December 10, 2019

Merideth Addicott, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Center for Addiction Research
Department of Psychiatry
UAMS College of Medicine

Research Interest Statement

My current tobacco research agenda extends in three directions. The primary direction is on the stress-smoking relationship. Tobacco addiction disproportionately affects individuals with mood disorders, and smokers may use tobacco to temporarily reduce stress, anxiety and depressed mood; albeit, tobacco withdrawal may exacerbate negative mood. This year, I received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study the stress-smoking relationship as it pertains to short- and long-term quit outcomes.

The second direction of my research agenda is on the effects of nicotine and tobacco addiction on neuroeconomic decision making. This decision making seeks to maximize the likelihood of obtaining a reward while minimizing the costs of obtaining it, which requires appropriate sensitivity to rewards and their costs. I’ve found that smokers’ brain response to money reward is diminished by tobacco withdrawal, which may relate to why withdrawal symptoms decrease the motivation to remain abstinent.

The third and newest direction of my research agenda is on the effects of ketamine on tobacco addiction. Ketamine is a glutamate NMDA receptor antagonist that is frequently used as a general anesthetic. A single sub-anesthetic dose rapidly (within 24 hours) reduces depression symptoms. A small number of studies have indicated that sub-anesthetic doses of ketamine also disrupt drug use behavior in individuals with substance use disorders. I am conducting a preliminary study on the effects of ketamine on tobacco use and smoking latency among non-treatment-seeking cigarette smokers.

Dr. Addicott’s Cancer-related Grants

NIH/NIDA: R01DA048948

Role: PI

Title “Distress Tolerance and Smoking Cessation”

08/15/2019 to 05/31/2024



NIH/NIDA: R21DA045970

Role: PI

Title “Neural Correlates of Distress Tolerance in Tobacco Addiction”

02/01/2019 to 01/31/2021



UAMS Center for the Study of Tobacco Pilot Study

Role: PI

Title “The Effects of Sedatives on Tobacco Use Disorder”

03/06/2019 to 03/05/2020


*annual cancer-related direct cost

Dr. Addicott’s UAMS Collaborators

College of Medicine

Department of Anesthesiology

Riley Lide, M.D.

Nikhil Kamath, M.D.


Department of Biostatistics

James Selig, Ph.D.


Department of Psychiatry

Alison Oliveto, Ph.D.

Linda Larson-Prior, Ph.D.

Ashley Acheson, Ph.D.

Michael Mancino, M.D.

Nihit Kumar, M.D.


College of Public Health

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health

Ping-Ching Hsu, Ph.D.


Arkansas Children’s Research Institute

Xiawei Ou, Ph.D.

Dr. Addicott’s External Collaborators

Stacey Daughters, Ph.D. (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Jean Beckham, Ph.D. (Duke University/Durham Veterans Affairs Hospital)

Jing Sui, Ph.D. (Georgia State University)

Opportunities for Collaboration

I look forward to new collaborations, especially in the area of tobacco cessation, harm reduction and tobacco use prevention.

You May Not Know That …

Sometimes I pick up a brush and paint murals across campus!

Recent Cancer-related Publications

Addicott MA, Sweitzer MM, McClernon FJ (2018). The effects of nicotine and tobacco use on brain reward function: Interaction with nicotine dependence severity. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 21:764-771. DOI:10.1093/ntr/nty059.

Addicott MA, Oliver JA, McClernon FJ (2017). Nicotine increases anterior insula activation to expected and unexpected outcomes among nonsmokers. Psychopharmacology 234:1145-1154. doi: 10.1007/s00213-017-4550-8