Professor, Vice Chair for Research, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine
Ashley Acheson, Ph.D., is a behavioral neuroscientist who completed his doctoral studies at the University at Buffalo SUNY. Next he completed National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute of Mental Health T32 postdoctoral training in human cognitive assessments and neuroimaging at the University of Chicago and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), prior to becoming a UTSCSA Department of Psychiatry faculty member. He then completed a KL2 scholar award prior to receiving his first National Institutes of Health research grants. He joined the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UAMS as an associate professor in 2016.
Acheson employs multidisciplinary approaches to investigate how family history and early life experiences influences brain and behavioral development in childhood and early adulthood, with a focus on mechanisms contributing to risk for problem substance use. Below are his current research projects.
Family Health Patterns (FHP) Project (R01AA012207)
The FHP Project is a long-running study aimed at characterizing behavioral and biological factors associated with family histories of alcoholism and early life adversity exposure. Activities during the current funding period are focused on examining how family histories of alcoholism and early life adversity affect immune regulation and frontal white matter myelination and health. Ultimately this work hopes to better inform how family history and early life experience influence risk for problem alcohol and other drug use.
HEALthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) Study (U01DA055352)
The Arkansas Children’s Research Institute and UAMS are serving as one of 25 data collection sites around the United Sates for the HEALthy Brain and Child Development study, the largest ever study of child brain development. HEALthy Brain and Child Development will follow 7,500 children from the prenatal period to at least ages 9-10. The study will investigate how things like prenatal opioid and other drug exposure, nutrition and early life environment influences influence risk for early substance use, mental disorders, and other behavioral and developmental problems. It will also identify resilience factors that may mitigate some of these adverse outcomes. For more information, please see https://hbcdstudy.org.