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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 – ticks, compulsive eating, and addiction are all examples — compulsive behaviors are driven by shared neuro-circuitry that must be studied from the genetic and molecular level to system-based and behavioral expression. The CCB’s mission is to understand the neurobiology of complex behaviors that result in these compulsive and repetitive actions, and to develop and test new therapeutics aimed at alleviating or reversing these behaviors. By understanding the processes that promote or inhibit the development of compulsive behaviors, we can not only optimize existing treatments, but also for design new pharmacological and behavioral interventions.
The CCB is striving to advance scientific discovery in the field of compulsive behaviors and to develop expertise on the topic within the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP). By bringing together basic scientists and clinical researchers from seven different Institutes, the Center fosters collaboration within the IRP neuroscience community, provides unique opportunities for research crossover and networking, and trains future experts in the field of compulsive behaviors.


The CCB was launched in 2017 with funding from the 2017 DDIR Innovation Award, and continued to be funded through the 2018 DDIR Challenge Innovation Award Program. Since 2019, the CCB receives direct funding from the main IC's involved (NICHD, NIDA, NIDDK, NIEHS, NINDS, NIMH, and NIAAA) allowing for a longer term commitment to collaborative research projects focused on compulsive behaviors.

The application cycle for 2020 closed on March 30th and the new fellows have been selected. If you are interested in applying for the CCB fellowship, please consider signing up for our listserv email list.

The CCB is looking to fund outstanding candidates, both clinical or basic science researchers, who are interested in studying topics aligned with the mission of the CCB and with a strong desire for interactions and collaborations with the labs in the IRP. Applications are open for current graduate students, postdoctoral IRTA fellows in the IRP, or incoming postdoctoral fellows joining the IRP laboratory before September 30, 2020.

For timely announcements, please sign up for our CCB listserv.

Contact the CCB

To receive CCB updates and event information, sign up for the listserv or send an email with a signup request to Roland Bock.

Director: Associate Director: Associate Director:
Veronica A. Alvarez, Ph.D.
Senior Investigator, NIAAA
phone: 301-443-7695
Bruno B. Averbeck, Ph.D.
Senior Investigator, NIMH
phone: 301-594-1126
Yavin Shaham, Ph.D.
Senior Investigator, NIDA
phone: 443-740-2723
Training Director: Administrative Staff:
Jessica Faupel-Badger, Ph.D.
Phone: 301-594-3900
Roland Bock, M.Sc.
(Scientific Program Manager)
Phone: 301-827-0114

Katie Teresi, B.A.
(Assistant Program Manager)

Karen Harrington (AO)
Christie Cunningham-Charles (AO)
Madhu Gola (budget)