Laura J. Sim-Selley, Ph.D.


Laura J. Sim-Selley, Ph.D.

Department: Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Phone: (804) 827-0464


VCU Health Sciences Research Building, Room 303
1112 East Clay Street
Box 980524
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0524


  • University of Rochester, 1991

Research interests

  • Functional neuroanatomy of G-protein-coupled receptors
  • Opioid and cannabinoid receptors
  • Tolerance and dependence

My laboratory utilizes a combined neuroanatomical/biochemical pharmacological approach to study G-protein-coupled receptors. The primary receptors of interest are opioid and cannabinoid receptors, although ongoing projects also study monoamine and peptide receptors. Research focuses on the functional neuroanatomy of these systems in the CNS of control animals, as well as animals who have received chronic administration of opioid and cannabinoid drugs. A variety of methods are applied to studying these questions, including agonist-stimulated [35 S]GTP gS binding, receptor binding and protein detection using antibodies. These studies are primarily conducted in brain sections, but also can be applied to homogenates of dissected brain regions.

Selected publications

Schlosburg JE, Blankman JL, Long JZ, Nomura DK, Pan B, Kinsey SG, Nguyen PT, Ramesh D, Booker L, Burston JJ, Thomas EA, Selley DE, Sim-Selley LJ, Liu QS, Lichtman AH and Cravatt BF. (2010) Chronic monoacylglycerol lipase blockade causes functional antagonism of the endocannabinoid system. Nature Neuroscience. 13(9):1113-9.

Burston JJ, Wiley JL, Craig AA, Selley DE and Sim-Selley LJ. (2010) Regional enhancement of cannabinoid CB1 receptor desensitization in female adolescent rats following repeated delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol exposure. British Journal of Pharmacology. 161(1):103-12.

Smith TH, Sim-Selley LJ and Selley DE. (2010) Cannabinoid CB1 receptor-interacting proteins: Novel targets for central nervous system drug discovery? British Journal of Pharmacology. 160(3):454-66.

Nguyen PT, Selley DE and Sim-Selley LJ. (2010) Statistical parametric mapping reveals ligand and region-specific activation of G-proteins by CB1 receptors and non-CB1 sites in the 3D reconstructed mouse brain. NeuroImage. 52(4):1243-51.

Hoot MR, Sim-Selley LJ, Poklis JL, Abdullah RA, Scoggins KL, Selley DE and Dewey WL. (2010) Chronic constriction injury reduces cannabinoid receptor 1 activity in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex of mice. Brain Research. 1339:18-25.

Falenski KW, Thorpe AJ, Schlosburg JE, Cravatt BF, Abdullah RA, Smith TH, Selley DE, Lichtman AH and Sim-Selley LJ. (2010) FAAH-/- mice display differential tolerance, dependence and cannabinoid receptor adaptation after delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and anandamide administration. Neuropsychopharmacology. 35(8):1775-87.

Long JZ, Nomura DK, Vann RE, Walentiny DM, Booker L, Jin X, Burston JJ, Sim-Selley LJ, Lichtman AH, Wiley JL and Cravatt BF. (2009) Dual blockade of FAAH and MAGL identifies behavioral processes regulated by endocannabinoid crosstalk in vivo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 106(48):20270-5.

Sim-Selley LJ, Goforth PB, Mba MU, Macdonald TL, Lynch KR, Milstien S, Spiegel S, Satin LS, Welch SP and Selley DE. (2009) Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors mediate neuromodulatory functions in the CNS. Journal of Neurochemistry. 110(4):1191-202.

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