John R. Traynor, Ph.D.

Michigan Neuroscience Institute Affiliate
Edward F Domino Research Professor of Pharmacology
Professor of Pharmacology
Professor of Medicinal Chemistry

Medical Science Research Building III (MSRB III)
1136 Catherine St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Office - A220C, Lab - A240



Dr. Traynor is the current president of the International Narcotics Research Conference and the former Director of the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center. He also serves as the Head of the Pharmacology Graduate Program at the University of Michigan. He is a principal investigator of a National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded training grant focused on the biology of drug abuse.

Before joining the University of Michigan, Dr. Traynor earned degrees in Pharmacy (B.S.) and Medicinal Chemistry (Ph.D.), both from the University of Aston in the United Kingdom. His postdoctoral training focused on Biochemical Pharmacology at the University of Gottingen in Germany. For over 25 years, Dr. Traynor’s research has focused on opioids and includes structure-activity relationships, signaling, and behavior. He has trained more than 25 Ph.D. students and ten postdoctoral fellows, as well as many Masters and Undergraduate students. More recently, his attention has focused on a specific family of intracellular proteins (RGS proteins) that act as negative regulators of neurotransmitters such as endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. The long-term aim of these studies is to identify novel targets and medications to treat pain, drug dependence, and depression.

Areas of Interest

Strong analgesic drugs such as morphine are extremely important for the treatment of pain and the medical and social consequences of opiate (heroin) addiction. The Traynor lab uses in vitro and in vivo models to characterize the mechanism of action of these drugs.


  • Ph.D., Medicinal Chemistry, University of Aston, U.K.
  • B.S., Pharmacy, University of Aston, U.K.
  • Post-doctoral training - Biochemical Pharmacology, University of Gottingen, Germany

Published Articles or Reviews

  • A complete list of publications is available from PubMed.

Web Sites