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Ruth I. Wood, PhD

TitleChair and Professor of Integrative Anatomical Sciences Associate Dean For Appointments and Promotions
InstitutionUniversity of Southern California
DepartmentIntegrative Anatomical Sciences
AddressBMT 401 A 1333 San Pablo Street
Health Sciences Campus
Los Angeles CA 90089
Phone+1 323 442 1980
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California, Davis, Davis, CABS03/1986Animal Science
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIPhD01/1991Physiology
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIPost-doc05/1994Anatomy & Cell Biology

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    My research investigates neural circuits for behavior, including social behavior, addiction and mood. In particular, we are interested in how gonadal steroid hormones act in the brain, both during development and in the adult, to effect sex differences and modify behavior.

    One line of research investigates the neurobiology of anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) abuse. AAS are drugs of abuse, but the potential for dependence and addiction remains unclear. Studies from our laboratory have shown that male and female rodents will voluntarily self-administer testosterone and other AAS. This suggests that AAS are potentially addictive, independent of their effects on muscle mass or athletic performance. We are currently exploring how AAS alter decision-making and response to risk.

    We are also interested in the behavioral endocrinology of cooperation: how hormones modulate cooperative behavior. We have developed operant models to test cooperation in rats working for food reward. Our studies investigate the effects of oxytocin and prolactin to promote cooperation, and the effects of AAS to inhibit cooperative behavior.


    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Ethanol-induced conditioned partner preference in mice
    NIH/NIAAA R21AA020575Sep 1, 2012 - Aug 31, 2014
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Anabolic-androgenic steroids promote risky decision making
    NIH/NIDA R01DA029613Jul 1, 2010 - Mar 31, 2020
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Anxiety, depression, and serotonergic dysregulation in Parkinson's Disease
    NIH/NIDCD K18DC009125Jul 16, 2007 - May 31, 2009
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Integration of Chemosensory and Hormonal Stimuli
    NIH/NIMH R01MH055034Jun 15, 1997 - Dec 31, 2007
    Role: Principal Investigator
    NEUROBIOLOGY OF ANDROGEN REWARD
    NIH/NIDA R01DA012843Jul 1, 1994 - Feb 28, 2006
    Role: Principal Investigator
    NEURAL ANDROGEN RECEPTORS FACILITATING COPULATION
    NIH/NICHD R29HD032669Jul 1, 1994 - Jun 30, 2000
    Role: Principal Investigator
    OLFACTORY PATHWAYS CONTROLLING REPRODUCTION
    NIH/NICHD F32HD007514Sep 30, 1991
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Tobiansky DJ, Wallin-Miller KG, Floresco SB, Wood RI, Soma KK. Androgen Regulation of the Mesocorticolimbic System and Executive Function. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2018; 9:279. PMID: 29922228.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Wallin-Miller K, Li G, Kelishani D, Wood RI. Anabolic-androgenic steroids alter decision making in a balanced rodent model of the Iowa gambling task. Behav Neurosci. 2018 Jun; 132(3):152-160. PMID: 29809043.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Wallin-Miller KG, Kreutz F, Li G, Wood RI. Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) increase sensitivity to uncertainty by inhibition of dopamine D1 and D2 receptors. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2018 Apr; 235(4):959-969. PMID: 29242988.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Donhoffner ME, Al Saleh S, Schink O, Wood RI. Prosocial effects of prolactin in male rats: Social recognition, social approach and social learning. Horm Behav. 2017 Nov; 96:122-129. PMID: 28935447.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Li G, Wood RI. Male rats play a repeated donation game. Physiol Behav. 2017 May 15; 174:95-103. PMID: 28302575.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Wallin-Miller KG, Chesley J, Castrillon J, Wood RI. Sex differences and hormonal modulation of ethanol-enhanced risk taking in rats. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 05 01; 174:137-144. PMID: 28324816.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Wallin-Miller K, Li G, Kelishani D, Wood RI. Anabolic-androgenic steroids decrease dendritic spine density in the nucleus accumbens of male rats. Neuroscience. 2016 08 25; 330:72-8. PMID: 27238893; PMCID: PMC4927385 [Available on 08/25/17].
    8. Wood RI, Kim JY, Li GR. Cooperation in rats playing the iterated Prisoner's Dilemma game. Anim Behav. 2016 Apr 01; 114:27-35. PMID: 27019513.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Wood RI, Knoll AT, Levitt P. Social housing conditions and oxytocin and vasopressin receptors contribute to ethanol conditioned social preference in female mice. Physiol Behav. 2015 Nov 01; 151:469-77. PMID: 26282397; PMCID: PMC4587335 [Available on 11/01/16].
    10. Wallin KG, Alves JM, Wood RI. Anabolic-androgenic steroids and decision making: Probability and effort discounting in male rats. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2015 Jul; 57:84-92. PMID: 25900595; PMCID: PMC4437834.
    11. Wallin KG, Wood RI. Anabolic-androgenic steroids impair set-shifting and reversal learning in male rats. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 Apr; 25(4):583-90. PMID: 25638026; PMCID: PMC4405434.
    12. Brewer CJ, Wood RI, Wood JC. mRNA regulation of cardiac iron transporters and ferritin subunits in a mouse model of iron overload. Exp Hematol. 2014 Dec; 42(12):1059-67. PMID: 25220979; PMCID: PMC4266478.
    13. Kim JY, Wood RI. Anabolic-androgenic steroids and appetitive sexual behavior in male rats. Horm Behav. 2014 Sep; 66(4):585-90. PMID: 25200201; PMCID: PMC4253570.
    14. Cooper SE, Wood RI. Androgens and opiates: testosterone interaction with morphine self-administration in male rats. Neuroreport. 2014 May 07; 25(7):521-6. PMID: 24488032; PMCID: PMC4894851.
    15. Kent K, Butler K, Wood RI. Ethanol induces conditioned social preference in male mice. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2014 Apr; 38(4):1184-92. PMID: 24460901; PMCID: PMC3984360.
    16. Pope HG, Wood RI, Rogol A, Nyberg F, Bowers L, Bhasin S. Adverse health consequences of performance-enhancing drugs: an Endocrine Society scientific statement. Endocr Rev. 2014 Jun; 35(3):341-75. PMID: 24423981; PMCID: PMC4026349.
    17. Cooper SE, Goings SP, Kim JY, Wood RI. Testosterone enhances risk tolerance without altering motor impulsivity in male rats. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2014 Feb; 40:201-12. PMID: 24485492; PMCID: PMC3919461.
    18. Brewer C, Otto-Duessel M, Wood RI, Wood JC. Sex differences and steroid modulation of cardiac iron in a mouse model of iron overload. Transl Res. 2014 Feb; 163(2):151-9. PMID: 24018182; PMCID: PMC3946637.
    19. Wood RI, Rice R. Ethanol-induced conditioned partner preference in female mice. Behav Brain Res. 2013 Apr 15; 243:273-7. PMID: 23369716; PMCID: PMC3593977.
    20. Wood RI, Armstrong A, Fridkin V, Shah V, Najafi A, Jakowec M. 'Roid rage in rats? Testosterone effects on aggressive motivation, impulsivity and tyrosine hydroxylase. Physiol Behav. 2013 Feb 17; 110-111:6-12. PMID: 23266798; PMCID: PMC3615053.
    21. Wood RI, Stanton SJ. Testosterone and sport: current perspectives. Horm Behav. 2012 Jan; 61(1):147-55. PMID: 21983229; PMCID: PMC3264812.
    22. Wood RI, Vertelkina NV, Antzoulatos E. Testosterone as a discriminative stimulus in male rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2011 Nov; 100(1):185-90. PMID: 21893083; PMCID: PMC3183107.
    23. Antzoulatos E, Jakowec MW, Petzinger GM, Wood RI. MPTP Neurotoxicity and Testosterone Induce Dendritic Remodeling of Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons in the C57Bl/6 Mouse. Parkinsons Dis. 2011; 2011:138471. PMID: 21765998; PMCID: PMC3134993.
    24. Gorton LM, Vuckovic MG, Vertelkina N, Petzinger GM, Jakowec MW, Wood RI. Exercise effects on motor and affective behavior and catecholamine neurochemistry in the MPTP-lesioned mouse. Behav Brain Res. 2010 Dec 01; 213(2):253-62. PMID: 20472000; PMCID: PMC2902645.
    25. Antzoulatos E, Jakowec MW, Petzinger GM, Wood RI. Sex differences in motor behavior in the MPTP mouse model of Parkinson's disease. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2010 Jun; 95(4):466-72. PMID: 20347863; PMCID: PMC2866026.
    26. Wood RI. The many facets of sex and drugs. Horm Behav. 2010 Jun; 58(1):1. PMID: 20303970.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Kanayama G, Brower KJ, Wood RI, Hudson JI, Pope HG. Treatment of anabolic-androgenic steroid dependence: Emerging evidence and its implications. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2010 Jun 01; 109(1-3):6-13. PMID: 20188494; PMCID: PMC2875348.
    28. Sato SM, Johansen JA, Jordan CL, Wood RI. Membrane androgen receptors may mediate androgen reinforcement. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2010 Aug; 35(7):1063-73. PMID: 20137860; PMCID: PMC2891198.
    29. Kanayama G, Brower KJ, Wood RI, Hudson JI, Pope HG. Anabolic-androgenic steroid dependence: an emerging disorder. Addiction. 2009 Dec; 104(12):1966-78. PMID: 19922565; PMCID: PMC2780436.
    30. Kanayama G, Brower KJ, Wood RI, Hudson JI, Pope HG. Issues for DSM-V: clarifying the diagnostic criteria for anabolic-androgenic steroid dependence. Am J Psychiatry. 2009 Jun; 166(6):642-5. PMID: 19487399; PMCID: PMC2696068.
    31. Schauwecker PE, Wood RI, Lorenzana A. Neuroprotection against excitotoxic brain injury in mice after ovarian steroid depletion. Brain Res. 2009 Apr 10; 1265:37-46. PMID: 19236850; PMCID: PMC2673965.
    32. Gorton LM, Mahoney MM, Magorien JE, Lee TM, Wood RI. Estrogen receptor immunoreactivity in late-gestation fetal lambs. Biol Reprod. 2009 Jun; 80(6):1152-9. PMID: 19164175; PMCID: PMC2804801.
    33. Antzoulatos E, Magorien JE, Wood RI. Cell proliferation and survival in the mating circuit of adult male hamsters: effects of testosterone and sexual behavior. Horm Behav. 2008 Nov; 54(5):735-40. PMID: 18775431; PMCID: PMC2588138.
    34. Vuckovic MG, Wood RI, Holschneider DP, Abernathy A, Togasaki DM, Smith A, Petzinger GM, Jakowec MW. Memory, mood, dopamine, and serotonin in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-lesioned mouse model of basal ganglia injury. Neurobiol Dis. 2008 Nov; 32(2):319-27. PMID: 18718537; PMCID: PMC3280725.
    35. Sato SM, Schulz KM, Sisk CL, Wood RI. Adolescents and androgens, receptors and rewards. Horm Behav. 2008 May; 53(5):647-58. PMID: 18343381; PMCID: PMC2435368.
    36. Triemstra JL, Sato SM, Wood RI. Testosterone and nucleus accumbens dopamine in the male Syrian hamster. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2008 Apr; 33(3):386-94. PMID: 18249072; PMCID: PMC2275113.
    37. Wood RI. Anabolic-androgenic steroid dependence? Insights from animals and humans. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2008 Oct; 29(4):490-506. PMID: 18275992; PMCID: PMC2585375.
    38. Wood RI. Sex and drugs: comment on "Evidence for involvement of erbeta and rgs9-2 in 17-beta estradiol enhancement of amphetamine-induced place preference behavior" by Silverman and Koenig. Horm Behav. 2007 Aug; 52(2):143-5. PMID: 17553500; PMCID: PMC1959339.
    39. Ballard CL, Wood RI. Partner preference in male hamsters: steroids, sexual experience and chemosensory cues. Physiol Behav. 2007 May 16; 91(1):1-8. PMID: 17316716; PMCID: PMC1924919.
    40. Nagypál A, Wood RI. Region-specific mechanisms for testosterone-induced Fos in hamster brain. Brain Res. 2007 Apr 13; 1141:197-204. PMID: 17276422; PMCID: PMC1857344.
    41. Wood RI. Anabolic steroids: a fatal attraction? J Neuroendocrinol. 2006 Mar; 18(3):227-8. PMID: 16454806.
      View in: PubMed
    42. DiMeo AN, Wood RI. Self-administration of estrogen and dihydrotestosterone in male hamsters. Horm Behav. 2006 Apr; 49(4):519-26. PMID: 16388806.
      View in: PubMed
    43. Dimeo AN, Wood RI. ICV testosterone induces Fos in male Syrian hamster brain. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2006 Feb; 31(2):237-49. PMID: 16157456.
      View in: PubMed
    44. Triemstra JL, Nagatani S, Wood RI. Chemosensory cues are essential for mating-induced dopamine release in MPOA of male Syrian hamsters. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2005 Aug; 30(8):1436-42. PMID: 15702137.
      View in: PubMed
    45. Ballard CL, Wood RI. Intracerebroventricular self-administration of commonly abused anabolic-androgenic steroids in male hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus): nandrolone, drostanolone, oxymetholone, and stanozolol. Behav Neurosci. 2005 Jun; 119(3):752-8. PMID: 15998196.
      View in: PubMed
    46. Wood RI. Reinforcing aspects of androgens. Physiol Behav. 2004 Nov 15; 83(2):279-89. PMID: 15488545.
      View in: PubMed
    47. DiMeo AN, Wood RI. Circulating androgens enhance sensitivity to testosterone self-administration in male hamsters. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Oct; 79(2):383-9. PMID: 15501316.
      View in: PubMed
    48. Triemstra JL, Wood RI. Testosterone self-administration in female hamsters. Behav Brain Res. 2004 Sep 23; 154(1):221-9. PMID: 15302128.
      View in: PubMed
    49. Peters KD, Hom SM, Wood RI. Testosterone and chemosensory detection in male Syrian hamster. Horm Behav. 2004 Sep; 46(3):341-8. PMID: 15325234.
      View in: PubMed
    50. Wood RI, Johnson LR, Chu L, Schad C, Self DW. Testosterone reinforcement: intravenous and intracerebroventricular self-administration in male rats and hamsters. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2004 Jan; 171(3):298-305. PMID: 14557917.
      View in: PubMed
    51. Chu L, Wood RI. Castration, dopamine and food choice: a cost/benefit test in male hamsters. Behav Brain Res. 2002 Oct 17; 136(1):137-42. PMID: 12385798.
      View in: PubMed
    52. Wood RI. Oral testosterone self-administration in male hamsters: dose-response, voluntary exercise, and individual differences. Horm Behav. 2002 May; 41(3):247-58. PMID: 11971658.
      View in: PubMed
    53. Wood RI, Williams SJ. Steroidal control of male hamster sexual behavior in Me and MPOA: effects of androgen dose and tamoxifen. Physiol Behav. 2001 Apr; 72(5):727-33. PMID: 11337005.
      View in: PubMed