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jill turner uky headshot
Pharmaceutical Sciences Dept.
All Faculty
Lee T. Todd, Jr. Bldg, Room 473

My NIDA funded research investigates the biological mechanisms underlying the high relapse rate among smokers using electrophysiology, behavior, and Next Gen Sequencing technologies. Our lab has extensive experience using Next-Gen sequencing approaches to identify candidate molecules for functional evaluation in both rodent models and in the human population. For example, sequencing technologies identified a novel molecule, Neuregulin 3, in mechanisms underlying nicotine withdrawal phenotypes.  We have now validated this association two independent cohorts of smokers, demonstrating that possession of a NRG3 risk allele can predict relapse to smoking (Turner et al, Mol Psych, 2014).  This approach is an excellent example of how analytic integration of functional and genetic information across multiple species can accelerate the implementation of personalized medicine, such as that present in this application. Dr. Vassoler and myself are now proposing a similar approach to better understand how epigenomic changes and consequential transcriptomic alterations can drive complex behavioral responses in the offspring of drug-exposed individuals. I look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Vassoler on this project.

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Lab Website

Faculty Expertise 

  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Next-Gen Sequencing
  • Personalized medicine
  • Precision Medicine
  • CBD/Marijuana
  • Neurology/Neuro Disorders
  • Substance Use Disorders (Cocaine, Nicotine, Methamphetamine, Opioids)


  • B.S. Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
  • Ph.D. Neuroscience, Georgetown University, Washington, DC


  • Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

We wish to remember and honor those who inhabited this Commonwealth before the arrival of the Europeans. Briefly occupying these lands were the Osage, Wyndott tribe, and Miami peoples. The Adena and Hopewell peoples, who are recognized by the naming of the time period in which they resided here, were here more permanently. Some of their mounds remain in the Lexington area, including at UK’s Adena Park.

In more recent years, the Cherokee occupied southeast Kentucky, the Yuchi southwest Kentucky, the Chickasaw extreme western Kentucky and the Shawnee central Kentucky including what is now the city of Lexington. The Shawnee left when colonization pushed through the Appalachian Mountains. Lower Shawnee Town ceremonial grounds are still visible in Greenup County.

We honor the first inhabitants who were here, respect their culture, and acknowledge the presence of their descendants who are here today in all walks of life including fellow pharmacists and healthcare professionals.