University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor, Michigan
| drug abuse|| synthetic cathinones|
| dopamine systems|| self-administration|
| drug discrimination|| behavioral pharmacology|
Research in my laboratory is broadly aimed at investigating the determinants of drug-taking and drug-seeking behaviors. Accordingly, we utilize intravenous self-administration procedures to assess the degree to which factors such as age, diet, sex, and drug history influence (1) the acquisition of drug-taking, (2) the reinforcing effectiveness of drugs, and (3) the effectiveness of drug-associated stimuli to promote responding during periods in which the drug is no longer available. In addition to drug self-administration, we also utilize drug-discrimination procedures and radio-telemetric assessments of drug-induced changes in observable behavior, cardiovascular activity, body temperature, and locomotor activity in order to better characterize the pharmacologic profile of both drugs of abuse and candidate medications for the treatment of substance abuse.
Current research is focused on characterizing the abuse-related and toxic effects of synthetic cathinones (e.g., MDPV and methylone), an emerging class of abused drugs commonly referred to as “bath salts”. Through the use of quantitative approaches, these studies are also aimed at determining whether the discriminative stimulus, reinforcing and cardiovascular effects of synthetic cathinones are enhanced when they are administered in combination with another cathinone, or other common “bath salts” constituents.
Accomplishments, Awards, and Honors
American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Travel Award – 2013
International Study Group Investigating Drugs as Reinforcers (ISGIDAR) – Best Paper Award - 2010
ASPET; Behavioral Pharmacology Division – Post-doctoral Scientist Award - 2010
ASPET – Young Scientist Travel Award - 2010
ASPET; Behavioral Pharmacology Division – Post-Doctoral Scientist Award - 2009
Lectures and Presentations
Department of Pharmacology Seminar Series - 2014
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
‘The dynamic nature of dopamine D2 and D3 receptors and vulnerability to drug abuse’
Texas Research Society on Alcoholism Annual Meeting - 2014
‘Conditioned reinforcing effects of drug-paired stimuli. Presented as part of Symposium: Factors impacting vulnerability to abuse drugs: preclinical models’
Behavior, Biology and Chemistry: Translation Research in Addiction Annual Meeting - 2014
‘Dopaminergic regulation of conditioned reinforcement: Impact of drug-taking history’
Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Seminar Series - 2012
Louisiana State University Health Science Center
'Understanding dopamine D3 and D2 receptor-mediated behavioral effects: Implications for drug development, drug abuse, and behavioral addictions'
ASPET Annual Meeting - Symposium Chair - Pharmacokinetic approaches to the treatment of drug abuse - 2011
'Preclinical evaluation of cocaine esterases (CocE) for the treatment of cocaine overdose and addiction'
First International Conference on Yawning - Paris, France - 2010
'The Neuropharmacology of Yawning'
National Institutes on Drug Abuse-Intramural Research Program Seminar Series - 2010
'Cocaine-induced changes in Dopamine D3 and D2 receptor-mediated behavioral effects: Implications for drug and behavioral addictions'