Venetia Zachariou, PhD

Professor, Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics

Venetia Zachariou


Venetia Zachariou, PhD studies signal transduction and epigenetic mechanisms of neurological disorders and their treatment using genetic mouse models, genomic assays and brain biochemistry. Her projects have investigated transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms of chronic pain with emphasis on the identification and validation of novel treatments for the management of peripheral neuropathy and other chronic pain conditions. Another line of research in her laboratory investigates the role of G protein signal transduction complexes in drug addiction, opioid analgesia and physical dependence. By understanding intracellular adaptations to peripheral nerve injury and/or prolonged opioid exposure she aims to develop novel therapeutics for chronic pain conditions and pain/addiction comorbidities. Her team has identified several intracellular pathways that control the perception and the maintenance of chronic pain states. They also have developed novel interventions in epigenetic pathways that allow transitioning to non-opioid analgesics while preventing the development of physical dependence.

Dr. Zachariou received her BSc in pharmacy from the University of Patras, Greece, and her PhD in pharmacology from the Medical College of Georgia. Following a postdoctoral fellowship in the department of psychiatry at Yale University and a junior faculty position at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, she established her laboratory at the University of Crete School of Medicine. In 2012, she joined the departments of neuroscience and pharmacological sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York as an associate professor (with tenure since 2016), and as full professor (since 2018).

Dr. Zachariou is a member of the editorial boards of Biological Psychiatry, Molecular Pain, Science Signaling, Neurobiology of Pain, section editor for European Journal of Neuroscience, and member of the NIH MCNP study section. She is a Fellow in the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and Chair elect for the ASPET Neuropharmacology Division.

Other Positions

  • Chair, Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics, Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine


  • Medical College of Georgia, PhD
  • University of Patras, BSc


  • Published on 2/8/2023

    Lai A, Iliff D, Zaheer K, Wang D, Gansau J, Laudier DM, Zachariou V, Iatridis JC. Spinal Cord Sensitization and Spinal Inflammation from an In Vivo Rat Endplate Injury Associated with Painful Intervertebral Disc Degeneration. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Feb 08; 24(4). PMID: 36834838.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/30/2022

    Sakloth F, Sanchez-Reyes OB, Ruiz A, Nicolais A, Serafini RA, Pryce KD, Bertherat F, Torres-Berrío A, Gomes I, Devi LA, Wacker D, Zachariou V. A Regional and Projection-Specific Role of RGSz1 in the Ventrolateral Periaqueductal Grey in the Modulation of Morphine Reward. Mol Pharmacol. 2023 Jan; 103(1):1-8. PMID: 36310031.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/28/2022

    Frere JJ, Serafini RA, Pryce KD, Zazhytska M, Oishi K, Golynker I, Panis M, Zimering J, Horiuchi S, Hoagland DA, Møller R, Ruiz A, Kodra A, Overdevest JB, Canoll PD, Borczuk AC, Chandar V, Bram Y, Schwartz R, Lomvardas S, Zachariou V, tenOever BR. SARS-CoV-2 infection in hamsters and humans results in lasting and unique systemic perturbations after recovery. Sci Transl Med. 2022 Sep 28; 14(664):eabq3059. PMID: 35857629.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/19/2022

    Serafini RA, Frere JJ, Zimering J, Giosan IM, Pryce KD, Golynker I, Panis M, Ruiz A, tenOever B, Zachariou V. SARS-CoV-2 Airway Infection Results in Time-dependent Sensory Abnormalities in a Hamster Model. bioRxiv. 2022 Aug 19. PMID: 36032984.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/5/2022

    Williams AV, Peña CJ, Ramos-Maciel S, Laman-Maharg A, Ordoñez-Sanchez E, Britton M, Durbin-Johnson B, Settles M, Hao R, Yokoyama S, Xu C, Luo PX, Dwyer T, Bhela S, Black AM, Labonté B, Serafini RA, Ruiz A, Neve RL, Zachariou V, Nestler EJ, Trainor BC. Comparative Transcriptional Analyses in the Nucleus Accumbens Identifies RGS2 as a Key Mediator of Depression-Related Behavior. Biol Psychiatry. 2022 Dec 15; 92(12):942-951. PMID: 36075764.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/18/2021

    Pryce KD, Kang HJ, Sakloth F, Liu Y, Khan S, Toth K, Kapoor A, Nicolais A, Che T, Qin L, Bertherat F, Kaniskan HÜ, Jin J, Cameron MD, Roth BL, Zachariou V, Filizola M. A promising chemical series of positive allosteric modulators of the µ-opioid receptor that enhance the antinociceptive efficacy of opioids but not their adverse effects. Neuropharmacology. 2021 09 01; 195:108673. PMID: 34153316.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/30/2020

    Sakloth F, Polizu C, Bertherat F, Zachariou V. Regulators of G Protein Signaling in Analgesia and Addiction. Mol Pharmacol. 2020 12; 98(6):739-750. PMID: 32474445.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/9/2020

    Sakloth F, Manouras L, Avrampou K, Mitsi V, Serafini RA, Pryce KD, Cogliani V, Berton O, Jarpe M, Zachariou V. HDAC6-selective inhibitors decrease nerve-injury and inflammation-associated mechanical hypersensitivity in mice. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2020 Jul; 237(7):2139-2149. PMID: 32388618.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/1/2020

    Zhou X, Wahane S, Friedl MS, Kluge M, Friedel CC, Avrampou K, Zachariou V, Guo L, Zhang B, He X, Friedel RH, Zou H. Microglia and macrophages promote corralling, wound compaction and recovery after spinal cord injury via Plexin-B2. Nat Neurosci. 2020 03; 23(3):337-350. PMID: 32112058.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2020

    Serafini RA, Pryce KD, Zachariou V. The Mesolimbic Dopamine System in Chronic Pain and Associated Affective Comorbidities. Biol Psychiatry. 2020 01 01; 87(1):64-73. PMID: 31806085.

    Read at: PubMed

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