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Dr. Khalid Benamar

Khalid, Benamar, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience

Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology, University of Seville, Spain

Office:  5C169       
Lab:  5C180 and 5C128

Phone: 743-3570


Area of Study | Research Statement | Current Funding | Publications

Area of Study

Pharmacology of the analgesic and abuse-related effects of opioids. Neurobehavioral effects of drugs of abuse (opioids, cannabinoids, MDMA), especially in the context of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

Research Statement

Preclinical Translational Research

Dr. Benamar’s research is mainly focused on 1) developing novel approaches and identifying new receptors for novel analgesics, and 2) neurobiological effects of drugs of abuse (e.g. opioids, cannabinoids), using multidisciplinary approach, combining state-of-the-art techniques.

Opioids (e.g. morphine) are among the most effective and commonly used analgesics in clinical practice for severe pain. However, a reduced responsiveness to opioid analgesics is typically seen in patients with neuropathic/inflammatory pain. Yet, treatment of these types of pain is relatively ineffective in most cases and it is obvious that new approaches are vital. My laboratory is engaged in research to study factors that influence the analgesic effectiveness of opioids, with special emphasis on pro-inflammatory mediators (e.g. chemokines), and identify new receptors for novel analgesics.

Brain abnormalities resulting from chronic use of drugs of abuse (e.g. opioids/cannabiboids) are underlying causes of opioid dependence and addiction. My laboratory is interested on the neurobiological mechanism associated with development of dependence and addiction to opioids/cannabinoids. Another focus of my lab is to examine the functional interactions between HIV (especially HIV-related pain) and neurobehavioral of drugs of abuse (e.g. opioids, cannabinoids). 

Current Funding
NIH grant R01 DA035926 "Functional Role for GPR55 in the periaqueductal gray"

For a complete list of publications by Khalid Benamar in PubMed, click here