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Monique Smith


The Smith lab is focused on providing mechanistic insights into the neurobiological relationships between social behavior, pain, and emotion, with an emphasis on identifying and dissecting the neural circuitry that is disrupted in models related to empathy, addiction, motivation and affect. This includes investigating the neural mechanisms of empathy, and how social factors influence the experience of pain, emotional state, and drug use. Dr. Smith’s laboratory uses rodent models paired with cutting-edge neuroscience techniques including in vivo molecular-genetic, optogenetic, calcium imaging, and pharmacological tools in combination with innovative behavioral approaches across multiple disciplines.

Select Publications

  • Rein, B,* Jones, E.*, Tuy, S., Boustani, C., Johnson, JJ. and Smith, M.L. Protocols for the social transfer of pain and analgesia in mice. STAR Protocols, 3(4): 101756.
  • Zuniga, A., Caruso, M., Smith, M.L. and Ryaninin A.E. (2021) Vesicular glutamate transporter 2-containing neurons of the centrally-projecting Edinger-Westphal nucleus regulate alcohol drinking and body temperature. Neuropharmacology. 200:108795.
  • Smith, M.L., Asada, N., Malenka, R.C. (2021) Anterior cingulate inputs to nucleus accumbens control the social transfer of pain and analgesia. Science, 371(6525) 153-159.
  • Ho, A.L.*, Feng, A.Y.*, Barbosa, D.A.N., Wu, H., Smith, M.L., Malenka, R.C., Tass, P.A., Halpern, C.H. (2021). Accumbens coordinated reset stimulation in mice exhibits ameliorating aftereffects on binge alcohol drinking. Brain Stimulation. 14(2) 330-334.
  • Walcott, A.T., Smith, M.L., Loftis, J.M., & Ryabinin, A.E. (2018) Social transfer of alcohol- withdrawal-induced hyperalgesia in female prairie voles. Social Neuroscience, 3(6)710-717.
  • Smith, M.L., Walcott, A.T., Heinricher, M.M. & Ryabinin, A.E. (2017) Anterior cingulate cortex contributes to alcohol withdrawal-induced and socially transferred hyperalgesia. eNeuro, 0087-17.
  • Giardino, W.J., Rodriguez, E.D., Smith, M.L., Ford, M.M., Mitchell, S.H., Chen, A. Ryabinin, A.E. (2016) Control of chronic excessive alcohol drinking by genetic manipulation of the edinger-westphal nucleus urocortin-1 neuropeptide system. Translational Psychiatry, 7(1):e1021.
  • Smith, M.L., Hostetler, C., Heinricher, M.M. & Ryabinin, A.E. (2016) Social transfer of pain in mice. Science Advances, 2016;2: e1600855.
  • Smith, M.L., Hostetler, C., Heinricher, M.M. & Ryabinin, A.E. (2016) Social transfer of pain in mice. Science Advances, 2016;2: e1600855.
  • Pradhan, A.A., Perroy, J., Smith, M.L., Walwyn, W., Bana A., Vincente-Sanchez, A., Kieffer, B.L. & Evans, C.J. (2016) Agonist-specific recruitment of arrestin isoforms differentially modify delta opioid receptor function. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(12):3541-51.
  • Smith, M.L., Li, J., Cote, D & Ryabinin, A.E., (2016) Effects of isoflurane and ethanol adminstration on c-fos immunoreactivity in mice. Neuroscience, 1(316):337-43.
  • Smith, M.L., Li, J. & Ryabinin, A.E. (2014) Increased drinking in urocortin 3 knock out mice is unaffected by chronic pain. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 50(2):132-9.
  • Anacker, A.M., Smith, M.L. & Ryabinin, A.E. (2014) Establishment of stable dominance interactions in prairie vole peers: relationships with alcohol drinking and activation of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. Social Neuroscience, (25):1-11.
  • Anacker, A.M.J., Ahern, T.H., Hostetler, C.M., Dufour, B.D., Smith, M.L., Cocking, D.L., Li, J., Young, J.L., Loftis, J.M., Ryabinin, A.E. (2014), Drinking alcohol has sex-dependent effects on pair bond formation in prairie voles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(16):6052-7.
  • Pradhan, A.A., Smith, M.L., Zyuzin, J. & Charles, A. (2014) Delta opioid agonists inhibit migraine related hyperalgesia, aversive behavior and cortical spreading depression. British Journal of Pharmacology, 171(9):2375-84.
  • Pradhan, A.A., Smith, M.L., McGuire, B., Tarash, I., Evans, C.J., Charles, A. (2013) Characterization of a novel model of chronic migraine. Pain. 155(2):269-74.
  • Pradhan, A.A., Smith, M.L., McGuire, B., Evans, C.J., & Walwyn, W. (2013) Chronic Inflammatory injury results in increased coupling of delta opioid receptors to voltage-gated ca2+ channels. Molecular Pain, 9:8.
  • Pradhan, A.A., Smith M.L., Kieffer, B., Evans, C. (2012) Ligand-directed signaling within the opioid receptor family. British Journal of Pharmacology, 67(5):960-9.
  • Trujillo, K.A., Smith, M.L. & Guaderrama, M.M. (2011) Enhanced behavioral response to methamphetamine and morphine “speedball” in rats. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 99(3): 451-8.
  • Trujillo, K.A., Smith, M.L., Sullivan, B., Heller, C.Y., Garcia, C. and Bates, M. (2011) The neurobehavioral pharmacology of ketamine: implications for drug abuse, addiction and psychiatric disorders. Institute for Laboratory Animal Research Journal, 52, 366-378.


Dr. Smith received both her B.A. and M.A in Psychology from California State University San Marcos (2007, 2011), and her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Oregon Health & Science University (2016). She conducted her postdoctoral training at Stanford University with Dr. Robert Malenka. Dr. Smith is a HHMI Leading Edge Fellow, and a recipient of the Early Career Researcher Award from the Society for Social Neuroscience (S4SN). She has also been the recipient of a NRSA F31 from NIAAA, a Neurobiology of Disease Fellowship from the OHSU Brain Institute, a School of Medicine Deans Fellowship from Stanford University, and a Whitehall Foundation Research Grant.