Dr. Bryant has a longstanding interest in deciphering the neurobiological basis of the “placebo effect”, a phenomenon that has been hypothesized to be mediated by the reward expectation.  He plans to develop and apply a forward genetic analysis toward Pavlovian conditioning mouse models across a variety of conditions that are notoriously sensitive to the placebo effect, including pain, anxiety, depression, and Parkinson’s Disease.

Recent News

January 11, 2014: Dr. Bryant’s symposium proposal for the 2014 IBANGS Meeting in Chicago, IL has been accepted as one of six symposia scheduled for this year’s meeting. The title of the symposium that Dr. Bryant will chair is, “Behavioral, neural and genetic studies of compulsive eating in model organisms and humans.”

January 7, 2014: Alexis Washburn, a freshman undergraduate researcher in the Laboratory of Addiction Genetics, won a competitive Undegraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) Grant Award at Boston University for the Spring 2014 semester. This award includes both a stipend and money to help cover research costs. Alexis will have the opportunity to present her research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall. Alexis’s project involves using QTL mapping to identify novel genetic factors influencing compulsive eating in mice and has relevance toward understanding the genetic and biological mechanisms of eating disorders in humans. The long-term goal is to develop new avenues for prevention and treatment of these highly lethal, neuropsychiatric disorders.

December 17, 2013: Dr. Bryant has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 IBANGS Young Scientist Award. The Young Scientist Award honors a scientist who is 7 or fewer years post first faculty or faculty-equivalent appointment, and whose area of research is in behavioural and neural genetics. Key considerations are the scientific importance of research discoveries, record of achievement and future scientific plans and projected impact on the field.

November 16, 2013: A manuscript co-authored by Dr. Bryant has been accepted in the journal, Sleep, titled “The circadian clock gene Csnk1e regulates REM sleep and NREM sleep architecture in mice.”

October 18, 2013: Dr. Bryant’s presentation abstract was selected for a Travel Fellowship for the 2014 Winter Conference on Brain Research to be held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

October 16, 2013: Dr. Bryant has been invited to speak at the 47th Annual Winter Conference on Brain Research (WCBR) in Steamboat Springs, CO. He will be speaking in a symposium on CK1 and brain function. The title of his talk is, “A role for casein kinase 1-epsilon in the motivational properties of drugs of abuse.” He will be discussing Lisa Goldberg’s recent work regarding drug reward and dopaminergic signaling in CK1E knockout mice.

September 4, 2013. Dr. Bryant’s poster abstract, “A 0.23 Mb region regulates methamphetamine sensitivity in mice”, was selected among several hundred abstracts for a short oral presentation at the 2013 World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics (WCPG) held here in Boston. He will be speaking this Friday, October 18 during the afternoon poster talk workshop session (12:00-2:15 p.m.).

August 28, 2013: Neema Yazdani, M.S., second-year Ph.D. Student in Biomolecular Pharmacology in the Laboratory of Addiction Genetics, has been accepted into the Transformative Training Program in Addiction Science, supported by the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund and co-chaired by by Drs. Lindsay Farrer and Tim Heeren. For more information on this exciting multi-disciplinary training program in addiction see here (

August 1, 2013: Neema Yazdani, M.S., second-year Ph.D. Student in Biomolecular Pharmacology, has joined the Laboratory of Addiction Genetics. Neema is using designer endonucleases to target novel candidate genes for methamphetamine-induced behavioral addiction traits and will be defining the cellular and molecular mechanisms of action that mediate genetic variation on behavior.

March 8, 2013:  Dr. Bryant won the Outstanding Junior Faculty Travel Award for the 2013 International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society (IBANGS) in Leuven, Belgium.  Dr. Bryant’s abstract was selected for an invited talk that he will present during the Awardee session on May 21.  In addition, Dr. Bryant will be provided with a stipend to cover his travel expenses.

December 3, 2012:  Dr. Bryant presented his poster at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) meeting, “A 0.23 Mb region on mouse chromosome 11 contains three possible genes influencing methamphetamine sensitivity” in Hollywood, FL.  Please click here for a link to his poster.

November 30, 2012:  Lisa Goldberg, a second year graduate student in Biomolecular Pharmacology and the Program in Biomedical Neuroscience has joined the Laboratory of Addiction Genetics.  Welcome aboard, Lisa!

November 12, 2012:  Dr. Bryant’s manuscript, “Bryant et al., in press” was accepted in Addiction Biology.

Selected Publications

Zhou L, Bryant CD, Loudon AS, Palmer AA, Vitaterna MH, Turek FW (2014).  The circadian clock gene Csnk1e regulates REM sleep and NREM sleep architecture in mice.  In press, Sleep.

Bryant CD, Guido MA, Kole LA, Cheng R (2012).  The heritability of oxycodone reward and concomitant phenotypes in a LG/J x SM/J mouse advanced intercross line. Addiction Biology, in press.


Bryant CD, Kole LA, Guido MA, Cheng R, Palmer AA (2012). Methamphetamine-induced conditioned place preference in LG/J and SM/J mouse strains and an F45/F46 advanced intercross line.  Frontiers in Genetics 3:126

Bryant CD, Kole LA, Guido MA, Sokoloff G, Palmer AA (2012). Congenic dissection of a major QTL for methamphetamine sensitivity implicates epistasis. Genes, Brain and Behavior 11(5):623-32

Bryant CD, Parker CC, Zhou L, Olker C, Chandrasekaran RY, Wager TT, Bolivar VJ, Loudon AS, Vitaterna MH, Turek FW, Palmer AA (2012).  Csnk1e is a genetic regulator of sensitivity to psychostimulants and opioids.  Neuropsychopharmacology 37(4):1026-35.

Bryant CD, Roberts KW, Culbertson CS, Le A, Evans CJ, Fanselow MS (2009).  Pavlovian conditioning of multiple opioid-like responses in mice.  Drug and Alcohol Dependence 103:74-83.

Bryant CD, Graham ME, Distler MG, Munoz MB, Li D, Vezina P, Sokoloff G, Palmer AA (2009).  A role for casein kinase 1 epsilon in the locomotor stimulant response to methamphetamine.  Psychopharmacology 203(4):703-11.

Bryant CD, Zhang NN, Sokoloff G, Fanselow MS, Ennes HS, Palmer AA, McRoberts JA (2008).  Behavioral differences among C57BL/6 substrains:  Implications for transgenic and knockout studies.  Journal of Neurogenetics 22(4):315-31.


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