Sarah Baracz


  • 173 Citations
  • 7 h-Index
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Personal profile

Research interests

I am interested in understanding the mechanisms by which oxytocin and oxytocin-like compounds work in the brain to reduce the rewarding effects and abuse potential of licit and illicit drugs. This is to investigate whether oxytocin could be used as a pharmacological treatment. 

I am also interested in how early life trauma can disrupt the oxytocin system and the impact this has on mental health and susceptibility for drug addiction later in life. Importantly, I want to identify those who are more vulnerable, or more resilient, to later-life mental illness following early life trauma, and characterise these two populations so that targeted treatment can be developed for those most vulnerable. 



  • ANTH106: Drugs Across Cultures
  • PSY236: Biopsychology and Learning
  • PSY354: Clinical and Experimental Neuroscience
  • PSY461: Advanced Topics in Physiological Psychology

Research student supervision

I supervise students in the following research areas:

  • Understanding the neural mechanisms of drug addiction
  • Examining the impact of early life stress on later-life vulnerability for mental illness
  • Understanding the role of oxytocin as a treatment for drug addiction 


External positions

Visiting Postdoctoral Associate, Yale University

17 Feb 201730 Jun 2017

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Sydney

1 Jul 201515 Jan 2017

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Oxytocin Receptors Medicine & Life Sciences
Self Administration Medicine & Life Sciences
Reward Medicine & Life Sciences
Substance-Related Disorders Medicine & Life Sciences

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Projects 2016 2018

Research Output 2012 2018

  • 173 Citations
  • 7 h-Index
  • 11 Article
  • 1 Review article

The neurocircuitry involved in oxytocin modulation of methamphetamine addiction

Baracz, S. J. & Cornish, J. L. 1 Oct 2016 In : Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology. 43, p. 1-18 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Subthalamic Nucleus
Substance-Related Disorders
Drug Therapy

Oxytocin in the nucleus accumbens core reduces reinstatement of methamphetamine-seeking behaviour in rats

Baracz, S. J., Everett, N. A., McGregor, I. S. & Cornish, J. L. 1 Mar 2016 In : Addiction Biology. 21, 2, p. 316-325 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nucleus Accumbens
Oxytocin Receptors

Adolescent pre-treatment with oxytocin protects against adult methamphetamine-seeking behavior in female rats

Hicks, C., Cornish, J. L., Baracz, S. J., Suraev, A. & McGregor, I. S. 1 Mar 2016 In : Addiction Biology. 21, 2, p. 304-315 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Reinforcement Schedule
Self Administration

The L-type calcium channel blocker, isradipine, attenuates cue-induced cocaine-seeking by enhancing dopaminergic activity in the ventral tegmental area to nucleus accumbens pathway

Addy, N. A., Nunes, E. J., Hughley, S. M., Small, K. M., Baracz, S. J., Haight, J. L. & Rajadhyaksha, A. M. 2018 In : Neuropsychopharmacology. 43, p. 2361–2372 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

L-Type Calcium Channels
Ventral Tegmental Area
Nucleus Accumbens
Calcium Channel Blockers
Psychological Stress
Substance-Related Disorders
Drug Therapy
Social Behavior

Press / Media