Aversive Effects of Methamphetamine as Arbiters of Risk for Use
Tamara Richards (Oregon Health & Science University)
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper
Tamara Phillips is Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Senior Research Career Scientist at the Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System, and Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism-funded Portland Alcohol Research Center. She received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the State University of New York in Albany and completed Postdoctoral training at the Rutgers University Institute of Animal Behavior. She joined OHSU and the Portland VA in 1987, rising through the ranks to Professor in 1998. She has received several honors and awards, including teaching awards, research achievement and mentoring awards, and distinguished scientist and lectureship awards. She has served as the President of three different research societies: the International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society; the Research Society on Alcoholism; and the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism. She currently serves as Vice-President on the Board of the non-profit local chapter of Sigma Xi, the scientific research honor society. Mentoring has been one of her passions and she directed the Behavioral Neuroscience graduate program for many years. She has published numerous peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and reviews and is funded by two NIH institutes and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Her research focusses on the genetic dissection of behavioral traits associated with risk for the development of alcohol and drug use disorders.
This presentation will address the role of sensitivity to aversive drug effects in risk for unhealthy drug use. Considerable research has focused on drug use disorders as motivational disorders involving inherent or drug-induced reward pathway function. Human and animal research support a critical role for circuitry underlying sensitivity to rewarding and reinforcing drug effects in risk for continued use, neuroadaptation and relapse. However, less attention has been paid to the protective role of sensitivity to aversive drug effects. Dr. Phillips will present data proving that the trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) as an arbiter of the aversive effects of methamphetamine, which when experienced, reduce methamphetamine intake. More broadly, she will discuss the importance of considering drug avoiders in clinical studies of psychostimulant addiction, which could lead to the identification of a new class of therapeutics.