Vidhya D. Kumaresan, PhD

Assistant Professor, Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics

Vidhya Kumaresan
72 E. Concord St Building A


Dr. Kumaresan’s expertise is in behavioral neuropharmacology. Dr. Kumaresan studies the neurobiological underpinnings of addiction using cellular, molecular and behavioral methods. The overall research objective is to study neuronal activity-dependent plasticity and its relevance for brain disorders. The current focus is to understand the neurobiological bases of addiction to psychostimulants. Recidivism to drug abuse is a major hurdle in the successful treatment of addiction. Illicit drug use usurps neural circuits involved in survival enhancing behaviors. The goal is to elucidate the cellular and molecular underpinnings of drug-induced enduring neural plasticity in these circuits using a combination of behavioral, cellular and molecular approaches. In particular, Dr. Kumaresan employs a novel approach of using cell-permeable peptides that disrupt protein-protein interactions in vivo in order to study ongoing behavior. These approaches are expected to lead to successful treatment of relapse precipitated by drug re-exposure, drug-associated cues and stress. Knowledge gained from these studies will also be applicable to the treatment of other brain dysfunctions involving persistent memories such as PTSD. Research techniques used include: immunocytochemistry, western blots, operant conditioning methods and site-specific intracranial microinjections of pharmacological reagents, viral vectors encoding specific constructs designed to interfere with protein-protein interactions and cell permeable peptides.


  • University of Rhode Island, PhD
  • University of Rhode Island, MS
  • University of Madras, BS

Classes Taught

  • GMSPM701
  • GMSPM702
  • GMSPM730
  • GMSPM881


  • Published on 5/5/2023

    Kumaresan V, Lim Y, Juneja P, Tipton AE, de Guglielmo G, Carrette LLG, Kallupi M, Maturin L, Liu Y, George O, Zhang H. Abstinence from Escalation of Cocaine Intake Changes the microRNA Landscape in the Cortico-Accumbal Pathway. Biomedicines. 2023 May 05; 11(5). PMID: 37239038.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/1/2021

    Ratner MH, Downing SS, Guo O, Odamah KE, Stewart TM, Kumaresan V, Robitsek RJ, Xia W, Farb DH. Prodromal dysfunction of a5GABA-A receptor modulated hippocampal ripples occurs prior to neurodegeneration in the TgF344-AD rat model of Alzheimer's disease. Heliyon. 2021 Sep; 7(9):e07895. PMID: 34568591.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/17/2020

    Moazzam M, Yim T, Kumaresan V, Henderson DC, Farrer LA, Zhang H. Analysis of telomere length variation and Shelterin complex subunit gene expression changes in ethanol-exposed human embryonic stem cells. J Psychiatr Res. 2021 11; 143:543-549. PMID: 33243459.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/9/2019

    Ratner MH, Kumaresan V, Farb DH. Neurosteroid Actions in Memory and Neurologic/Neuropsychiatric Disorders. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2019; 10:169. PMID: 31024441.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/1/2010

    Sadri-Vakili G, Kumaresan V, Schmidt HD, Famous KR, Chawla P, Vassoler FM, Overland RP, Xia E, Bass CE, Terwilliger EF, Pierce RC, Cha JH. Cocaine-induced chromatin remodeling increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor transcription in the rat medial prefrontal cortex, which alters the reinforcing efficacy of cocaine. J Neurosci. 2010 Sep 1; 30(35):11735-44. PMID: 20810894.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/5/2009

    Kumaresan V, Yuan M, Yee J, Famous KR, Anderson SM, Schmidt HD, Pierce RC. Metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) antagonists attenuate cocaine priming- and cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking. Behav Brain Res. 2009 Sep 14; 202(2):238-44. PMID: 19463707.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/22/2008

    Famous KR, Kumaresan V, Sadri-Vakili G, Schmidt HD, Mierke DF, Cha JH, Pierce RC. Phosphorylation-dependent trafficking of GluR2-containing AMPA receptors in the nucleus accumbens plays a critical role in the reinstatement of cocaine seeking. J Neurosci. 2008 Oct 22; 28(43):11061-70. PMID: 18945913.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/17/2008

    Anderson SM, Famous KR, Sadri-Vakili G, Kumaresan V, Schmidt HD, Bass CE, Terwilliger EF, Cha JH, Pierce RC. CaMKII: a biochemical bridge linking accumbens dopamine and glutamate systems in cocaine seeking. Nat Neurosci. 2008 Mar; 11(3):344-53. PMID: 18278040.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/5/2005

    Schmidt HD, Anderson SM, Famous KR, Kumaresan V, Pierce RC. Anatomy and pharmacology of cocaine priming-induced reinstatement of drug seeking. Eur J Pharmacol. 2005 Dec 5; 526(1-3):65-76. PMID: 16321382.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/11/2005

    Pierce RC, Kumaresan V. The mesolimbic dopamine system: the final common pathway for the reinforcing effect of drugs of abuse? Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2006; 30(2):215-38. PMID: 16099045.

    Read at: PubMed

View 1 more publications: View full profile at BUMC

View all profiles