Dr. Khalid Benamar - Faculty Page | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

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Research Statement

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).  

1. R21-DA051226 (Benamar, PI) Cutting-Edge Basic Research Awards (CEBRA) Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) and cannabidiol   (CBD) combination: HIV-1 chronic neuropathic pain. 

2. R21-DA029414 (Benamar, PI) Project Title: Project title: Endocannabinoid system and HIV-related neuropathic pain.

3. R03-NS116489 (Benamar, PI) Project Title: cannabidiol and Beta-caryophyllene combination: Chronic arthritis pain.


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Dr. Khalid Benamar
Associate Professor

(806) 743 - 3570