Judy Grisel

Judy Grisel

Professor of Psychology
Cross Icon

About Judy Grisel

Educational Background

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Oregon Health & Science University
  • Ph.D. University of Colorado (Behavioral Neuroscience/Psychology)
  • M.A. University of Colorado (Behavioral Neuroscience/Psychology)
  • B.A. Florida Atlantic University (Psychology)

Research Interests

Grisel is a behavioral neuroscientist with expertise in pharmacology and genetics whose research focuses on determining root causes of drug addiction. She studies sex differences in the role of stress and endorphins on drug reward and works to identify innate factors that contribute to individual differences in the liability toward addiction.

Courses Taught

  • General Psychology
  • Introduction to Neuroscience
  • Biopsychology
  • Sensation and Perception
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Neuroethics
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neuroscience
  • Laboratory Techniques in Behavioral Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Genetics


  • Mind Science Foundation Distinguished Scientist (2020)
  • C. Graydon and Mary E. Rogers Faculty Fellow (2012-2015)
  • Howard Hughes Distinguished Mentor (2012)
  • Herman N. Hipp Endowed Professorship for Junior Faculty, Furman University

Recent Research Support

Effect of Stress on Alcohol Consumption. Grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA022506-01)

Opinion & Editorial/Media

From Drug Addict to Professor and Neuroscientist- A Story About Change, What Monkeys Do Podcast, October 8, 2020

Neuroscience of Addiction, The One You Feed Podcast, September 22, 2020

Addiction Treatment and Covid-19, Agenda: World Economic Forum, May 29, 2020

Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction (TEDxPSU) February, 2020 https://www.ted.com/talks/judy_grisel_never_enough_the_neuroscience_and_experience_of_addiction

The Science of Addiction, World Economic Forum 2020, Davos, Switzerland https://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2020/sessions/the-science-of-addiction/

From Giving In to Giving Up: A Neuroscientist’s Journey from Addiction to Recovery. Innovation Hub, WGBH & PRI, May 17, 2019 http://blogs.wgbh.org/innovation-hub/2019/5/17/giving-giving-neuroscientists-journey-addiction-recovery/

Can we all chill out about cannabis? Not quite yet, The Guardian, March 24, 2019

Q&A with Judith Grisel, author of Never Enough. Science Magazine, February 21, 2019 https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.aaw6826

A Neuroscientist Explores the Biology of Addiction in ‘Never Enough’. Fresh Air with Terry Gross, NPR, February 12, 2019 https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/02/12/693814827/a-neuroscientist-explores-the-biology-of-addiction-in-never-enough

Pot Holes: Legalizing marijuana is fine. But don't ignore the science on its dangers.The Washington Post, June 2018.
Wellness Wednesday: Research on Marijuana. NPR, May 2018


Grisel, JE (2019) Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction. New York, NY: Doubleday.

Selected Invited Presentations

Stress, Sex and Alcohol, Neuroscience Society, Kings College London, October 29, 2020

Understanding the Intersection Between Substance Abuse and Child Maltreatment, with Paul DiLorenzo. Child Welfare League of America, October 22, 2020

Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Scientific Training Day, Plenary Lecture, September 25, 2020

Sex, Stress & Alcohol, University of Texas, Austin, March 11, 2020

How does alcohol make you drunk? TED-Ed, April 2020 https://www.ted.com/talks/judy_grisel_how_does_alcohol_make_you_drunk

The Power of Addiction: Zachary Quinto + Judith Grisel. The Rubin Museum, April 23, 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV9pmpl8M2Q

Gordon Research Conference, Neurobiology of Alcohol. Power Hour Discussant. The Power Hour is designed to help address the challenges women face in science and support the professional growth of women by providing an open forum for discussion and mentoring. March 5, 2018.

Medicine, Merriment or Malignity? The Neuroscience of Marijuana. Bucknell 360°, January 24, 2018.

Single-Exposure Conditioned Place Preference Assesses Initial Subjective Rewarding Effects of Drugs, Rutgers University, July 25, 2017.

Too Much of a Good Thing? Marijuana Use as a Case Study for Addiction. 2nd annual Southeastern Conference on Addiction & Behavioral Health, Asheville, NC, November 4, 2016.

Selected Publications

Rhinehart EM, Waldron MA, Kelly-Quigley H, Turco A, Zeller M, Grisel JE (2020) b-Endorphin and sex differentially modulate the response to EtOH in a site-specific manner. Brain Research, Apr 18:146845. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2020.146845. [Epub ahead of print]

Nentwig TN, Wilson DE, Rhinehart EM, Grisel JE (2019) Sex differences in binge-like EtOH drinking, corticotropin releasing hormone, and corticosterone: Effects of β-endorphin. Addiction Biology, 24(3):447-457. doi: 10.1111/adb.12610.

Rhinehart EM, Nentwig TB, Wilson DE, Leonard KT, Chaney BN, Grisel JE (2018) Sex and β-endorphin influence the effects of ethanol on limbic Gabra2 expression in a mouse binge drinking model. Frontiers in Genetics, 9:567. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2018.00567.

Nentwig TN, Myers KP, Grisel JE (2017). Initial subjective reward to alcohol in Sprague-Dawley rats.Alcohol, 58, 19-22.

McGonigle CE, Nentwig TN, Wilson DE, Rhinehart EM, Grisel JE. (2016) b-endorphin regulates corticotropin-releasing hormone mRNA and alcohol consumption induced by exercise restriction in female mice.Alcohol, 53:51-60.

Grisel JE, Beasley J, Bertram EC, Decker BE, Duan CA, Etuma M, Hand A, Locklear MN, Whitmire M (2014) Initial subjective reward: Single exposure conditioned place preference to alcohol in mice (Frontiers in Neuroscience 04 November 2014 | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2014.00345.

Piza-Palma C, Barfield, ET, Brown JA, Hubka CJ, Lusk C, Schonhar CA, Sweat SC, and Grisel JE (2014) Oral self-administration of EtOH: Sex-Dependent Modulation by Running Wheel Access in C57BL/6J Mice.Alcohol Clin Exp Res., 38:2387-2395.

Barfield ET, Moser VA, Hand A, Grisel JE (2013) b-Endorphin modulates the effect of stress on novelty-suppressed feeding.Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 7:19. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00019.

Dempsey SA & Grisel JE (2012) Locomotor sensitization to EtOH: Contribution of b-endorphin.Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience. 5:87. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2012.00087.

Barfield ET, Barry SM, Hodgin HB, Thompson BM, Allen SS, Grisel JE. (2010) b-Endorphin Mediates Behavioral Despair and the Effect of Ethanol on the Tail Suspension Test in Mice.Alcohol Clin Exp Res., 34:1066-1072.

Grisel JE, Bartels, J, Allen SA, Turgeon VL (2008) Influence of b-endorphin on Anxious Behavior in Mice: Interaction with EtOH.Psychopharmacology, 200:105-115.

Grisel JE, Nemmani KV-S, Allen S, Fee JR, Carliss R. (2005) The Influence of Dextromethorphan on Morphine Analgesia in Swiss Webster Mice is Sex Specific.Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 81:131-138.

Grisel JE (2000) QTL Analysis. Alcohol Health and Research World, Animal Models in Alcohol Research. 24:169-174.

Further Information

Contact Details