Molecular Basis of Addictive Drug Action

Course Number: 
PHCOL 534
Course Type: 
Elective
Currently Offered: 
Yes
Credits: 
2
Quarter: 
Autumn
Location: 
UW
Instructor (MCB Faculty): 
Chavkin, Charles
Course Description: 

Advanced consideration and discussion of current literature addressing the basis of opiate, psychostimulant, and cannabinoid effects on signal transduction events, electrical activity of neurons, and drip-motivated behaviors in animal models of human drug abuse.

Learning Objectives: 

The class format starts with an introduction by the instructor followed by a discussion of the papers listed. Students are expected to have read the papers beforehand, and come to class prepared to discuss the methods, experimental design, and principal conclusion of the assigned papers. The course is designed to enhance the critical reading skills of the students and to familiarize the students with the strengths and limits of the key techniques in this research area.

Course requirements, examinations and grading: 

Course Web Site: http://depts.washington.edu/nidactr/phcol_534.html

Sample Schedule:

Week Topic
  1 Cannabinoids and addictive drugs: neuronal populations
  2 Striatal dopamine D2 receptors and addiction
  3 Endocannabinoid synthesis, signal transduction
  4 Plasticity associated with withdrawal and craving
  5 Drug-induced plasticity in dopamine neurons
  6 Striatal circuitry and drug-seeking
  7 Neurochemical changes associated with escalated and compulsive drug use
  8 Serotonin receptors & Hallucinogens
  9 Stress potentiation of addiction risk
 10 Cannabinoids and drug addiction: molecular details
Areas of Interest: 
Neuroscience
Elective Area: 
Neuroscience