Behavioral and Neuropharmacology

Research within the disciplines of Behavioral and Neuropharmacology is motivated by the goal of developing a deep, mechanistic understanding of the receptor-mediated signaling pathways and circuits underlying a broad range of behaviors and pharmacological actions in the nervous system. This knowledge is required for the development of safe and effective therapeutic agents for complex neurological disorders. Experimental work is conducted using a variety of biochemical, electrophysiological, imaging, and in vivo approaches in model systems that range from mice to zebrafish.


RESEARCH FOCUS: Structure activity relationships of novel opioid compounds, novel rescue therapies, opioid maintenance therapies, new analgesics with reduced abuse potential.

RESEARCH FOCUS: Opioid signaling, pain, electrophysiology.

RESEARCH FOCUS: Striaum; glutamatergic plasticity; receptor trafficking; behavioral pharmacology; addiction; obesity.

RESEARCH FOCUS: Mechanism of action of amphetamine at the dopamine transporter; substrate and protein kinase effects on transporter trafficking; drugs to stop effects of amphetamine.

RESEARCH FOCUS: Electrophysiology, glucose homeostasis, hypothalamus.

Research Focus: RNA therapeutics, RNA splicing, antisense oligonucleotides, rare disease, genetics, inflammation, Usher syndrome, cystic fibrosis, Batten disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease

RESEARCH FOCUS: Mechanisms of epileptic encephalopathy and cardiac arrhythmias linked to mutations in voltage-gated sodium channel genes; mechanisms of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP); ion channel structure and function; transgenic mouse models of neurological and cardiac disease; patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell neurons and cardiac myocytes.

RESEARCH FOCUS: Cellular and molecular neuroscience, Neuropsychiatric disease mechanisms, Bipolar disorder, Protein trafficking, Palmitoylation, Epithelial cell biology,Membrane structure, Mouse models, Electrophysiology.

RESEARCH FOCUS: Schizophrenia; Depression, Glutamate signaling, GABAergic interneurons, Fast-Spiking Interneurons, Patch-Clamp Electrophysiology, Behavior, NMDA receptors.

RESEARCH FOCUS: Opioids; Psychiatric Disease; Depression; Substance Abuse.

RESEARCH FOCUS: Neurotransmitters, insulin, metabolomics.

RESEARCH FOCUS: Opioids, brainstem circuits, synaptic physiology, breathing, circuit mapping, electrophysiology

RESEARCH FOCUS: GPCR trafficking and signaling, opioid, drug addiction.

RESEARCH FOCUS: Cellular and molecular basis of Type 2 diabetes; ER stress and protein folding diseases; metabolic regulation of ion channel activity; optical methods; drug discovery in diabetes; synaptic transmission and metabolic health of neurons after brain trauma, models of cell function and signaling.

RESEARCH FOCUS: Adaptation of state-of-the-art organic chemistry techniques (including SPOS) for radiochemical applications, microwave mediated radiochemistry, development of multi-modality biomarkers for PET-MRI.

RESEARCH FOCUS: G proteins; G protein coupled-receptors; Cell Signaling Pathways; Drug Discovery; Cardiac Hypertrophy; Innate Immune Cell Regulation; Phosphatidylinositol, Calcium, and Protein kinase Signaling.

RESEARCH FOCUS: Mechanisms of action of addictive drugs. To provide medications for pain relief and the treatment of addictions.

RESEARCH FOCUS: Neurotoxicology, neuropharmacology/neurophysiology and neurological disorders.