Rita Fuchs

Rita Fuchs

Professor, Integrative Physiology & Neuroscience 509-335-6164

Dr. Fuchs is a Professor in Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience and Director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program (ADARP). Dr. Fuchs’s NIH-funded research program aims to understand how environmental stimuli orchestrate maladaptive drug-seeking behaviors, cognition, and physiological functions related to drug addiction. Specifically, her studies investigate neural circuits and neurochemical signaling that underlie the ability of cocaine-associated environmental cues to trigger intense drug-related memories and precipitate drug craving and relapse. The Fuchs lab uses sophisticated behavioral models, optogenetics, chemogenetics, pharmacology, immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, activity-dependent protein profiling, fiber photometry, and other techniques to make basic science discoveries that inform the development of treatments for individuals with substance use disorders. Dr. Fuchs is also active in undergraduate and graduate teaching and mentoring, university service, as a member of the scientific community on editorial boards, study sections, and professional organizations.


  • Postdoc, Medical University of South Carolina, 2005
  • PhD, Arizona State University, 2000

Research Interest

  • Drug addiction
  • Associative learning
  • Memory Reconsolidation
  • Neural circuitry mapping
  • Drug-induced and experience-based neuroplasticity


Professional Service

  • Elected Member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences
  • Elected Fellow of the American College of Psychopharmacology
  • Elected Member of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society
  • Elected Member of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence