Stephen L Boehm II Ph.D.

Professor, Psychology
Director, Undergraduate Neuroscience Program
Primary Faculty, Stark Neurosciences Research Institute


2002-2005 Postdoctoral, Behavioral and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Texas at Austin.

1996-2002 Behavioral Neuroscience Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University, Portland.

1990-1996 Psychology B. A., University of Northern Colorado, Greeley.

Current Research

Work in my lab seeks to understand how developmental and genetic factors influence binge alcohol drinking, as well as sensitivity to delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component in marijuana. Behaviors thought to influence both propensity to engage in binge-like alcohol drinking and THC sensitivity in mice are studied. We use mice of different developmental and genetic backgrounds to ask mechanistic questions about the complex relationships between brain and behavior. For example, we compare different genetic mouse models to assess age-specific sensitivity to alcohol's behavioral actions and determine how alcohol exposure during prenatal and early postnatal development influences that of adulthood. Moreover, we employ state-of-the-art techniques to study the relationships between brain and behavioral sensitivity to alcohol and THC in mice, including site-specific microinjection into discrete brain regions and ELISA analysis of protein expression across brain structures to determine which neurotransmitter systems and brain structures are important modulators of alcohol-related behavior. Our hope is that such work will help elucidate the behavioral/brain mechanisms associated with sensitivity to alcohol and THC in humans and provide further insight into how those mechanisms influence (and are influenced by) repeated drug exposure across development. Our work is supported by grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Dr. Boehm is actively seeking new graduate students to join his lab!  Please contact Dr. Boehm by email if you are interested in learning more about his program of research and the Addiction Neuroscience Graduate Program at IUPUI.

Select Publications

PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS († = mentored student):

  1. †Fritz BM, †Quoilin C, †Kasten CR, †Smoker M, Boehm II SL (2016) Concomitant caffeine increases binge consumption of ethanol in adolescent and adult mice, but produces additive motor stimulation only in adolescent animals. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 40:1351-1360. PMCID: PMC4889470.

  2. †Quoilin C, Boehm II SL (2016) Involvement of the GABAA receptor in age-dependent differences in binge-like ethanol intake. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 40:408-417. PMCID – in process.

  3. †Linsenbardt DN, Boehm II SL (2015) Relative fluid novelty differentially alters the time course of limited-access ethanol and water intake in selectively bred high-alcohol-preferring mice. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 39:621-630. PMCID: PMC4384188.

  4. †Kasten CR, †Blasingame SN, Boehm II SL (2015) Bidirectional enantioselective effects of the GABAB receptor agonist baclofen in two mouse models of excessive ethanol consumption. Alcohol, 49:37-46. PMCID: PMC4314367.

  5. †Kasten CR, Boehm II SL (2014) Intra-nucleus accumbens shell injections of R(+)- and S(-)-baclofen bidirectionally alter binge-like ethanol, but not saccharin, intake in C57BL/6J mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 272:238-247. PMCID: PMC4134668.

  6. †Fritz BM, Boehm II SL (2014) Site-specific microinjection of Gaboxadol into the infralimbic cortex modulates ethanol intake in male C57BL/6J mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 273:8-15. PMCID: PMC4152776.

  7. †Fritz BM, †Companion M, Boehm II SL (2014) “Wired,” yet intoxicated: modeling binge caffeine and alcohol co-consumption in the mouse. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 38:2269-2278. PMCID: PMC4146700.

  8. †Fritz BM, Cordero KA, Barkley-Levenson AM, Metten P, Crabbe JC, Boehm II SL (2014) Genetic relationship between predisposition for binge alcohol consumption and blunted sensitivity to adverse effects of alcohol in mice. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 38:1284-1292. PMCID: PMC3999212.

  9. †Linsenbardt DN, Boehm II SL (2014) Alterations in the rate of (binge) ethanol consumption: Implications for preclinical studies in mice. Addiction Biology, 19:812-825. PMCID: PMC3775999.

  10. †Linsenbardt DN, Boehm II SL (2013) Determining the heritability of ethanol-induced locomotor sensitization in mice using short-term behavioral selection. Psychopharmacology, 230:267-278. PMCID: PMC3809338.

  11. Matson LM, †Kasten CR, Boehm II SL, Grahame NJ (2013) Selectively bred crossed high-alcohol-preferring mice drink to intoxication and develop functional tolerance, but not locomotor sensitization during free-choice ethanol access. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 38:267-274. PMCID: PMC3844084.

  12. †Fritz BM, Grahame NJ, Boehm II SL (2013) Selection for high alcohol preference drinking in mice results in heightened sensitivity and rapid development of acute functional tolerance to alcohol’s ataxic effects. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 12:78-86. PMCID: PMC4251772.

  13. †Moore EM, †Forrest RD, Boehm II SL (2013) Genotype modulates age-related alterations in sensitivity to the aversive effects of ethanol: an eight inbred strain analysis of conditioned taste aversion. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 12:70-77. PMCID: PMC3553292.

  14. †Kruse LC, †Linsenbardt DN, Boehm II SL (2012) Positive allosteric modulation of the GABAB receptor attenuates the locomotor stimulant actions of ethanol and alters the induction of locomotor sensitization. Alcohol, 46:455-462. PMCID: PMC3389305.

  15. †Linsenbardt DN, Boehm II SL (2012) Role of novelty and ethanol history in locomotor stimulation induced by binge-like ethanol intake. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 36:887-94. PMCID: PMC3309127.

  16. †Melón LC, Boehm II SL (2011) Role of genotype in the development of locomotor sensitization to ethanol in adult and adolescent mice: Comparison of the DBA/2J and C57BL/6J inbred mouse strains. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 35:1351-60. PMCID: PMC3117058.

  17. †Linsenbardt DN, †Moore EM, †Griffin KD, †Gigante E, Boehm II SL (2011) Tolerance to ethanol’s ataxic and locomotor effects following repeated binge-like ethanol intake using the DID model. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 35:1246-55. PMCID: PMC3117122.

  18. †Melón LC, Boehm II SL (2011) GABAA receptors in the posterior, but not anterior, ventral tegmental area mediate Ro15-4513 attenuation of binge-like ethanol consumption in C57BL/6J female mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 220:230-237. PMCID: PMC3070426.

  19. †Moore EM, †Linsenbardt DN, †Melón LC, Boehm II SL (2010) Ontogenetic differences in adolescent and adult C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice: Anxiety-like, locomotor, and consummatory behaviors. Developmental Psychobiology, 53:141-56. PMCID: PMC3375063.

  20. †Moore EM, †Mariani J, †Linsenbardt DN, †Melón LC, Boehm II SL (2010) Adolescent C57BL/6J (but not DBA/2J) Mice consume greater amounts of limited-access ethanol compared to adults and display continued elevated ethanol intake into adulthood. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 34:1-9. PMCID: PMC2883811.

  21. †Linsenbardt DN, Boehm II SL (2009) Agonism of the endocannabinoid system modulates binge-like alcohol intake in male C57BL/6J mice: Involvement of the posterior ventral tegmental area. Neuroscience, 164:424-434. PMCID: PMC2762022.

  22. †Moore EM, Boehm II SL (2009) Site-specific microinjection of baclofen into the anterior ventral tegmental area reduces ethanol intake in male C57BL/6J mice. Behavioral Neuroscience, 123:555-563. PMCID: PMC2732108.

  23. †Linsenbardt DN, †Moore EM, †Gross CD, †Goldfarb KJ, †Blackman LC, Boehm II SL (2009) Sensitivity and tolerance to the hypnotic and ataxic effects of ethanol in adolescent and adult C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 33:1-13. PMCID: PMC2736547.

  24. Boehm II SL, †Moore EM, †Walsh CD, †Gross C, †Cavelli A, †Gigante E, †Linsenbardt DN (2008) Using Drinking in the Dark to  model prenatal binge-like exposure to ethanol in C57BL/6J mice. Developmental Psychobiology, 50:566-578. PMCID: PMC2574727.

  25. Boehm II SL, †Goldfarb KJ, †Serio KM, †Moore EM, †Linsenbardt DN (2008) Does context influence the duration of locomotor sensitization to ethanol in female DBA/2J mice? Psychopharmacology, 197:191-201. PMCID: PMC2279101.

  26. †Moore EM, †Serio KM, †Goldfarb KJ, †Stepanovska S, †Linsenbardt DN, Boehm II SL (2007) GABAergic modulation of binge-like ethanol intake in C57BL/6J mice. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 88:105-113. PMCID: PMC2394855.

  27. Boehm II SL, Peden L, Jennings AW, Kojima N, Harris RA, Blednov YA (2004) Over-expression of the fyn-kinase gene reduces hypnotic sensitivity to ethanol. Neuroscience Letters, 372:6-11.

  28. Boehm II SL, Peden L, Harris RA, Blednov YA (2004) Deletion of the fyn-kinase gene alters sensitivity to GABAergic drugs: dependence on beta2/beta3 GABAA receptor subunits. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 309:1154-1159.

  29. Boehm II SL, Peden L, Chang R, Harris RA, Blednov YA (2003) Deletion of the fyn-kinase gene alters behavioral sensitivity to alcohol.  Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 27:1033-1040.

  30. Wahlsten D, Metten P, Phillips TJ, Boehm II SL, Burkhart-Kasch S, Dorow J, Doerksen S, Downing C, Fogarty J, Rodd-Henricks K, Hen R, McKinnon CS, Merrill CM, Nolte C, Schalomon M, Schlumbohm JR, Sibert JR, Wenger CD, Dudek BC, Crabbe JC (2003) Different data from different labs: Lessons from studies of gene-environment interaction. Journal of Neurobiology, 54:283-311.

  31. Boehm II SL, Piercy MM, Bergstrom HC, Phillips TJ (2002) Ventral tegmental area region governs GABAB receptor modulation of ethanol-stimulated activity in mice. Neuroscience, 115:185-200.

  32. Boehm II SL, Reed CL, McKinnon CS, Phillips TJ (2002) Shared genes influence sensitivity to the effects of ethanol on locomotor behavior and anxiety-like behaviors, and the stress axis. Psychopharmacology, 161:54-63.

  33. Boehm II SL, Schafer GL, Phillips TJ, Browman KE, Crabbe, JC (2000) Sensitivity to ethanol-induced motor incoordination in 5-HT1B receptor null mutant mice is task dependent: Implications for behavioral assessment of genetically altered mice. Behavioral Neuroscience, 114:401-409.

Boehm II SL, Lundahl KR, Caldwell J, Gilliam DM (1997) Ethanol teratogenesis in the C57BL/J, DBA/2J, and A/J inbred mouse strains. Alcohol, 4:389-395.


  1. †Kasten CR, Boehm II SL (2016) Preclinical medication development: new targets and new drugs. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, in press.

  2. †Fritz BM, Boehm II SL (2016) Rodent models and mechanisms of voluntary binge-like ethanol consumption: Examples, opportunities, and strategies for preclinical research. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 65:297-308. PMCID: PMC4668238.

  3. †Kasten CR, Boehm II SL (2015) Identifying the role of pre- and postsynaptic GABAB receptors in behavior. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 57:70-87. PMCID: PMC4548832.


  1. Boehm II SL, Valenzuela CF, Harris RA Alcohol: Neurobiology. In Substance Abuse: A comprehensive textbook, Fourth Edition, Lowinson, Ruiz, Millman, and Langrod Eds. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore MD, 2005:121-151.