Media Coverage

3/27/19
Articles about using cannabis to treat stress-induced depression report a study by Samir Haj-Dahmane, PhD, senior research scientist in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and UB’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions, that showed that cannabis could potentially help stabilize mood and treat stress-induced depression.
1/13/19
An opinion piece about the role that outdoor activity can play in addiction recovery cites research by Panayotis Thanos, PhD, senior research scientist in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and the Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions, that showed that physical activity can regulate the brain circuitry linked to feelings of well-being.
12/18/18
Research by Fraser J. Sim, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology, suggests that the spontaneous regeneration of myelin, the brain’s fatty insulator that keeps neurons communicating, could lead to a novel approach to developing treatments for multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory diseases. "The idea that pathological quiescence of progenitors could prevent regeneration in MS is distinct from the current pre-clinical strategies making their way into trial," he said.
12/15/18
Fraser J. Sim, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology, showed that unusually high levels of a transcription factor called paired related homeobox protein 1 in human oligodendrocyte progenitor cells hinders their ability to respond to the loss of myelin and to transform into mature, myelin-producing oligodendryocytes, a finding that suggests a new potential way of treating multiple sclerosis. “We found that switching this gene on could cause problems in myelin repair by blocking the proliferation of the oligodendrocyte progenitor cell, the stem cell-like precursor that is responsible for all myelin regeneration in the adult brain,” Sim said.
11/27/18
Reports on a study using animal models conducted by researchers in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and UB’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions that found that chronic use of Ritalin without the presence of symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder resulted in neuroinflammation in brain regions associated with motivated behavior, quote Panayotis Thanos, PhD, senior research scientist. “One month after use was stopped, the inflammation and structural changes were still there,” he said. “This could result in long-term risks for young adults, as these areas of the brain also influence addiction and the ability to respond to changes in the environment.”
11/20/18
Outside magazine referenced research led by Panayotis Thanos, PhD, senior research scientist in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and UB’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions, in an article on how a gym is using exercise to help its members fight addictions. The research found that animals tasked with running on a treadmill for five days a week restored their dopamine levels, and that aerobic exercise prevented stress-induced cocaine relapses.
11/16/18
Medical Xpress reports on research led by Panayotis Thanos, PhD, senior research scientist in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and UB’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions, which found that nonprescription use of Ritalin may cause structural changes in the brain. "We found that chronic use of this drug by those without ADHD-like symptoms resulted in neuroinflammation in regions of the brain which are related to motivated behavior," Thanos says.
9/18/18
Research by Craig T. Werner, a postdoctoral fellow in pharmacology and toxicology, and David Dietz, PhD, professor and chair of pharmaoclogy and toxicology, shows that a class of proteins, for the first time, been shown to be effective in reducing relapse, or drug-seeking behaviors, in a preclinical study. "One of the greatest challenges with addiction is the persistent vulnerability to relapse," Werner said.
9/12/18
An article reports on research by Caroline E. Bass, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology, that used optogenetics to treat binge drinking in mice. “By stimulating certain dopamine neurons in a precise pattern, resulting in low but prolonged levels of dopamine release, we could prevent the rats from binging. The rats just flat out stopped drinking,” she said.
8/30/18
An article in the Buffalo News told about David Dietz, PhD, associate professor, being appointed chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Dietz has developed a research program focused on how susceptible individuals are to drug abuse and relapse.
8/27/18
An article co-authored by David Dietz, PhD, associate professor and chair, Craig T. Werner, PhD, a postdoctoral associate, and Jennifer A. Martin, a doctoral student, all in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, tells about high-profile celebrities who have relapsed into addiction and looks at the painful reality of treating the illness. “Addiction — and relapse — are not the result of a lack of effort, but rather the known symptoms of both a medical and psychosocial problem. In this context, relapse is not indicative of a personal failure but rather a systemic one. Our current treatment regimens still too often fail to prevent relapses because they are still struggling to treat the underlying disease,” they write.
8/15/18
Research by Fraser J. Sim, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology has found that a receptor called muscarinic type 3 (M3R), a key regulator of the remyelination process, is a promising drug target in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. “This work establishes that M3R has a functional role and if blocked, could improve myelin repair,” he said. “It better positions the field for clinical trials that will be aimed at blocking these receptors in MS patients.”
2/21/18
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences researchers are working on ways to improve multiple sclerosis patients’ cognitive function and to repair damage to the myelin coating that protects nerve cells. The studies are being led by Janet L. Shucard, PhD, associate professor of clinical neurology, and Fraser J. Sim, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology.
8/15/17
Research by Fraser J. Sim, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology, successfully tested a method for determining how relevant to the human disease findings are from mouse models. “This is an important resource for the field as it allows us to compare human and rodent cells, and provides a point of reference to understand whether or not gene expression patterns are conserved between species,” he said.
8/15/17
A new study has identified a gene that plays a central role in either protecting from stress or contributing to depression, depending on its level of activity in a part of the brain associated with motivation, pleasure and reward-seeking. David Dietz, PhD, associate professor and interim chair of pharmacology and toxicology, said little was known previously about the biological basis of depression in the brain. “We’re starting to really get an idea of what does the depressed brain look like,” he said. “When you put the whole puzzle together, you see where the problem is…. For the first time this is one of those bigger pieces you can slide into the jigsaw puzzle.”
5/25/17
Harvey A. Berman, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology, discusses Myers v. Schneiderman, a renewed attempt to legalize physician-assisted suicide in New York. He emphasizes that since euthanasia’s legalization in the Netherlands and Belgium, it has “devolved from assisted death only for the terminally ill to include those who are chronically ill, from those with physical illness to those with psychological illness, from adults to children and ultimately to those who are simply ‘tired of living.’”
5/23/17
Exposure to chemicals that are found in insecticides can affect sleeping patterns and lead to a higher risk of diabetes, according to a study by senior author Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
5/11/17
UB has received a $2.3 million grant renewal from the National Institutes of Health to provide funding to train 20 new biomedical and behavioral scientists from underrepresented groups between now and 2021. “The theme is to be a catalyst. We are creating a self-propagating pipeline. We are developing leaders,” said Rajendram Rajnarayanan, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology.
4/18/17
An article in the journal Sleep Review reports on UB research that showed that synthetic chemicals commonly found in insecticides and garden products bind to the receptors that govern people’s biological clocks, adversely affecting melatonin receptor signaling and creating a higher risk for metabolic diseases such as diabetes, and quotes Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of pharmacology and toxicology.
3/1/17
Recent research by Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; Rajendram Rajnarayanan, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology; and former graduate student Marina Popovska-Gorevski, on how insecticides increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by disrupting circadian rhythms is featured  as a “Paper of the Month” on the website of the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, a research institute of the National Institutes of Health.