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Directed by Scott E. Lukas, Ph.D., the Behavioral Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory (BPRL) is a clinical research laboratory focused on exploring the neurobiological bases of drug and alcohol-induced reward, and on developing new medications and treatments for drug and alcohol abuse. The laboratory was established by Dr. Lukas in 1995 and has a multidisciplinary staff of pharmacologists, clinical and research psychologists, psychiatrists, and imaging experts. The clinical staff members are certified for treating substance abuse disorders. Studies employ the use of magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy (MRI/MRS), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), acquisition and analysis of brain electrical activity (EEG), pharmacokinetic and physiological measurements, ecological assessments of drug use, and subjective assessments of mood and cue-induced cravings. The laboratory has an active program in the assessment of alternative medications to treat drug abuse. In collaboration with the BioOrganic and Natural Products Laboratory, led by David Y-W. Lee, we test the alcohol-reducing capabilities of the herbal root kudzu and its components. The laboratory also has an active program in assessing electrical stimulation and electric acupuncture techniques for their ability to alter drug use and reduce cravings.

Click here to learn more about the research and training opportunities at BPRL.