Pharmacology and Neuroscience
Dr. Alice M. Young - Joint Appointment
Professor of Pharmacology
Ph.D., 1976, University of Minnesota
Our research focuses on behavioral pharmacology of opioids. My research group has
formulated a productive model of processes that modulate tolerance to discriminative,
or subjective, effects of opioids. Our work addresses pharmacological and psychological
systems that underlie development and expression of tolerance to opioids, with particular
attention to factors that modulate development of tolerance to effects on behavior
and cognition. Our initial work highlighted the role of learning processes in shaping
the development of tolerance. More recently, we have focused on understanding how
behavioral effects of opioids vary with relative intrinsic efficacy. This work has
revealed that behavioral effects involved in opioid abuse occur with only limited
occupancy of brain opioid receptors. The extremely efficient processing of effects
linked to abuse may underlie the surprising lack of tolerance to such effects.
Our current work focuses on the role of opioid receptor activity in the development
of opioid dependence. With support from NIH, we are examining the possibility that
inverse agonist activity at opioid receptor subtypes may play an important role in
the subjective and aversive effects of opioid dependence and withdrawal.
These research projects provide a strong basis for scientific training. Three graduate
students in my laboratory have been awarded NIH predoctoral fellowships, and a recent
postdoctoral trainee wrote two independent, and now funded, NIH awards while in my
group. In addition to my research program, I teach in the Department of Psychology
at TTU. I also serve as an Associate Editor for The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental
Therapeutics, with primary responsibilities in the area of behavioral pharmacology.
During 2005-2007, I will serve as the President of the Division of Behavioral Pharmacology
For a complete list of publications by Alice Young in PubMed, click here
For further information contact Alice Young, Ph.D.