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McLean researchers

Preclinical Pharmacology Program

This laboratory is committed to studies of the behavioral effects of therapeutic and recreational drugs. Our research translates from the bench to (nearly) the bedside.

We work with both established drugs and new compounds that are either scientific tools or have been developed with a therapeutic goal in mind.

Most recently, much of our focus has been on drug addiction. We aim to better understand the reinforcing effects of drugs that contribute to addiction and also develop medications for managing drug dependence.

Our investigations deal with various classes of drugs. Our preclinical approach enables us to explore the effects of recreational drugs and potential new medications on the brain and behavior. For example, we study the ways that drug use impairs or enhances subjects’ performance on cognitive tasks relating to learning, memory, vigilance, and impulsivity. Our medications-related work is designed to evaluate both the potential benefits of new therapies as well as the impairments that can result from their use.

The Preclinical Pharmacology Program was founded in 1997.

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