Dr. Barkley-Levenson received a BA in Neuroscience (2009) from Pomona College. She earned her PhD (2015) from Oregon Health & Science University in Behavioral Neuroscience with a concentration in Behavioral Genetics. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatric genetics at the University of California San Diego.

Personal Statement

My research is focused on understanding the genetic basis of alcohol use disorder and related substance use and psychiatric disorders. I use a combination of behavioral pharmacology, genetics, and neuroscience techniques to investigate how specific genetic factors confer increased risk for these disorders. Current projects in the lab are using transgenic mouse models to validate and follow up on novel hits from human genome-wide association studies of problematic alcohol use. The ultimate goal of this research is to use these genetic findings to identify novel therapeutic targets for alcohol use disorder.

Areas of Specialty

Behavioral Genetics
Behavioral Pharmacology
Substance Use Disorders


PhD, Oregon Health & Science University,2015 (Behavioral Neuroscience)
BA, Pomona College, 2009 (Neuroscience)

Research and Scholarship

Barkley-Levenson AM, Lee A & Palmer AA. (2021) Genetic and pharmacological manipulations of glyoxalase 1 mediate ethanol withdrawal seizure susceptibility in mice. Brain Sciences 11(1): 127. doi: 10.3390/brainsci11010127.

Barkley-Levenson AM, Der-Avakian A & Palmer AA. (2020) Assessing the motivational effects of ethanol in mice using a discrete-trial current-intensity intracranial self-stimulation procedure. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 207: 107806. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.107806.

Barkley-Levenson AM, Ryabinin AE & Crabbe JC. (2016) Neuropeptide Y response to alcohol is altered in nucleus accumbens of mice selectively bred for drinking to intoxication. Behavioral Brain Research 302:160-170.

Barkley-Levenson AM & Crabbe JC (2015). Distinct ethanol drinking microstructures in two replicate lines of mice selected for drinking to intoxication. Genes Brain Behavior 14(5): 398-410.

Barkley-Levenson AM, Cunningham CL, Smitasin PJ & Crabbe JC. (2015). Rewarding and aversive effects of ethanol in High Drinking in the Dark selectively bred mice. Addiction Biology 20(1): 80-90.