Selected Publications
  • Gerak, L.R., Moerschbaecher, J.M. and Winsauer, P.J. (2008) Overlapping, but not identical, discriminative stimulus effects of the neuroactive steroid pregnanolone and ethanol. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 89:473-479.
  • Gerak, L.R. and France, C.P. (2007) Time-dependent decreases in apparent pA2 values for naltrexone studied in combination with morphine in rhesus monkeys. Psychopharmacology, 193:315-321.
  • Gerak, L.R., Hicks, A.R., Winsauer, P.J., and Varner, K.J. (2004) Interaction between 1,4-butanediol and ethanol on operant responding and the cardiovascular system. European Journal of Pharmacology, 506:75-82.
  • Lela, S., Gerak, L.R., and France, C.P. (2000) Antagonism of the discriminative stimulus effects of positive γ-aminobutyric acidA modulators in rhesus monkeys discriminating midazolam. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 294:902-908.
  • Gerak, L.R. and France, C.P. (1999) Discriminative stimulus effects of flumazenil in untreated and diazepam-treated rhesus monkeys. Psychopharmacology, 146:252-261.
  • Gerak, L.R., and France, C.P. (1997) Changes in sensitivity to the rate-decreasing effects of opioids in pigeons treated acutely or chronically with ∫-α-acetylmethadol. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 281:799-809.
Lisa R. Gerak

Lisa R. Gerak

Assistant Research Professor
Ph.D., Louisiana State University

Office: 210-567-0106



Benzodiazepines, neuroactive steroids, drug discrimination, dependence, withdrawal


Research Summary

Current research projects include studies on the behavioral pharmacology of compounds that modulate the γ-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) receptor complex with an emphasis on the effects of ethanol and neuroactive steroids. GABAA modulators can vary in efficacy and selectivity for the various modulatory sites on the GABAA receptor complex as well as for different subtypes of GABAA receptors. Differences in the behavioral effects of GABAA modulators are assessed using procedures that examine acute (discriminative stimulus effects) and chronic (tolerance, dependence, withdrawal) effects of drugs. The general goals of this research program are: to develop quantitative methods for assessing the effects of chronic treatment with GABAA modulators; to evaluate fundamental differences in the behavioral effects of drugs that act at different modulatory sites on GABAA receptors; to understand dependence-induced changes in GABAA receptor function; to determine whether novel GABAA modulators might be useful pharmacotherapies for ethanol abuse; and to assess the applicability of receptor theory for interpreting behavioral effects of GABAA modulators.