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Katherine Serafine
Title Ph.D
Faculty Rank Assistant Professor
Degree Ph.D
Institution University of Texas at El Paso
Department Psychology
Clusters Neurological Disorders and Mental Health
Address
500 WEST UNIVERSITY
City EL PASO
State TX
Postal Code 79968
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  Research in Dr. Serafine’s behavioral pharmacology laboratory focuses on the different factors that contribute to individual differences in vulnerability to drug abuse. To investigate these factors, Dr. Serafine uses preclinical models to investigate how factors such as age, sex and diet impact sensitivity to drugs of abuse like cocaine. Drug sensitivity is assessed using behavioral pharmacological models including unconditioned behavior (e.g., locomotion) and more complex behaviors using classical and operant conditioning (e.g., conditioned place preference, drug discrimination, or intravenous self-administration). Students in the laboratory receive hands on training on how to conduct behavioral experiments that help answer important questions about abuse vulnerability. Dr. Serafine’s current research interests include studying how diets high in fat or sugar change individual sensitivity to cocaine and other drugs that act on dopamine systems. Dr. Serafine is also interested in considering differential impact of age, sex and diet on sensitivity to prescription drugs such as antidepressants and drugs used to treat obesity.

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Mentoring Mentor
BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH BIOMEDICAL - BASIC
BIOMEDICAL - BASIC NEUROSCIENCE
BIOMEDICAL - BASIC PHARMACOLOGY, HUMAN AND ANIMAL
BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH BIOMEDICAL - BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL
BIOMEDICAL - BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
BIOMEDICAL - BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL PHYSIOLOGICAL/PSYCHOBIOLOGY

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1. Ramos J, Hernandez-Casner C, Cruz B, Serafine KM. Sex differences in high fat diet-induced impairments to striatal Akt signaling and enhanced sensitivity to the behavioral effects of dopamine D2/D3 receptor agonist quinpirole. Physiol Behav. 2017 Nov 14.
2. Hernandez-Casner C, Ramos J, Serafine KM. Dietary supplementation with fish oil prevents high fat diet-induced enhancement of sensitivity to the behavioral effects of quinpirole. Behav Pharmacol. 2017 Sep; 28(6):477-484.
3. Serafine KM, Rice KC, France CP. Characterization of the discriminative stimulus effects of lorcaserin in rats. J Exp Anal Behav. 2016 Sep; 106(2):107-16.
4. Serafine KM, Labay C, France CP. Dietary supplementation with fish oil prevents high fat diet-induced enhancement of sensitivity to the locomotor stimulating effects of cocaine in adolescent female rats. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 08 01; 165:45-52.
5. Serafine KM, Rice KC, France CP. Directly Observable Behavioral Effects of Lorcaserin in Rats. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2015 Dec; 355(3):381-5.
6. Serafine KM, Bentley TA, Kilborn DJ, Koek W, France CP. Drinking sucrose or saccharin enhances sensitivity of rats to quinpirole-induced yawning. Eur J Pharmacol. 2015 Oct 05; 764:529-36.
7. Serafine KM, Bentley TA, Koek W, France CP. Eating high fat chow, but not drinking sucrose or saccharin, enhances the development of sensitization to the locomotor effects of cocaine in adolescent female rats. Behav Pharmacol. 2015 Apr; 26(3):321-5.
8. Serafine KM, Bentley TA, Grenier AE, France CP. Eating high fat chow and the behavioral effects of direct-acting and indirect-acting dopamine receptor agonists in female rats. Behav Pharmacol. 2014 Aug; 25(4):287-95.
9. Serafine KM, France CP. Restricted access to standard or high fat chow alters sensitivity of rats to the 5-HT(2A/2C) receptor agonist 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylphenyl)-2-aminopropane. Behav Pharmacol. 2014 Feb; 25(1):44-52.
10. Briscione MA, Serafine KM, Merluzzi AP, Rice KC, Riley AL. The effects of the 5-HT3 receptor antagonist tropisetron on cocaine-induced conditioned taste aversions. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2013 Apr; 105:112-7.
11. Serafine KM, Briscione MA, Rice KC, Riley AL. Dopamine mediates cocaine-induced conditioned taste aversions as demonstrated with cross-drug preexposure to GBR 12909. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2012 Aug; 102(2):269-74.
12. Serafine KM, Briscione MA, Riley AL. The effects of haloperidol on cocaine-induced conditioned taste aversions. Physiol Behav. 2012 Mar 20; 105(5):1161-7.
13. Serafine KM, Riley AL. Preexposure to cocaine attenuates aversions induced by both cocaine and fluoxetine: Implications for the basis of cocaine-induced conditioned taste aversions. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2010 Apr; 95(2):230-4.
14. Serafine KM, Riley AL. Possible role of norepinephrine in cocaine-induced conditioned taste aversions. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2009 Mar; 92(1):111-6.
15. Roma PG, Rinker JA, Serafine KM, Chen SA, Barr CS, Cheng K, Rice KC, Riley AL. Genetic and early environmental contributions to alcohol's aversive and physiological effects. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2008 Nov; 91(1):134-9.

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Keywords
Cocaine
Quinpirole
Diet, High-Fat
Avoidance Learning
Taste
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