Marshall Lab

North Carolina Central University: Department of Biological & Biomedical Sciences

The Marshall lab is primarily focused on understanding the neuronal mechanisms that contribute to and result from alcohol abuse. The overarching goal of these pre-clinical studies is to determine novel targets for therapy that can help individuals suffering from an alcohol use disorder. Our focus is both on alcohol-induced brain damage and excessive alcohol consumption. We study these aspects of alcohol misuse from a behavioral and neurobiological standpoint. Because alcohol abuse is so pervasive in our society, we study the interplay of alcohol with various stages of life including adolescence, adulthood, and late adulthood.

Major Research Questions

How does the neuroimmune sytem contribute to alcohol-induced brain damage?

Dysregulation of the neuroimmune response is known to exacerbate brain damage. Our lab is interested in how we can leverage the neuroimmune system to reduce neurodegeneration and promote recovery mechanisms.

How does the neuroimmune system influence behaviors associated with alcohol abuse?

Psycho-neuro-immunology is the study of the interractions between the nervous system, immune responses, and behavior. Our lab is interested in determining the role of the neuroimmune response in alcohol-related behaviors including consumption.

Current Projects

Current Funding


"The Functional Implications of Astrocytic GPCR-signaling on Alcohol Abuse"

The major goals of this project are to determine the impact of alcohol abuse on astrocytic function in the amygdala as well as how astrocytic targets may be influential in alcohol related behaviors. This grant is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

U01: NADIA Consortium

"Effects of Adolescent Alcohol Exposure on Hippocampal Function in Adulthood"

The major goals of this collaborative project with Dr. Scott Swartzwelder (Duke University , PI) are to determine the persisting effects of alcohol exposure on hippocampal maladaptations as well as the mechanisms and that contribute to dysregulation. The Marshall lab contribution is to determine the effects on the neuroimmune system and the relationship of epigenetic changes that may exacerbate neuroinflammatory responses. This grant is supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Alzheimer's Association Research Grant to Promote Diversity (AARG-D)

“The Functional Implications of GPCR-signaling in Aging Astrocytes.”

The major goals of this project are to determine how astrocytic GPCR signaling alters cognition and brain damage during the aging process and is supported by the Alzheimer's Association.

Past Funding

Center for Human Health & the Environment Pilot Program

“The comorbid effects of arsenic and alcohol abuse on hippocampal neurodegeneration”

The major goals of this project were to determine how alcohol influences arsenic absorption and toxicity and is supported by the North Carolina State University CHHE.