Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Heather Driscoll

Second Advisor

Donna Toufexis


Bioinformatics, Molecular signatures, Nicotine Dependence, MAPK, Neuroplasticity, Rodent models


Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is highly heritable and increases the likelihood of substance abuse. The self-medication hypothesis of nicotine use in ADHD proposes that ADHD patients seek nicotine for its ability to improve their symptoms, and they have less success quitting, possibly due to the worsening of symptoms in withdrawal (Liebrenz et. al., 2014). By comparing the transcriptome of rodent models of ADHD to those of nicotine dependence (ND), the present analysis identified novel differentially expressed genes that may contribute to their high co-occurrence (PRKAG2, MAPK1), and genes with known associations to ADHD or ND (ANK3, CALD1, CHRNA4, CHRNA7, CMTM8, DLG4, DUSP6, GNG3, GNG11, GRIK5, GRINA2, ICAM2, KCNJ6, PRKAB1, SYNPO, VAMP2). MAPK signaling pathways (R HSA-5673001, R-HSA-5684996) and synaptic transmission (R-HAS-112315) were enriched in both ADHD and ND. These pathways mediate neurological mechanisms that contribute to ND.


The contents of this thesis are only available in the Honors College office until publication.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Supplemental Materials Thesis Scholar Works.pdf (247 kB)
Supplemental Materials

Available for download on Sunday, May 10, 2026