Associate Scientist, Chief of Addiction Biology Unit, Molecular Targets and Medications Discovery Branch
Intramural Research Program
NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE, NIH
Phone: 443-740-2517 (Office), 443-668-3711 (Cell)
I am an Associate Scientist, Chief of Addiction Biology Unit, Molecular Targets and Medications Discovery Branch, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Intramural Research Program (IRP). In the past 30 years, my research has been focused on brain mechanisms underlying drug reward and addiction and on mechanism-based medication development for treatment of addiction. The major expertise is regarding behavioral pharmacology, neurochemistry and optogenetics. Rat and mouse self-administration, neuroimaging, optogenetics, and in vivo microdialysis with HPLC are the core experimental techniques in the lab. The major findings include: 1) the classical inhibitory neurotransmitter receptor – GABAA receptor may also act as an excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain in some cases in the 1990s; 2) identification of mGluR2 as a major glutamate autoreceptor modulating presynaptic glutamate release in the 2000s; 3) discovery of brain cannabinoid CB2 receptor as a new potential target in medication development for treatment of addiction in the 2010s; and 4) identification of several addiction-related biomarkers (reduced D3 receptor or mGluR2 availability, polymorphisms at the T394 phosphorylation site of mu opioid receptor) in recent studies. This research work has led to over 100 publications, including many of them published in such high-impact journals as Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Neuroscience, Cell Reports, PNAS, Neuropsychopharmacology, Journal of Neuroscience, etc. They are cited by over 4000 with 38 H-index and 60 i10-index research papers. Some of them are reported by such news media and magazines as Discovery, Time etc.