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Elise M. Weerts, Ph.D.

Headshot of Elise M. Weerts
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences



  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



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

Research & Publications

Research Summary

My professional interests include preclinical and clinical research on the behavioral and neurobiological mechanisms associated with substance use disorders, and drug abuse liability assessments, and application of this knowledge towards the development of pharmacotherapeutics.  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; Substance Use Disorders, 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

View all on PubMed

Weerts EM, Wand GS, Maher B, Xu X, Stephens MA, Yang X, McCaul ME., Independent and Interactive Effects of OPRM1 and DAT1 Polymorphisms on Alcohol Consumption and Subjective Responses in Social Drinkers. Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research. 2017; 41(6):1093-1104. NIHMSID: NIHMS866143 PubMed [journal]PMID: 28376280 PMCID: PMC5483245

Lee MR, Weerts EM. Oxytocin for the treatment of drug and alcohol use disorders. Behavioural pharmacology. 2016; 27(8):640-648. NIHMSID: NIHMS811517 PubMed [journal]PMID: 27603752 PMCID: PMC5089904

Weerts EM, Wand GS, Kuwabara H, Xu X, Frost JJ, Wong DF, McCaul ME. Association of smoking with μ-opioid receptor availability before and during naltrexone blockade in alcohol-dependent subjects. Addiction biology. 2014; 19(4):733-42. NIHMSID: NIHMS425529 PubMed [journal]PMID: 23252742 PMCID: PMC3638047

Weerts EM, Wand GS, Kuwabara H, Munro CA, Dannals RF, Hilton J, Frost JJ, McCaul ME. Positron emission tomography imaging of mu- and delta-opioid receptor binding in alcohol-dependent and healthy control subjects. Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research. 2011; 35(12):2162-73. NIHMSID: NIHMS294761 PubMed [journal]PMID: 21689118 PMCID: PMC3183368

Weerts EM, Kim YK, Wand GS, Dannals RF, Lee JS, Frost JJ, McCaul ME., Differences in delta- and mu-opioid receptor blockade measured by positron emission tomography in naltrexone-treated recently abstinent alcohol-dependent subjects. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. 2008; 33(3):653-65. PubMed [journal]PMID: 17487229

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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