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Robert E. Sorge, Ph.D.

Robert E. Sorge, Ph.D. Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
University of Alabama at Birmingham
1300 University Blvd, CH 363
Birmingham, AL 35294
Phone: 205-934-8563
Full CV


BSc (Psychology, Biology, 2000) - McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
MA (Psychology, 2001) – Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada
PhD (Psychology, 2006) – Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
Postdoc (Pharmacology, 2009) – McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Postdoc (Psychology, 2012) – McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Research Program:

The current areas of research in the laboratory are as follows;

  • The interplay between addiction and pain in a rat model of patient-controlled analgesia
  • The role of the innate immune system in drug reward and chronic pain conditions
  • The contribution of diet to future hypersensitivity and pain

The laboratory is interested in using animal models to predict clinical efficacy of treatment drugs for addiction and pain. Through the use of genetic, pharmacological and behavioral manipulations, we seek to develop and test new treatments.


  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • pre 2009
  1. Melemedjian, O. K., Khoutorsky, A., *Sorge, R. E., Yan, J., Asiedu, M. N., Valdez, A., Ghosh, S., Dussor, G., Mogil, J. S., Sonenberg, N. & Price, T. J. (2013 in press) mTORC1 inhibition induces sensory neuron hyperexcitability and allodynia via IRS1-dependent feedback activation of ERK. Pain * co-first author
  2. Sorge, R. E., LaCroix-Fralish, M. L., Tuttle, A. H., Khoutorsky, A., Sotocinal, S. G., Austin, J. S., Melmed, K., Wood, J. N., Shi, Y., Naoumova, A. & Mogil, J. S. (2013, in press). The yin and yang of pain: variability in formalin test nociception and morphine analgesia produced by the yin yang 1 transcription factor gene. Genes, Brain and Behavior.
  3. Khoutorsky, A., Yanagiya, A., Gkogkas, C., Fabian, M. R., Prager-Khoutorsky, M., Gamache, K., Bouthiette, F., Parysan, A., Sorge, R. E., Mogil, J. S., Nader, K., Lacaille, J. C. & Sonenberg, N. (2013) Control of synaptic plasticity and memory via suppression of poly(A)-binding protein. Neuron, 78: 298-311.
  1. Tsao, D., Wieskopf, J. S., Rashid, N., Sorge, R. E., Redler, R. L., Segall, S. K., Mogil, J. S., Maixner, W., Dokholyan, N. V. & Diatchenko, L. (2012). Serotonin-induced hypersensitivity via inhibition of catechol o-methyltransferase activity. Molecular Pain, 8; 25.
  2. Malfait, A. M., Seymour, A. B., Gao, F., Tortorella, M. D., Graverand-Gastineau, M. P., Wood, L. S., Doherty, M., Doherty, S., Zhang, W., Arden, N. K., Vaughn, F. L., Leaverton, P. E., Spector, T. D., Hart, D. J., Maciewicz, R. A., Muir, K. R., Das, R., Sorge, R. E., Sotocinal, S. G., Schorscher-Petcu, A., Valdes, A. M. & Mogil, J. S. (2012) A role for PACE4 in osteoarthritis pain: Evidence from human genetic association and null mutant phenotype. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 71; 1042-1048.
  3. Sorge, R. E., Trang, T., Dorfman, R., Smith, S. B., Beggs, S., Ritchie, J., Austin, J-S., Zaykin, D. V., Vander Meulen, H., Costigan, M., Herbert, T. A., Yarkoni-Abitbul, M., Tichauer, D., Livneh, J., Gershon, E., Zheng, M., Tan, K., Johns, S. L., Slade, G. D., Jordan, J., Woolf, C. J., Peltz, G., Maixner, W., Diatchenko, L., Seltzer, Z., Salter, M. W., & Mogil, J. S. (2012). Genetically determined P2X7 receptor pore formation regulates variability in chronic pain sensitivity. Nature Medicine, 18; 595-599.
    ***Selected by the National Human Genome Research Institute’s (NHGRI) Genomic Advances of the Month
  4. Matsumiya, L., *Sorge, R. E., Sotocinal, S. G., Tabaka, J., Zaloum, A., King, O. D., & Mogil, J. S. (2012). A re-evaluation of the efficacy of postoperative analgesics in the laboratory mouse based on the mouse grimace scale. JAALAS, 51: 42-49. *co-first author.
  1. Sorge, R. E., LaCroix-Fralish, M. L., Bailey, A. L., Tuttle, A. H., Sotocinal, S. G., Austin, J-S., Ritchie, J., Chanda, M. L., Graham, A. C., Topham, L., Beggs, S., Salter, M. W., & Mogil, J. S. (2011). Spinal cord toll-like receptor 4 mediates chronic inflammatory and neuropathic hypersensitivity in males but not females. J Neurosci, 31: 15450-4.
  2. Mogil, J. S., Sorge, R. E., LaCroix-Fralish, M. L., Smith, S. B., Fortin, A,M Sotocinal, S. G., Ritchie, J., Austin, J-S., Schorscher-Petcu, A., Melmed, K., Bittong, R. A., Mokris, B., Neubert, J. K., Campbell, C. M., Edwards, R. R., Campbell, J. N., Crawley, J. N., Lariviere, W. R., Sternberg, W. F., Balaban, C. D., Belfer, I., & Fillingim, R. B. (2011). Pain sensitivity and vasopressin analgesia in mice and humans is mediated by a gene-environment interaction involving the AVPR1A gene and acute stress. Nature Neuroscience, 14:1569-73.
  3. Sotocinal, S. G., Sorge, R. E., Zaloum, A., Tuttle, A. H., Martin, L. J., Wieskopf, J. S., Mapplebeck, J. C. S., Wei, P., Zhan, S., Zhang, S., McDougall, J. J., King, O. D., & Mogil, J. S. (2011). The rat grimace scale: a partially automated method for quantifying pain in the laboratory rat via facial expressions. Mol Pain, 7: 55.
  1. Langford, D.J., Bailey, A.L., Chanda, M.L., Clarke, S.E., Drummond, T.E., Echols, S., Glick, S., Ingrao, J., Klassen-Ross, T., LaCroix-Fralish, M.L., Matsumiya, L., Sorge, R.E., Sotocinal, S.G., Tabaka, J.M., Wong, D., van den Maagdenberg, A.M.J.M., Ferrari, M.D., Craig, K.D., and Mogil, J.S. (2010). Coding of facial expressions of pain in the laboratory mouse. Nature Meth, 7:447-449.
  2. Schorscher-Petcu, A., Sotocinal, S. G., Ciura, S. Dupre, A., Ritchie, J., Sorge, R. E., Crawley, J. N., Hu, S-B., Nishimori, K., Young, L. J., Tribollet, R., Quirion, R. & Mogil, J. S. (2010). Oxytocin-induced analgesia and scratching are mediated by the vasopressin-1A receptor in the mouse. J Neurosci, 30: 8274-8284.
  1. Sorge, R. E., Pierre, V. P. & Clarke, P. B. S. (2009). Facilitation of intravenous nicotine self-administration in rats by motivationally neutral sensory cues. Psychopharmacology, 207: 191-200.
  2. Sorge, R. E. & Clarke, P. B. S. (2009). Rats self-administer intravenous nicotine delivered in a novel smoking-relevant procedure: effects of dopamine antagonists. J Pharm Exp Ther, 330: 633-640.


  1. Leri, F., Sorge, R. E., Cummins, E., Woehrling, D., Pfaus, J. G., & Stewart, J. (2007). High dose methadone maintenance in rats: effects on cocaine self-administration and general motivation. Neuropsychopharmacology, 32: 2290-2300.
  2. Hood, S., Sorge, R. E., & Stewart, J. (2007). Chronic buprenorphine reduces the response to sucrose-associated cues in non food-deprived rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior, 86: 566-575.


  1. Caruana, D. A., Sorge, R. E., Stewart, J., & Chapman, C. A. (2006). Dopamine has bidirectional effects on synaptic responses to cortical inputs in layer II of the lateral entorhinal cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology, 96: 3006-3015.
  2. Sorge, R. E., & Stewart, J. (2006). The effects of chronic buprenorphine on intake of heroin and cocaine in rats and its effects on nucleus accumbens dopamine levels during self-administration. Psychopharmacology, 188: 28-41.
  3. Sorge, R. E., & Stewart, J. (2006). The effects of long-term chronic buprenorphine treatment on the locomotor and nucleus accumbens dopamine response to acute heroin and cocaine in rats. Pharmacology. Biochemistry & Behavior, 84: 300-305.


  1. Sorge, R. E., & Stewart, J. (2005). The contribution of drug history and time since termination of drug taking on vulnerability to stress-induced cocaine seeking in rats. Psychopharmacology, 183, 210-217.
  2. Sorge, R. E., Rajabi, H. & Stewart, J. (2005). Rats maintained chronically on buprenorphine show reduced heroin and cocaine seeking in tests of extinction and drug-induced reinstatement. Neuropsychopharmacology, 30, 1681-1692.


  1. Parker, L. A., Burton, P., Sorge, R. E. & Yakiwchuk, C. (2004). Effect of low doses of 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on the extinction of cocaine- and amphetamine-induced conditioned place preference learning. Psychopharmacology, 175, 360-366.
  2. Leri, F., Tremblay, A., Sorge, R. E. and Stewart, J. (2004). Effects of methadone maintenance on heroin-, cocaine- and stress-induced relapse in a rodent model of poly-drug use. Neuropsychopharmacology, 29, 1312-1320.


  1. Capriles, N., Rodaros, D., Sorge, R. E. & Stewart, J. (2003). A role for the prefrontal cortex in stress- and cocaine-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking in rats. Psychopharmacology, 168, 66-74.


  1. Sorge, R. E., Fudge, M. A. & Parker, L. A. (2002). Effect of sodium deprivation on morphine-and lithium-induced conditioned salt avoidance and taste reactivity. Psychopharmacology, 160, 84-91.


  1. Galef, B. G., Jr. & Sorge, R. E. (2000). Use of PVC conduits by rats of various strains and ages housed singly and in pairs. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 3(4), 279-292.