Researcher

Dr Sarah Baracz

Biography

Sarah is currently a Senior Research Associate in the School of Psychology. She completed her PhD in 2015, and since then has held a post-doctoral research position at the University of Sydney, a visiting post-doctoral position at Yale University, and was a Lecturer at Macquarie University. Her research has significantly furthered the understanding of the neurocircuitry involved in oxytocin as a therapy for drug addiction, it has progressed...view more

Sarah is currently a Senior Research Associate in the School of Psychology. She completed her PhD in 2015, and since then has held a post-doctoral research position at the University of Sydney, a visiting post-doctoral position at Yale University, and was a Lecturer at Macquarie University. Her research has significantly furthered the understanding of the neurocircuitry involved in oxytocin as a therapy for drug addiction, it has progressed the development of novel oxytocin compounds, and has probed the neural mechanisms common to drug addiction and depression. Most recently, Sarah has been investigating the link between early life stress and later-life vulnerability for drug addiction. Sarah’s clinical skills have enabled her to contribute to public health research in drug addiction in Australia, and she continues to use these skills in ongoing neuropsychological studies in children’s hospitals. Sarah has been invited to speak at international meetings, her research is highly cited and has been disseminated through nationally televised media and online magazines.

Publications:

  • Thornton, J.L. Everett, N.A., Webb, P., Turner, A.J., Cornish, J.L. & Baracz, S.J. (2021). Adolescent oxytocin administration reduces depression-like behaviour induced by early life stress in male and female rats. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 110, 110279. 

  • Everett, N.A., Carey, H.A., Cornish, J.L., & Baracz, S.J (2020). Sign tracking predicts cue-induced but not drug-primed reinstatement to methamphetamine seeking in rats: Effects of oxytocin treatment. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 34, 1271-1279.

  • Everett, N.A., Turner, A.J., Costa, P.A., Baracz, S.J., & Cornish, J.L (2021). The vagus nerve mediates the suppressing effects of peripherally administered oxytocin on methamphetamine self-administration and seeking in rats. Neuropsychopharmacology, 46, 297-304.

  • Everett, N.A., & Baracz, S.J (2020). A piriform-orbitofrontal cortex pathway drives relapse to fentanyl-seeking after voluntary abstinence. Journal of Neuroscience, 40(43), 8208-8210.

  • Baracz, S.J., Everett, N.A., Robinson, K.J., Campbell, G.R., & Cornish, J.L (2020). Maternal separation changes maternal care, anxiety-like behaviour and expression of paraventricular oxytocin and corticotropin-releasing factor immunoreactivity in lactating rats. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 32(6), e12861.

  • Green, T., Baracz, S.J., Everett, N., Robinson, K.J., & Cornish, J.L (2020). Differential effects of GABAA receptor activation in the prelimbic and orbitofrontal cortices on anxiety. Psychopharmacology, 1-11.

  • Hall, F.S., Amato, D., & Baracz, S.J (2020). Opportunities for innovation and translation in behavioral neuroscience. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 195, 172957.

  • Everett, N., Baracz, S., & Cornish, J (2020). The effect of chronic oxytocin treatment during abstinence from methamphetamine self-administration on incubation of craving, reinstatement, and anxiety. Neuropsychopharmacology, 45, 597-605.

  • Everett, N., Baracz, S., & Cornish, J. (2019). Oxytocin treatment in the prelimbic cortex reduces relapse to methamphetamine-seeking and is associated with reduced activity in the rostral nucleus accumbens core. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behaviour, 183, 64-71.

  • Everett, N. A., Baracz, S. J., McGregor, I. S., & Cornish, J. L (2018). The interaction of the vasopressin V1a receptor and oxytocin in the nucleus accumbens core in reducing reinstatement to methamphetamine-seeking behaviour in rats. Neuropharmacology, 133, 1-11.

  • Hay, G.L.*, Baracz, S.J.*, Everett, N. A., Roberts, J., Arnold, J., McGregor, I. S., & Cornish, J. L (2018). Cannabidiol treatment reduces methamphetamine self-administration and drug-primed relapse in rats. Journal of Pharmacology, 32(12), 1369-1378. *indicates joint first author

  • Addy, N.I., Nunes, E.J., Hughley, S.M., Small, K.M., Baracz, S.J., Haight, J.L., & Rajadhyaksha, A.M (2018). The L-type calcium channel blocker, isradipine, attenuates cue-induced cocaine-seeking by enhancing dopaminergic activity in the ventral tegmental area to nucleus accumbens pathway. Neuropsychopharmacology, 43, 2361-2372.

  • Hicks, C., Cornish, J. L., Baracz, S. J., Suraev, A., & McGregor, I. S (2016). Adolescent pretreatment with oxytocin protects against adult methamphetamine-seeking behavior in female rats. Addiction Biology, 21(2):304-315.

  • Baracz, S. J., Everett, N. A., McGregor, I. S., & Cornish, J. L (2016). Oxytocin in the nucleus accumbens core reduces reinstatement of methamphetamine-seeking behaviour in rats. Addiction Biology, 21(2):316-325.

  • Baracz, S. J., Parker, L.M., Suraev, A.S., Everett, N.A., Goodchild, A.K., McGregor, I.S., and Cornish, J.L (2016). Chronic methamphetamine self-administration dysregulates oxytocin plasma levels and oxytocin receptor fibre density in the nucleus accumbens core and subthalamic nucleus of the rat. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 28, 10.1111/jne.12337.

  • Hicks, C., Ramos, L., Dampney, B., Baracz, S.J., McGregor, I.S., and Hunt, G (2016). Regional c-Fos expression induced by peripheral oxytocin administration is prevented by the vasopressin 1A receptor antagonist SR49059. Brain Research Bulletin, 127, 208-218.

  • Baracz, S. J., Everett, N.A., and Cornish, J.L (2015). The involvement of oxytocin in the subthalamic nucleus on relapse to methamphetamine-seeking behaviour. PLoS ONE, 10(8): e0136132.

  • Baracz, S. J., and Cornish, J. L (2013). Oxytocin modulates dopamine-related reward in the rat subthalamic nucleus. Hormones and Behavior, 63(2):370-375.

  • Baracz, S. J., Rourke, P. I., Pardey, M. C., Hunt, G. E., McGregor, I. S., and Cornish, J. L (2012). Oxytocin directly administered into the nucleus accumbens core or subthalamic nucleus attenuates methamphetamine-induced conditioned place preference. Behavioural Brain Research, 228(1):185-193.

Reviews:

  • Baracz, S.J., Everett, N.A., and Cornish, J.L (2020). The impact of early life stress on the central oxytocin system and susceptibility for drug addiction: applicability of oxytocin as a pharmacotherapy. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 110, 114-132.

  • Baracz, S. J., and Cornish, J. L (2016). The neurocircuitry involved in oxytocin modulation of methamphetamine addiction. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 43, 1-18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yfrne.2016.08.001.


My Engagement

Research Engagement:

2016-2018: External Reviewer, National Health and Medical Research Council

2016: External Reviewer, Cerebral Palsy Alliance

2015 – present: Reviewer, PLOS One, Physiology and Behaviour, Behavioural Neuroscience, Journal of Neuroendocrinology, Addiction Biology, Neuropsychopharmacology, European Journal of Neuroscience

2018-2019: Guest editor for special issue of Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behaviour

2020-present: Guest editor for special issue of Frontiers in Psychiatry

2019-present: Editor for the journal Neuroanatomy and Behaviour 

 

Community Engagement:

2020 - Article for The Lighthouse magazine written about my research (How the ‘love hormone’ could help abused kids beat drugs).

2017 - Published an article in the International Behavioural Neuroscience Society newsletter entitled ‘contemporary challenges for early career researchers in behavioural neuroscience’ 

2017 - Published an article on The Conversation entitled ‘how childhood trauma changes our hormones, and thus our mental health, into adulthood’

2017 - Interviewed on the 2SER radio station breakfast show about the lifelong impact of early life trauma and the involvement of oxytocin (23rd October 2017)

2015 - Interviewed for the program Catalyst, Oxytocin, ABC Channel

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Contact

+61 (2) 9385 0333

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