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Elise M. Weerts, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Elise M. Weerts, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Contact for Research Inquiries

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Campus
Behavioral Biology Research Center
5510 Nathan Shock Drive
Baltimore, MD 21224 map

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital
550 Building
550 North Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205 map

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  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences



  • Ph.D., Tufts University (Massachusetts) (1993)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

My professional interests include preclinical and clinical research on the biobehavioral mechanisms associated with substance abuse and dependence and medications development.  Methodological approaches include human laboratory alcohol administration, social stress tests, physiological measurements, psychological assessments, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging, and genetic testing. Preclinical studies also include schedule-controlled behavior, drug self-administration, behavioral observation, and physical dependence assessments as well as drug pharmacokinetics.

Technology Expertise Keywords

Human Laboratory Studies; Behavioral Pharmacology; Clinical Trials; PET imaging; Abuse Liability Assessment; Psychological Assessments; Alcoholism

Clinical Trial Keywords

alcoholism, oxytocin, substance-related disorders, alcohol withdrawal

Clinical Trials

NCT02407340 - Laboratory Studies on Oxytocin for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder

Selected Publications

Weerts, E.M., Wand, G.S., Kuwabara, H., Xu, X., Frost, J.J, Wong, D.F., and McCaul, M.E. Association of smoking with mu- opioid receptor availability before and during naltrexone blockade in alcohol-dependent subjects. Addiction Biology 2014, 19 (4); 733–742

Holtyn, A.F., Kaminsk, B. J., Wand, G.S., Weerts, E.M. Differences in extinction of cue-maintained conditioned responses associated with self-administration: alcohol versus a non-alcoholic reinforcer. Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental 2014, 38 (10): 2639–2646

Weerts, E.M., Kuwabara, H., Yang, X., Xu, X., Dannals, R.F., Frost, J.J, Wong, D.F., McCaul, M.E. and Wand, G.S. Influence of OPRM1 Asn40Asp variant (A118G) on [11C]carfentanil binding potential: preliminary findings in human subjects. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2013;16(1):47-53

Uhart, M. Weerts, E.M., McCaul, M.E., Guo, X. Yan, X., Kranzler, HR; Li, N. Wand, G.S. GABRA2 markers moderate the subjective effects of alcohol. Addiction Biology, 2013; 18(2): 357-369

Weerts, E.M., Wand, G.S., Kuwabara, H., Munro, C. Dannals, R.F., Hilton, J., Frost, J.J, and McCaul, M.E. PET imaging of mu- and delta-opioid receptor binding in alcohol dependent and healthy control subjects. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2011; 35(12): 2162-2173

Weerts, E.M., Kim, Y.K., Wand, G.S., Dannals, R.F., Lee, J.S., Frost, J.J. McCaul, M. E. Differences in delta- and mu-opioid receptor blockade measured by PET in naltrexone-treated recently abstinent alcohol-dependent subjects. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2008; 33: 653-665

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