Gregory Collins, Ph. D.

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Pharmacology
University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Office: 210-567-4199

Research Interests

• drug abuse • synthetic cathinones
• dopamine systems • self-administration
• drug discrimination                     • behavioral pharmacology

Research Activities

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

Appointments, Boards, Committees and Memberships

Councilor – Behavioral Pharmacology Division of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET)

Lectures and Presentations

Interdepartmental Drugs of Abuse Seminar Series – 2018
University of Michigan
Abuse-related effects of synthetic cathinones and “bath salts” mixtures

ASPET Annual Meeting – 2018
Symposium: “Bath Salts”: the ever-changing landscape of synthetic cathinones
Reinforcing effects of novel synthetic cathinones and there mixtures

Intramural Research Program Seminar Series – 2018
National Institutes on Drug Abuse
Abuse-related effects of synthetic cathinones and “bath salts” mixtures

Neuroscience Seminar Series – 2017
Trinity University
Designer drugs of abuse: reinforcing and toxic effects of “bath salts”

Department of Pharmacology Seminar Series – 2016
University of Arkansas Medical School
Abuse-related effects of “bath salts” mixtures: studies with MDPV, methylone, and caffeine

Selected Publications

  • Collins GT, Gerak LR, France CP (2017) The behavioral pharmacology and therapeutic potential of lorcaserin for treating substance use disorders Neuropharmacology (in press)
  • Gannon BM, Sulima A, Rice KC, Collins GT (2017) Inhibition of cocaine and 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) self-administration by lorcaserin is mediated by 5-HT2C receptors in rats J Pharmacol Exp Ther. (in press)
  • Gannon BM, Galindo KI, Mesmin MP, Sulima A, Rice KC, Collins GT (2017) Relative reinforcing effects of second-generation synthetic cathinones: acquisition of self-administration and fixed ratio dose-response curves in rats Neuropharmacology (in press)
  • Gannon BM, Galindo KI, Mesmin MP, Rice KC, Collins GT (2017) Reinforcing effects of binary mixtures of common bath salts constituents: studies with 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), 3,4-methylenedioxymethcathinone (methylone), and caffeine in rats Neuropsychopharmacology (in press)
  • Gannon BM, Galindo KI, Rice KC, Collins GT (2017) Individual differences in the relative reinforcing effects of 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) under fixed and progressive ratio schedules of reinforcement in rats J Pharmacol Exp Ther. Apr;361(1):181-189 PMID: 28179474


Research Group

Brenda Gannon, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow

Rachel DeSantis, Research Assistant

Robert Seaman, IBMS Graduate Student

Melson Mesmin, Student Associate II