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headshot of Lena Varlinskaya

Lena Varlinskaya

Research Professor



Dr. Varlinskaya is a behavioral psychopharmacologist interested in developmental aspects of alcohol research. Her studies are focused on ontogeny of responsiveness to acute and chronic alcohol, including consequences of prenatal and adolescent alcohol exposures. This research involves animal models of social interactions, assessment of adolescent-typical behavioral, neural, and hormonal changes, stress-induced behavioral alterations, and the psychopharmacology of social and non-social anxiety. Her projects are focused on the mechanisms that modulate social consequences of alcohol in adolescent and adult animals under normal circumstances, following stress and ethanol exposure, as well as during different developmental periods. Her recent research is focused on the oxytocin and vasopressin neuropeptide systems and their roles in social deficits associated with adolescent alcohol exposure.


  • PhD, Institute for Experimental Medical Research, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • MD, First Pavlov State Medical University, St. Petersburg, Russia

Research Interests

  • Alcohol
  • Social Interactions
  • Stress
  • Anxiety

More Info

Spear LP, Varlinskaya EI (2010). Sensitivity to ethanol and other hedonic stimuli in an animal model of adolescence: implications for prevention science? Developmental Psychobiology 52: 236-43. doi: 10.1002/dev.20457. PMCID: PMC3045082.

Varlinskaya EI, Vetter-O'Hagen CS, Spear LP (2013). Puberty and gonadal hormones: role in adolescent-typical behavioral alterations. Hormones and Behavior 64: 343-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2012.11.012. PMCID: PMC3761212.

Varlinskaya EI, Spear LP. (2015). Social consequences of ethanol: Impact of age, stress, and prior history of ethanol exposure. Physiology & Behavior 148:145-50. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.11.062. PMCID: PMC4444396.

Perkins AE, Varlinskaya EI, Deak T (2019). From adolescence to late aging: A comprehensive review of social behavior, alcohol, and neuroinflammation across the lifespan. In: Late Aging-Associated Changes in Alcohol Sensitivity, Inflammation and Cognitive Decline. (L Savage, ed) International Review of Neurobiology, Vol.48

Research Profile

Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae