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Yanhua Huang, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry



I am interested in the neural mechanisms underlying substance use disorder, with an emphasis on sleep-mediated regulation of reward-elicited behaviors. By studying neural plasticity in rodent models, my team is working to understand whether, why, and how sleep impacts the emotional and motivational state, to characterize pathway-specific changes in the brain reward circuitry following sleep disturbances, and to identify molecular targets for new interventions for drug addiction, depression, and other related psychiatric disorders.

We employ a multidisciplinary approach including brain slice electrophysiology, sleep EEG and EMG recordings and analysis, in vitro and in vivo optogenetics, chemogenetics, fiber photometry, and behavioral assays in rodents. We have been actively collaborating with molecular biologists, geneticists, biostatisticians, and software engineers.

Dr. Yanhua Huang is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She received her PhD in Neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University, and completed her postdoctoral trainings at Harvard Medical School and Washington State University. Dr. Huang is the Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on several on-going research projects funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). She is a member of the training faculty in the University Center for Neuroscience (CNUP) program.