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Current Research

Current Projects

  • We have filed multiple patents involving new chemical entities as treatments for chronic health disorders (i.e., addiction, mental health disorders, and cancer).
  • Our clinical studies have evaluated the safety and efficacy of a novel medication to suppress the effects of cocaine in human subjects.
  • We are currently investigating the first allosteric modulators of serotonin 5-HT2c receptors as treatments for addiction and mental health disorders. The first peptide nanofiber-based delivery platform has been pioneered for anti-addiction vaccines.
  • The efficacy of new non-catechol dopamine D1 receptor agonists is being evaluated in the context of addiction and schizophrenia.

Current Interest

  • The pharmacological mechanisms of action for alcohol, psychostimulants, opiates, and palatable, high-fat food.
  • The neurocircuitry underlying reward processing and the circuit changes associated with substance use disorders and relapse.
  • Functional imaging and blood biomarkers of addiction.
  • Immunology associated with vaccines as therapeutics for addiction.
  • Genetics, gene expression, and epigenetics associated with substance use and related disorders.
  • The chemical, genomic, functional, and anatomical properties of adhesion proteins, ion channels, G protein-coupled receptors, transporters, and transcription factors that are involved in neurotransmission.
  • The connection between viral infections (e.g., HIV), addiction, and mental health.
  • Neurodegenerative mechanisms associated with methamphetamine and viral exposure.
  • The effects of neurodegeneration, alcohol, and cocaine on neural stem cells.
  • Pharmacokinetics/ pharmacodynamics of opiates and other psychotropics in pregnancy.