Student Seminar Series
Until further notice, Student seminars will be held virtually via Zoom from 12:00-1:00pm
Date | Presenters | Faculty reviewers
Aug. 30 (Monday): Emily Brocato (reviewers Selley/Shelton)
Sep. 13 (Monday): Lois Akinola (reviewers Walentiny/Hauser)
Sep. 20 (Monday): Maria Bent (reviewers Schlosburg/Mathies)
Sep. 27 (Monday): Donald Jessup (reviewers Davies/Ritter)
Oct. 4 (Monday): Edna Santos (Jayanthi/Sim-Selley)
Oct. 11 (Monday): Yasmin Alkhlaif (reviewers Banks/Brunzell)
Oct. 18 (Monday): Chaoling Chen (reviewers Akbarali/P-L Li)
Oct. 25 (Monday): Rosamond Goodson (reviewers Beardsley/Bettinger)
Nov. 1 (Monday): Harrison Elder (reviewers Schlosburg/Lichtman)
Nov. 8 (Monday): Kennedy Goldsborough (reviewers Mathies/Walentiny)
Nov. 15 (Monday): Luke Huggins (reviewers Banks/Negus)
Nov. 29 (Monday): Alaina Jaster (reviewers Miles/Nicholson)
Dec. 6 (Monday): Kimberly Karin (reviewers Damaj/Wolstenholme)
Departmental seminars are held Tuesday at noon via Zoom until further notice
(Postponed) September 7, 2021: Dr. Sammanda Ramamoorthy, Pharmacology & Toxicology, VCU
"Phosphorylation: A Molecular Switch within the Dopamine Transporter Governs Cocaine Reward"
September 14 2021: (Student-choice Speaker) Dr. Thomas Kash, Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina
"Probing Neuromodulatory Regulation of Behavior in Alcohol Use Disorder"
September 21, 2021: Dr. Camron Bryant, Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, School of Medicine, Boston University
"From lemons to lemonade: Embracing genetic and phenotypic drift in rodent substrains for efficient gene mapping of addiction traits"
September 28, 2021: Dr. Christopher Del Negro, Applied Science, College of William & Mary
October 19, 2021: Dr. Said Sebti
"Discovery of a mutant KRAS addiction transcriptome signature: From computational biology to biomarker-driven clinical trials"
October 26, 2021: Dr. Ningjun Li
"Kidney-targeted siRNA and drug delivery"
November 9, 2021: Dr. Matthew Banks, Pharmacology & Toxicology, VCU
Jan. 19 2021: Dr. Joe Ritter, Pharmacology & Toxicology, VCU
"The Endocannabinoid System of the Kidney and Sodium Excretion: Blocking the mTAL Na exits"
Jan. 26 2021: Drs. Graeme Henderson and Katy Sutcliffe, School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, University of Bristol, UK
"Why are fentanyls so deadly?"
Feb. 2 2021: Drs. Aaron Janowsky and Randy Torralva, VA Portland Health Care System and Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University
"Discovering therapeutics that matter in the opioid crisis"
Feb. 9 2021: Dr. Lee Hogarth, Psychiatry, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, UK
"Drug addiction is a disorder of excessive goal-directed drug choice in negative affective states, not automatic cue-reactivity, habit or compulsion"
Mar. 9, 2021: Dr. Jennifer Koblinski, Pathology, VCU
"Technology and animal models that can enhance your research"
Mar. 23, 2021: Dr. Alexander Chesler, National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health, NIH
"Molecules and cells for touch and pain"
Mar. 30, 2021: Dr. Michael Scott, Pharmacology, University of Virginia
"Prefrontal Cortical Control of Feeding Behavior"
Apr. 6. 2021: Dr. Steve Negus, Pharmacology & Toxicology, VCU
"Controlling Efficacy with Agonist/Antagonist Mixtures"
Apr. 13, 2021: Dr. Javier Gonzalez-Maeso, Physiology & Biophysics, VCU
"Molecular target and mechanism of psychedelics’ effect on depression"
Apr. 20, 2021: Dr. Said Sebti, Pharmacology & Toxicology, VCU
"Targeting Oncogenic Signal Transduction Pathways: from Basic Science to Biomarker-Driven Clinical Trials"
Apr. 27, 2021: Dr. Bradley Taylor, Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
"Spinal Neurobiology of Chronic Pain and Endogenous Analgesic Synergy"
May 4, 2021: Dr. David Reiner, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH
"Neural bases of motivated behaviors: pharmacological, circuit, and cellular mechanisms"
Date | Presenters | Faculty reviewers
Jan. 25 (Monday): Yasmin Alkhlaif (reviewers Davies/Brunzell)
Feb. 1 (Monday): Linda Chen (reviewers Lichtman/Damaj)
Feb. 8 (Monday): Harrison Elder (reviewers Miles/Negus)
Feb. 15 (Monday): Kennedy Goldsborough (reviewers Schlosburg/Nicholson)
Feb. 22 (Monday): Luke Huggins (Wolstenholme/Akbarali)
Mar. 1 (Monday): Alaina Jaster (reviewers Sim-Selley/Selley)
Mar. 15 (Monday): Kimberley Karin (reviewers Hauser/Bettinger)
Mar. 22 (Monday): Bryan McKiver (reviewers Banks/Jayanthi)
Mar. 29 (Monday): Abby Pondelick (reviewers Beardlsey/Brunzell)
Apr. 5 (Monday): Hannah Robinson (reviewers Damaj/Lichtman)
Apr. 12 (Monday): Lucas Wohler (reviewers Gewirtz/Miles)
Apr. 19 (Monday): Sina Abdollahi (review. Akbarali/Scoggins) and Rana Estaleen (review. Ningjun Li/Banks)
Apr. 26 (Monday): Sofia Ghani (reviewers Ritter/Mathies) and Bridget Kastelberg (review. Negus/Sim-Selley)
May. 3 (Monday): Maria Bent (Neuroscience) (reviewers Damaj/Negus)
May 6 (Thursday): Jyati Lodha (Neuroscience) (reviewers Schlosburg/Davies)
Sep. 15 2020: Student choice seminar: Dr. Kenzie L. Preston, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Research Branch, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH
"Transitions to Translation in Opioid and Cocaine Treatment Research"
** note time ** 9:00am Sep. 29 2020: Dr. Markus Heilig, Center on Social and Affective Neuroscience, Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Linköping University, Sweden
"How we got alcohol addiction wrong: One lever at a time"
Oct. 6 2020: Dr. Subhash Pandey, Department of Psychiatry, Center for Alcohol Research in Epigenetics, University of Illinois at Chicago
"Unraveling the Epigenetic Landscape of Alcohol Use Disorder"
Oct. 13 2020: Dr. David Gewirtz, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, VCU
"Nothing in research is as simple as it might first appear: senolytic agents and chemotherapy-induced senescence in cancer"
Oct. 20 2020: Dr. Darlene Brunzell, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, VCU
"Your brain on butts and other drugs"
Nov. 10 2020: Dr. Michael Miles, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, VCU
"DO mice drink alcohol? Using a complex mouse genetic model to identify mechanisms of progressive ethanol consumption"
Nov. 17 2020: Dr. Andrew Ottens, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, VCU
"The Circulating Peptidome: A Mediator and Diagnostic Window into Systemic Toxicity"
** note time ** 9:00am Dec. 8 2020: Dr. Serge Ahmed, CNRS / Université de Bordeaux
"Drug choice under and not under the influence"
Date | Presenters
Jan. 16 (Thursday) Journal Club: Abduljameed Jali
Jan. 20: University holiday
Jan. 23 (Thursday) Journal Club: Julien Dodu
Jan. 27 (Monday): Leah Aclin
Feb. 3 (Monday): Yasmin Alkhlaif
Feb. 10 (Monday): Emily Brocato
Feb. 13 (Thursday) Journal Club: Mohammed Mustafa & Roz Goodson
Feb. 17 (Monday): Donald Jessup
Feb. 20 (Thursday) Journal Club: Clare Diester
Feb. 24 (Monday): Christina Lee
Feb. 27 (Thursday) Journal Club: Lois Akinola
Mar. 9: Spring Break week
Mar. 16 (Monday): Edna Santos
Mar. 19 (Thursday) Journal Club: Leah Aclin & Valerie Carpenter
Mar. 23 (Monday): Maria Bent
Mar. 26 (Thursday) Journal Club: Yasmin Alkhlaif
Mar. 30 (Monday) Journal Club: Emily Brocato & Katherine Contreras
Apr. 6 (Monday) Journal Club: Donald Jessup & Aminatta Tejan-Kamara
Apr. 13 (Monday) Journal Club: Christina Lee & Jayden Elmer
Apr. 23 (Thursday): Lois Akinola
Apr. 27 (Monday) Journal Club: Edna Santos & Zara Siddiqui
Date | Presenters | Faculty reviewers
Aug. 17 (Monday): Dr. Jill Bettinger/ Krista Scoggins
Aug. 24 (Monday): Nipa Patel (reviewers Mathies/Sim-Selley)
Aug. 31 (Monday): Valerie Carpenter (reviewers Ningjun Li/Lichtman)
Sep. 7 Labor Day holiday
Sep. 14 (Monday): Claire Diester (reviewers Ritter/Walentiny)
Sep. 21 (Monday): Julien Dodu (reviewers Pin-Lan Li/Wolstenholme)
Sep. 28 (Monday): Rosamond Goodson (reviewers Negus/Bettinger)
Oct. 12 (Monday): Lois Akinola (reviewers Scoggins/Selley)
Oct. 19 (Monday): Emily Brocato (reviewers Walentiny/Shelton)
Oct. 26 (Monday): Katherine Contreras (reviewers Jayanthi/Schlosburg)
Nov. 2 (Monday): Jayden Elmer (reviewers Mathies/Damaj)
Nov. 9 (Monday): Donald Jessup (reviewers Hauser/Banks)
Nov. 16 (Monday): Lauren Moncayo (reviewers Akbarali/Ningjun Li)
Nov. 23 (Monday): Edna Santos (reviewers Mathies/Sim-Selley)
Date | Presenters
Tuesday February 25: Esad Ulker
"Beyond Reflexive Measures in Pain"
Tuesday March 3: Taylor Ochalek
"Examining sucrose subjective response among individuals with opioid use disorder"
Tuesday March 10: Lesley Schurman
"Aromatase inhibition-induced memory deficit in mice: an endocannabinoid strategy pilot grant"
Jan. 28 2020: Dr. Peter Hamilton, VCU Dept. of Anatomy and Neurobiology. Host: Dr. Jennifer Wolstenholme
"Transcriptional Reprogramming at Zfp189 Reveals Key Molecular Disruptions that Contribute to Addiction and Depression"
Feb. 11 2020: Dr. David Kearns, American University. Host: Dr. Steve Negus
"Behavioral Economic Variables Controlling Drug Self-administration: Income, Economy, and Substitutability"
Feb. 18 2020: Dr. Paul Whiteaker, Barrow Neurological Institute. Host: Dr. Darlene Brunzell
"New approaches to studying and targeting nicotinic receptors in normal and disease physiology"
(Canceled) Mar. 17 2020: Dr. Debra Kendall, University of Connecticut. Host: Dr. Aron Lichtman
(Canceled) Mar. 24 2020: Dr. Michael Miles, VCU Dept. of Pharmacology & Toxicology
(Canceled) Mar. 31 2020: Dr. Darlene Brunzell, VCU Dept. of Pharmacology & Toxicology
(Canceled) Apr. 14 2020: Dr. Hamid Akbarali, VCU Dept. of Pharmacology & Toxicology
(Canceled) Apr. 21 2020: Dr. Andrew Ottens, VCU Dept. of Anatomy & Neurobiology. Host: Dr. Imad Damaj
(Canceled) Apr. 28 2020: Dr. Rong Ma, UNT Health Sciences Center. Host: Dr. Ningjun Li
Date | Presenters
Aug. 26 (Monday): Megan Hollis, Career Services
Sept. 2: University Closed - Labor Day
Sept. 5 (Thursday): Dr. Jill Bettinger
Sept. 9 (Monday): Julie Meade
Sept. 16 (Monday): Guy Harris
Sept. 17 (Tuesday): Thesis Defense: Liliya Tyutyunyk-Massey (noon, Sanger 1-044)
"Modulation of autophagy and senescence to enhance the response to therapy in triple negative breast cancer"
Sept. 30 (Monday): Karan Muchhala
Oct. 7 (Monday): Nipa Patel
Oct. 10 (Thursday) Journal Club: Julie Meade
Oct. 14 (Monday): Neil Varshneya
Oct. 17 (Thursday) Journal Club: Guy Harris
Oct. 28 (Monday): Valerie Carpenter
Oct. 31 (Thursday) Journal Club: Liliya Tyutyunyk-Massey
Nov. 4 (Monday): Clare Deister
Nov. 7 (Thursday) Journal Club: Karan Muchhala
Nov. 11 (Monday): Julien Dodu
Nov. 14 (Thursday): Abdulmameed Jali
Nov. 18 (Monday): Roz Goodson
Nov. 21 (Thursday) Journal Club: Nipa Patel
Nov. 25: Thanksgiving Holiday week
Dec. 2 (Monday) Mohammed Mustafa
Seminars are on Tuesdays, 12-12:50p.m. in Sanger Hall, First Floor, Room 1-044 (unless otherwise noted).
Date | Speaker, Topic
Aug. 27, 2019: No seminar scheduled at this time.
Sept. 3, 2019: No seminar scheduled at this time.
Sept. 10, 2019: No seminar scheduled at this time.
Sept. 17, 2019: No seminar scheduled at this time.
Sept. 24, 2019: Dr. Cassandra Gipson-Reichardt, Arizona State University. Host: Dr. Bill Dewey
"Translating Addiction Neuroscience: Discovering New Therapeutic Targets and Pharmacotherapies"
Oct. 1, 2019: No seminar scheduled at this time.
Oct. 8, 2019: Dr. Erin Calipari, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Host: Dr. Matt Banks
"A Novel Framework for Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine in Learned Behavior"
Oct. 15, 2019: Dr. MaryPeace McRae, Virginia Commonwealth University. Host: Dr. Kurt Hauser
"The interplay between opiates and HIV-1 to perturb the cellular/regional biodistribution of antiretrovirals within the brain"
Oct. 29, 2019: Dr. Guizhi (Julian) Zhu, Virginia Commonwealth University. Host: Dr. Aron Lichtman
"Drug delivery using biocompatible bioconjugates and nanoparticles"
Nov. 12, 2019: Dr. Roger Papke, University of Florida. Host: Dr. Darlene Brunzell
"Betel nut, an orphan addiction and world health problem"
Nov. 19, 2019: Dr. Qing-song Liu, Medical College of Wisconsin. Host: Dr. William Dewey
"Mechanistic studies of cAMP effectors in cocaine addiction"
Dec. 3, 2019: Dr. Kurt Hauser, Virginia Commonwealth University
“Cellular and molecular evidence that opioids exacerbate HIV-associated pathology in the central nervous system”
Dec. 10, 2019: Dr. Sandeep K. Mallipattu, Stony Brook University. Host: Dr. Ningjun Li
"Krüppel-like factors: Three fingers in control of kidney disease"
Dec. 17, 2019: Dr. Mariella De Biasi, University of Pennsylvania. Host: Dr. Imad Damaj
Jan. 15 2019: Dr. Sean Farris, University of Texas at Austin. Host: Dr. Michael Miles
"Integrative Neurogenomics for Alcohol Use Disorder"
Feb. 5 2019: Dr. S. Stevens Negus, Virginia Commonwealth University.
"Responding to the NIH HEAL Initiative: Preclinical Research Strategies for Drug Discovery to Treat Pain and Opioid Abuse"
Feb. 12 2019: Dr. Robert L. Balster, Virginia Commonwealth University.
"The Role of Drug Discrimination in Learning Theories of Addiction"
Feb. 26: Dr. Michelle Peace, Virginia Commonwealth University. Host: Dr. Steve Negus
"The Impact of the Opioid Epidemic to Criminal Justice: How Enhancing Forensic Science Collaborations Lead to Proactive Investigations"
Mar. 12 2019: Dr. Leandro Vendruscolo, National Institute of Drug Abuse. Host; Dr. Joel Schlosburg
"Heroin Addiction: Role of the HPA Axis and Extrahypothalamic Stress Systems"
Mar. 19 2019: Dr. Jill C. Bettinger, Virginia Commonwwealth University.
"New Ways to Explore the Molecular Effects of Ethanol in C. elegans"
Mar. 26 2019: (Student Choice Seminar) Dr. Sylvia Fitting, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
"The Endocannabinoid System as a Therapeutic Target in HIV-1 Tat Toxicity"
Apr. 2 2019:Dr. Jeff Martin, Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Host: Dr. Steve Negus
"Peripheral Nerve Injury in the Rat: Is it Really Painful?"
Apr. 16 2019: Dr. Shiyou Chen, University of Georgia. Host: Dr. Pin-Lan Li
"Smooth Muscle in Vascular Development and Remodeling"
Apr. 23 2019: Dr. Minolfa C. Prieto, Tulane University School of Medicine. Host: Dr. Ningjun Li
"Prerenin Receptor and Its Implications in Cardiovascular Diseases"
Apr. 30 2019: Dr. Steve Kinsey, West Virginia University. Host: Dr. Aron Lichtman
"Analgesic, Anti-Inflammatory, and Dependence-Inducing Effects of Cannabinoids"
Aug. 28, 2018: Dr. Pablo Ortiz, Wayne State University School of Medicine. Host: Dr. Pin-Lan Li
"Studying New Genes involved in Thick Ascending Limb Function and Salt-Sensitive Hypertension"
Sept. 18, 2018: Dr. S. Stevens Negus, Virginia Commonwealth University.
“How to Treat Opioid Addiction: Behavioral Pharmacology Solutions to a Behavioral Pharmacology Problem”
Sept. 25, 2018: Dr. Laxmikant Deshpande, Virginia Commonweath University
"The Toxicological Basis and Pharmacological Therapeutics for Gulf War Illness"
Oct. 2, 2018: Dr. Melissa Herman, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Host: Dr. Joel Schlosburg
"The role of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) and a NTS-central amygdala circuit in alcohol-induced plasticity and drinking behavior"
Oct. 9, 2018: Dr. Kim Raab-Graham, Wake Forest School of Medicine. Host: Dr. Michael Miles
"Common mechanisms between rapidly acting antidepressants and alcohol"
Oct. 16, 2018: Dr. David Gewirtz, Virginia Commonwealth University
"The challenge of overcoming the entrenched scientific paradigm that senescence is an 'irreversible' form of growth"
Oct. 23, 2018: Dr. Matthew Hartman, Virginia Commonwealth University. Host: Dr. David Gewirtz
"New strategies for the treatment of cancer with light"
Oct. 30, 2018: Dr. Venetia (Vanna) Zachariou, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Host: Dr. Dana Selley
"Optimizing the actions of opioid analgesics via interventions in G protein signaling"
Nov. 27, 2018: Dr. Matthew Banks, Virginia Commonwealth University
"Why Failure is Critical for Science to Improve Human Health"
Dec. 4, 2018: Dr. Laura D. Mathies, Virginia Commonwealth University
“SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes regulate behavioral responses to alcohol in C. elegans”
Seminars are on Tuesdays, 4-4:50 p.m. in Sanger Hall, First Floor, Room 1-044 (unless otherwise noted).
Date | Speaker, Topic
Jan. 16, 2018: Brant Isakson, Ph.D. UVA Vivian Pinn Scholar Associate Professor Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Resident Faculty, Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center University of Virginia School of Medicine
Charlottesville, VA Host: Dr. Pin-Lan Li, Pannexin1 in the vasculature
Jan. 23, 2018: Frank Gupton, Ph.D. Chair and Professor Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA 23298 Host: Dr. David Gewirtz, Streamlining pharmaceutical processes to increase global access to health care
Jan. 30, 2018: Jason Reed, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Physics
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA 23298 Host: Dr. David Gewirtz, High-Speed Live Cell Interferometry: A New Method for Rapidly Quantifying Tumor Drug Resistance and Heterogeneity
Feb. 6, 2018: TBA Host: TBA
Feb. 13, 2018: Sandro da Rocha, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Chemical and Life Sciences Engineering Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA 23298 Host: Dr. David Gewirtz, Dendrimer Nanocarriers for the Delivery of Therapeutics to and through the Lungs and their Potential in Repurposing Doxorubicin for Lung Cancer Treatment
Feb. 20, 2018: Gavril W. Pasternak, MD., Ph.D. Neurologist Anne Burnett Tandy Chair of Neurology Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Host: Dr. Bill Dewey, TBA
Feb. 27, 2018: TBA Host: TBA
Mar. 6, 2018: Yavin Shaham, Ph.D. Senior Investigator Intramural Research Program Branch Chief, Behavioral Neuroscience Section Chief, Neurobioloy of Relapse, NIDA Baltimore, MD 21224 Host: Dr. Matthew Banks, Incubation of drug craving after voluntary abstinence: behavior and circuit mechanisms
Mar. 13, 2018: TBA
Mar. 20, 2018: Robert L. Balster, Ph.D. Professor Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology Richmond, VA 23298, Is nicotine vaping part of the solution to tobacco-related death and disease, or part of the problem?
Mar. 27, 2018: Ku-Lung Hsu, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Chemistry
University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 22904 Host: Dr. Aron Lichtman, Chemoproteomic Strategies to Decode Metabolic Regulation of Lipid Signaling
Apr. 3, 2018: Joel Schlosburg, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA 23298 Host:, “Utilizing Mechanisms of Stress Resilience to Slow the Progression of Addiction”
April 10, 2018: Luni Emdad, Ph.D. Department of Human Genetics Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA 23298 Host: Dr. David Gewirtz, "Novel Strategy for the Therapy of Pancreatic Cancer"
Apr. 17, 2018: Rujun Gong, Ph.D. Associate Professor Director of Kidney Research at the Nephrology Division Brown University Providence, RI 02912 Host: Dr. Ningjun Li, "Therapeutic targeting of GSK3b in kidney disease"
April 30, 2018: Special Seminar Kathryn Cunningham, Ph.D. Chauncey Leake Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology Director, Center for Addiction Research Vice Chair, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, TX 77555 Host: Dr. Bill Dewey, "Serotonin Matters in Addiction: Strategies for Pharmacotherapeutics"
May 15, 2018: Matt Buczynski, Ph.D. Assistant Professor School of Neuroscience Virginia Tech University Blacksburg, VA Host: Dr. Joel Schlosburg, "The Role of Endocannabinoid Signaling Pathways in Nicotine Addiction"
May 22, 2018: Student-invited speaker Ken Mackie, Ph.D. Professor Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Program in Neuroscience Indiana University, Bloomington Bloomington, Indiana 47405 Host: PHTX Grad Students