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 principle investigator of a National Institute on Drug Abuse funded training grant focused on the biology of drug abuse. Prior to 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 post-doctoral 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 areas such as structure-activity relationships, signaling and behavior. He has trained more than 25 PhD students and 10 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 both for the treatment of pain and for the medical and social consequences of opiate (heroin) addiction. The laboratory 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.
Biochemical Pharmacology, University of Gottingen, Germany