Spotlight on a Neuroscientist: Dr. Jill Turner

Dr. Jill Turner received her PhD in Neuroscience from Georgetown University in the lab of Dr. Ken Kellar. Following her graduation, she completed post-doctoral training in behavioral genetics and pharmacogenomics at the University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Julie Blendy. Dr. Turner is now currently an Assistant Professor in the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, where her NIDA funded research investigates the biological mechanisms underlying the high relapse rate among smokers using electrophysiology, behavior, and Next Gen Sequencing technologies. To do this, Dr. Turner’s group combines Next-Gen sequencing approaches and behavioral pharmacology to identify candidate molecules for pharmacogenomic evaluation in both rodent models and in the human population. For example, sequencing technologies identified a novel molecule, Neuregulin 3, in mechanisms underlying nicotine withdrawal phenotypes.  Her group has now validated this association in two independent cohorts of smokers, demonstrating that possession of a NRG3 risk allele can predict relapse to smoking. 

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