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Center on Compulsive Behaviors (CCB)

Description and Mission Statement

Compulsive behaviors are repeated, perseverative actions that are difficult to inhibit despite clear intentions and harmful consequences for the patients. While their expression is diverse – from ticks to compulsive eating and addiction — compulsive behaviors are driven by shared neuro-circuitry that must be studied at multiple levels, from genes and molecules to systems and behavior. Understanding the processes that promote or inhibit the development of compulsive behaviors is critical not only for optimizing existing treatments, but also for designing new pharmacological and behavioral interventions.

The purpose of the CCB is to advance scientific discovery in the field of compulsive behaviors and to develop expertise on the topic within the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP). The center will bring together basic scientists and clinical researchers across the neuroscience community from seven different Institutes and will provide unique opportunities for collaborations and interaction. The goals of the CCB are to understand the neurobiology of complex behaviors that result in compulsive and repetitive actions, and to develop and test new therapeutics aimed at alleviating or reversing these behaviors. The CCB will foster collaborations across the IRP neuroscience community and train future experts in the field of compulsive behaviors.


The CCB is funded by the 2017 DDIR Innovation Award.


Project Leader:
Veronica A. Alvarez, Ph.D.
Senior Investigator, NIAAA
phone: 301-443-7695

Training Director:

Jessica Faupel-Badger, Ph.D.
Phone: 301-594-3900

Administrative Staff:
Roland Bock, M.Sc.
Tanisha London
Karen Harrington
Christie Cunningham-Charles
Madhu Gola (budget)