Jun-Xu Li MD, PhD

Jun-Xu Li

Jun-Xu Li
MD, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences


Specialty/Research Focus

Behavioral pharmacology; Drug abuse; Neurobiology

Contact Information
3207, JSMBS
955 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14214
Phone: (716) 829-2482
junxuli@buffalo.edu



Professional Summary:

I have two primary research interests. First, I use pharmacological approaches to seek novel therapeutics for pain. Pain is an agonizing symptom and disease that affects millions of people. Analgesics like opioids (e.g., OxyContin) are powerful for treating many pain conditions. However, opioids are not efficacious for some pain (e.g., neuropathic pain) and prolonged use of opioids has many side effects, including tolerance and dependence. The laboratory has been working on two interesting drug targets (imidazoline I2 receptors and GABAa receptors) for years in the hope that novel safer and effective analgesics can be developed from our preclinical research.

Second, I am interested in pharmacotherapy of drug abuse. We use powerful behavioral pharmacological approaches, in animal models that are predictive of human stimulant abuse conditions, to study novel drug targets and evaluate potential pharmacotherapies against addictions to opioids, psychostimulants and nicotine.

One unifying theme of the ongoing research in my laboratory is the application of receptor theory to the guidance and interpretation of the drug-receptor interactions in behaving animals.

Education and Training:

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Behavioral Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (2008)
  • PhD, Pharmacology, Peking University (2005)
  • MD, Medicine, Binzhou Medical University (2000)

Employment:

  • Assistant Professor, University at Buffalo (2010–2016)
  • Instructor, Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (2008–2010)

Awards and Honors:

  • ASPET-JH Woods Early Career Award in Behavioral Pharmacology (2019)
  • CPDD Joseph Cochin Young Investigator Award (2016)
  • UB Exceptional Scholar-Young Investigator Award (2014)
  • Maharaj Ticku Memorial Travel Fellowship (2012)
  • ASPET Young Scientist Travel Award (2009)
  • ASPET Best Paper Award (2009)
  • CPDD Early Career Investigator Award (2007)
  • ASPET Young Scientist Travel Award (2007)

Research Expertise:

  • Behavioral Pharmacology: We use various behavioral pharmacological procedures to understand how drugs work at the behavioral level. Procedures used include drug discrimination, schedule-controlled responding, drug self-administration, delay discounting, place conditioning, locomotor activity and various acute and chronic pain tests.
  • Pain and Addiction: We are interested in understanding the neurobiological crosstalk between pain and addiction. To reach this goal, we are developing novel behaivoral procedures to simultaneously measure pain affect and addiction-related behaviors.
  • Quantitative Pharmacological Analysis: The precise understanding of the interactions between drugs from the same or different classes requires quantitative analysis methods. These analytical strategies help to ascertain the behavioral effects of drugs in an quantitative manner.

Grants and Sponsored Research:

  • April 2019–February 2024
    TAAR1 agonists for nicotine addiction
    National Institute on Drug Abuse
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $1,986,083
  • February 2016–January 2021
    Allosteric modulation of the CB1 receptor
    National Institute on Drug Abuse
    Role: Co-Investigator
    $301,136
  • March 2013–November 2018
    Imidazoline I2 receptors as targets for the treatment of pain
    National Institute on Drug Abuse
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $1,624,680
  • July 2016–June 2018
    TAAR 1 modulation of addiction-related effects of nicotine
    NIDA/NIH
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $479,199
  • June 2013–May 2015
    Behavioral effects of methamphetamine & imidazoline I2 receptor ligands
    National Institute on Drug Abuse
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $463,845
  • January 2010–January 2015
    Delay discounting: effects of drug dependence and withdrawal.
    NIDA/NIH
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • January 2010–January 2015
    Discriminative stimulus effects of opioid withdrawal.
    NIDA/NIH
    Role: Co-Investigator

Journal Articles:

See all (92 more)

Books and Book Chapters:

  • Li JX, Gerak LR, France CP. Drug discrimination studies in rhesus monkeys: drug dependence and withdrawal. In: RA Glennon, R Young. Drug Discrimination: Applications to Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Studies. New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc; 2010..

Professional Memberships:

  • American College on Neuropsychopharmacology; Associate member (2016–present)
  • International Association for the Study of Pain (2010–present)
  • Behavioral Pharmacology Society (2009–present)
  • Sigma Xi (2008–present)
  • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (2007–present)
  • The College on Problems of Drug Dependence (2007–present)

School News:

In the Media:


Clinical Specialties:

Clinical Offices:

Insurance Accepted:



Contact Information

3207, JSMBS
955 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14214
Phone: (716) 829-2482
junxuli@buffalo.edu