Our research programs are investigating the pharmacological and behavioral mechanisms that underlie substance misuse and disorders, particularly sedative-anxiolytic, opioid and stimulant addiction. To investigate the relationships of behavior and pharmacology in addiction, we employ in vivo techniques, ranging from intravenous drug self-administration to quantitative observation techniques, as well as telemetry technology (e.g., EEG recordings) and complex behavioral processes. A key component of our research program is translational drug discovery to provide important information for discovery and development of anti-addiction, anxiolytic, and sleep-aid medications. Our drug discovery efforts involve collaborations with both academic and industry partners, including medicinal chemists and molecular/cellular biologists.
Our research is supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grants as well as ongoing industry and intramural support. Our program that investigates anxiolytic effects and abuse of benzodiazepines (Valium-like drugs) has been active since 1998 and is now focused on discovery of treatments for benzodiazepine misuse/use disorders.