Wouter Koek, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology
Alcohol and Drug Addiction Division,
UTHCSA Department of Psychiatry
Ph.D., University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
drug abuse, alcohol, GHB, prescription drugs, drug discovery, antidepressants, behavioral pharmacology, drug discrimination
Dr. Koek's laboratory uses animal models aimed at aiding the development of medications for substance abuse. The models involve behavioral effects that range from directly observable (e.g., drug-induced motor impairment) to effects examined by operant conditioning procedures (e.g., discriminative stimulus effects, which are related to subjective drug effects in humans). The models are used mainly to examine the effects of alcohol and drugs of abuse such as the "club drug" gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and prescription opioids. The laboratory examines how genetic factors, developmental factors, and their interaction influence vulnerability to drug abuse. This research, which is supported by NIH, NIAAA, and NARSAD, is aimed at contributing to the development of effective, scientifically based approaches to the prevention and treatment of drug abuse and other psychiatric disorders. In addition to research, Dr. Koek is invested in student education in the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry. His educational efforts draw on his extensive experience with pharmaceutical drug discovery research.