The Laboratory of Addictive Disorders Identifies New Approach to Block Binge Eating

October 7th, 2016 in Recent News

A new article published in Neuropsychopharmacology announces the discovery of a new therapeutic target to block binge eating by researchers in the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders (LAD). The research of Drs. Pietro Cottone and Valentina Sabino, directors and co-principal investigators of the LAD, is focused on unraveling the neurobiological mechanisms of motivated behaviors, such as drug addiction, stress-related disorders, and depression. The study provides new hope to approximately 15 million people who suffer from binge eating, obesity, and other eating disorders.

Alissa Frame Receives Best Poster Award at the AHA Council on Hypertension 2016 Scientific Sessions

October 6th, 2016 in Student Spotlight

Alissa Frame received the Best Poster Award at the American Heart Association’s Council on Hypertension 2016 Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida, September 14 – 17, 2016. Alissa’s poster, “Impaired Central, Renal, and Blood Pressure Responses to Alterations in Fluid and Electrolyte Homeostasis in Aged Sprague-Dawley Rats,” was selected from over 600 posters, which is quite a feat for her first poster presentation at a national meeting.

Alissa is an M.D., Ph.D. graduate student in the NIGMS sponsored training program in Bimolecular Pharmacology and is conducting her predoctoral research on the neural and renal mechanisms regulating blood pressure in the Laboratory for Cardiovascular Renal Research under the mentorship of Richard D. Wainford, Ph.D.

Congratulations to Alissa!

Incoming Dana-Farber President Laurie Glimcher discusses the State of Cancer Research on WBUR

October 6th, 2016 in Recent News

Dr. Laurie Glimcher, incoming President and CEO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, spoke to WBUR’s CommonHealth regarding the Future of Cancer Research.

Price S. Blair, Ph.D., Receives Edward A. Polloway Award

May 11th, 2016 in Alumni Spotlight

Congratulations to Price S. Blair, Ph.D., has who received the Edward A. Polloway Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching at Lynchburg College.  Dr. Blair, shown with his wife Beverly, is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Biology and Biomedical Science, the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, and Physician Assistant in Medicine Program.  He received his Ph.D. in 2008 from the Program in Bimolecular Pharmacology under the mentorship of Jane E. Freedman, M.D.  His current research focuses on the role that platelets play in the processes of hemostasis, thrombosis, and inflammation.

2016 BUSM Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology Ph.D. and M.D., Ph.D. Graduating Class

May 11th, 2016 in Recent News

Congratulations to our 2016 Program in Bimolecular Pharmacology Ph.D. and M.D., Ph.D. graduating class. Well done!

BoonPhoto on 5-22-14 at 3.24 PMYvette Joon Ying Boon, Ph.D.


Benjamin Wolozin, M.D., Ph.D., Advisor


Carmichael Image_2Casey Yumi Carmichael, Ph.D.


Richard D. Wainford, Ph.D., Advisor



Cogswell Image

Meaghan Cogswell, Ph.D.


Shelley J. Russek, Ph.D., Advisor


Cox ImageKelli Ellen Cox, Ph.D.


Rachel L. Flynn, Ph.D. Advisor


DiMauro ImageAudrey Joern Dimauro, M.D., Ph.D.


Howard Eichenbaum, Ph.D., Advisor


Slide1Andrew Ferree, M.D., Ph.D.


Benjamin Wolozin, M.D., Ph.D.



Kristin Elizabeth Hokenson, Ph.D.


Shelley J. Russek, Ph.D., Advisor


Shenk 2016 April-05 Med Powerpoint_AnnouncementElizabeth Marie Shenk, Ph.D.


Neil J. Ganem, Ph.D., Advisor


K. Sugunan

Kavitha Sugunan, Ph.D.


David H. Farb, Ph.D., Advisor


Walsh ImageKathryn R. Walsh, Ph.D.


Richard D. Wainford, Ph.D., Advisor

Neema Yazdani Receives NIDA NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship Award

March 18th, 2016 in Recent News

Neema Yazdani, a Ph.D. graduate student in the Program in Bimolecular Pharmacology at Boston University, has been awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) from National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health. The title of his proposal is “Functional mechanisms of Hnrnph1 in methamphetamine addictive behaviors.” His training under this award includes characterizing differences in methamphetamine (MA) reward and volitional administration in Hnrnph1+/- mice through behavioral assessments including conditioned place preference (CPP) and operant oral self-administration. He will also investigate the neurobiological mechanisms underlying reduced MA sensitivity and reward in my Hnrnph1+/- mice using brain tissue immunohistochemistry, RNA-seq, and in vivo micro dialysis.

Neema is co-sponsored for the award by Camron D. Bryant, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry and Director of the Laboratory of Addiction Genetics and Benjamin Wolozin, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology and Director of the Laboratory of Neurodegeneration. Neema will spend the upcoming summer training in operant oral self-administration and in vivo microdialysis in the laboratory of Karen K. Szumlinski, Ph.D., at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Kudos to Neema on receiving this prestigious and highly competitive predoctoral fellowship award!

Catherine Moore and Mariel Seiglie Receive Graduate Student Travel Awards from ASPET for the 2016 Experimental Biology Meeting

March 4th, 2016 in Recent News


Catherine “Cassie” Moore and Mariel Seiglie, both Ph.D. graduate students in the Graduate Program for Neuroscience/Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology, have been selected to receive Graduate Student Travel Awards from the American Society of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET). In addition to covering registration fees for the Experimental Biology 2016 meeting, Cassie and Mariel will each receive $1,000 to cover their travel expenses to San Diego. The awards will be presented at the EB 2016 meeting. This important annual meeting hosts over 14,000 scientists and exhibitors representing six sponsoring societies and several guest societies. As this meeting is an important showcase for Ph.D. graduate students’ research, the ASPET Travel Award is highly prized.

Both Cassie and Mariel conduct their graduate research in the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders (LAD). Cassie, who is mentored by LAD Co-Director, Pietro Cottone, Ph.D., is investigating how overeating sugar-rich foods may affect mesolimbic dopaminergic reward. Her poster will show how a history of overconsumption of palatable food alters sensitivity to the rewarding and stimulatory effects of amphetamine-like drugs in a phase dependent manner (i.e. during palatable food access and withdrawal).

Mariel is mentored by LAD Co-Director Valentina Sabino, Ph.D. Her graduate research focuses on neuropeptide systems, specifically PACAP-PAC1R, which are involved in medicating the stress response towards acute chronic stressors. Her poster will demonstrate how intra-CeA and intra-BNST PACAP microinfusions can effect stress-like behavior and how the PACAP receptor, PAC1R, is responsible for mediating these effects.

Drs. Cottone and Sabino are internationally renowned for their research on addictive behaviors. The research conducted in the LAD provides important new insights in addictive behavior, especially in overeating and drug addiction. Their work holds great promise in developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of addictive behaviors. Please visit the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders website for more information.

Congratulations, Cassie and Mariel!

Rebecca Benham Vautour Selected for ASPET Washington Fellows Program

March 4th, 2016 in Alumni Spotlight







Congratulations to Rebecca Benham Vautour, Ph.D., on being selected for the ASPET Washington Fellows Program [HPA]. Dr. Benham Vautour, a post-doctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Genetic Neuropharmacology at McLean Hospital, is one of 10 selected from across the U.S. to participate in this program. She graduated from with a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Neuroscience from the Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology at Boston University School of Medicine in 2012. As a graduate student in the Laboratory of Translational Epilepsy under the mentorship of Dr. Shelley J. Russek, Dr. Benham Vautour’s graduate research thesis was on bdnfAND jak/stat: Partners in Seizure-Induced GABA-A Receptor Down Regulation.” Her research at McLean’s focuses on the role of GABA-A in depression.

Profile on Dr. Neil Ganem’s Research: “Every Cell Has a Story”

January 14th, 2016 in Recent News

Told in stunning cell images and videos, “Every Cell Has a Story” chronicles the career development of Neil J. Ganem, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics and Medicine, Section of Hematology and Medical Oncology, at Boston University School of Medicine. The article follows Neil’s rise from Dartmouth as young graduate student scientist making a momentous, life-changing decision on his research focus to a rising junior cancer biology/pharmacology investigator and director of the Laboratory of Cancer Cell Biology in the Cancer Center at BUSM.

Please visit Dr. Ganem’s Laboratory of Cancer Cell Biology website for more information on his research.

Laboratory of Addiction Genetics Makes Important Discovery in Methamphetamine Addiction

December 11th, 2015 in Recent News reported that researchers in the Laboratory of Addiction Genetics in the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics and Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine have identified a gene that may be linked to methamphetamine addiction. The article, “Hnrnph1 is a Quantative Trait Gene for Methamphetamine Sensitivity”Hnrnph1 is a Quantative Trait Gene for Methamphetamine Sensitivity” in PLOS Genetics. The article’s first author, Neema Yazdani, a Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology Ph.D. graduate student, is currently conducting his doctoral research work in the Laboratory of Addiction Genetics under the mentorship of Laboratory Director and Principal Investigator, Camron D. Bryant, Ph.D., who is the senior and corresponding author on the paper. Dr. Bryant’s research focuses on the genetic basis of behaviorial and molecular traits in substance abuse with the goal of discovering novel psychotherapeutics to treat addictive disorders. For more on this research, please visit the Laboratory of Addiction Genetics website.