Tracy Butler

Contact Information

Tracy Butler

Assistant Professor

  • Full-Time Faculty

Profile

Dr. Butler received her B.A. in Psychology from Wittenberg University in 2006 and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychopharmacology from the University of Kentucky in 2011. During the three years prior to joining the UD faculty, Tracy completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Wake Forest University School of Medicine while working with Dr. Jeff Weiner in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology.

Dr. Butler’s research explores relationships between alcohol, stress, and the brain using preclinical rat models. Her previous work examined the effects of long-term alcohol exposure and withdrawal on neuronal cell death, as well as the effects of early life stress on alcohol intake and preference. The current aims of Dr. Butler’s research are to discover the environmental and physiological factors (e.g. stress, early alcohol exposure, sex, social factors) that predict high levels of alcohol consumption. Additionally, Dr. Butler is interested in how the neurobiological consequences of alcohol and/or stress differ in male and female subjects. Her lab uses standard behavioral, neurobiological, and molecular assays and is open to exploring new avenues of research methodology to answer her scientific questions.

Courses Taught

  • PSY 101: Introductory Psychology
  • PSY 422: Biopsychology
  • PSY 480: Senior Seminar: Alcohol, Brain, and Behavior
  • PSY 495: Special Topics: Psychopharmacology

Degrees

  • Ph.D. Experimental Psychology 2011, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY
  • M.S., University of Kentucky, 2008
  • B.A., Wittenberg University, 2006

Professional Activities

  • Research Society on Alcoholism, member

Selected Publications

Roeckner AR, Bowling A, and Butler TR (2017) Chronic social instability increases anxiety-like behavior and ethanol preference in male Long Evans rats. Physiology & Behavior, 173: 179-187.

Butler TR, Karkhanis A, Jones SR, and Weiner JL (2016) Adolescent social isolation as a model of heightened vulnerability to comorbid alcoholism and anxiety disorders. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 40(6):1202-14

Selected Presentations

Roeckner A, Bowling A, and Butler TR. (2016). Chronic social instability stress increases anxiety-like behavior and ethanol intake/preference in male but not female Long Evans rats. Poster at the Annual Research Society on Alcoholism Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Butler TR, Carter E, and Weiner JL. (2014). Social isolation engenders an addiction-like phenotype in male, but not female, Long Evans rats relative to group housed counterparts. Invited speaker at Gordon Research Conference: Alcohol & the Nervous System, Galveston, TX.

Butler, TR and Prendergast MA. (2010). Sex-dependent hippocampal injury: Adenosine receptor antagonism during ethanol withdrawal. In T.R. Butler and J. Weafer (Chairs), Gender/sex differences in alcohol-related behaviors and neuronal injury: A graduate student perspective. Symposium presented at the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism World Congress, Paris, France.

Butler, T.R. and Weiner, J.L. (2016). Adolescent social isolation as model of chronic stress: Effects on ethanol drinking in male and female subjects in preclinical models. In Preedy, V.R. (Ed.), The Neuropathology of Drug Addictions and Substance Misuse (pp. 637-644). Waltham, Massachusetts: Academic Press.

Rau AR, Chappell AM, Butler TR, Ariwodola OJ, and Weiner JL (2015) Increased basolateral amygdala pyramidal cell excitability may contribute to the anxiogenic phenotype induced by chronic early life stress. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35(26): 9370-9740.

Butler TR, Carter E, and Weiner JL. (2014). Adolescent social isolation does not lead to persistent increases in anxiety-like behavior or ethanol intake in female Long-Evans rats. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 38(8): 2199-207.

Butler TR, Ariwodola OJ, & Weiner JL. (2014). The impact of social isolation on HPA axis function, anxiety-like behaviors, and ethanol drinking. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 7: 102.

Butler TR, Chappell AM, & Weiner JL. (2014). Effect of β3 adrenoceptor activation in the basolateral amygdala on ethanol seeking behaviors. Psychopharmacology, 231(1): 293-303.

Butler TR, Berry JN, Sharrett-Field LJ, Pauly JR, & Prendergast MA. (2013). Long-term ethanol and corticosterone co-exposure sensitize the hippocampal CA1 region pyramidal cells to insult during ethanol withdrawal in an NMDA GluN2B subunit-dependent manner. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 37(12): 2066-73.