Jessica Higginbotham



My research aims to understand how stress influences the neurobiology of substance use disorders. After completing my undergraduate work at Saint Louis University, I conducted my PhD training at Washington State University with Dr. Rita Fuchs where I studied a discrete and ongoing memory storage process, reconsolidation. My thesis work characterized how endocannabinoid signaling and noradrenergic circuits modulate limbic plasticity during cocaine memory reconsolidation to identify potential targets for minimizing persistent drug-seeking behavior.

I am eager to return to St. Louis and expand on my research in the Moron-Concepcion lab by elucidating pain-induced neuroadaptations underlying maladaptive opioid use.  I will use instrumental models of context- and stress-induced relapse to determine how chronic pain influences various stages of opioid use and identify neurobiological mechanisms underlying these behaviors.

Outside of lab, I love navigating new challenges with my inquisitive daughter, spending time with family, the arts, cooking, traveling, music, photography, witty sarcasm, and rediscovering St. Louis.

Moron Lab