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Amir H. Rezvani, PhD

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Research Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Division: 
Addiction
Category: 
Office: 323 Foster St., Durham, NC 27701
Campus Mail: DUMC Box 104790, Dept. of Psychiatry, Durham, NC 27710

My research and teaching interests have been primarily focused on the following areas:

Alcoholism: I work with "alcoholic" rats with genetic predisposition!" We use selectively-bred alcohol preferring rats as an animal model of human alcoholism for developing better pharmacological treatments for alcoholism. Recently, we are working on several novel promissing "anti-craving" compounds for the treatment of alcoholism. We are also studing the interaction bewteen alcohol drinking and nicotine intake.

Nicotine Addiction: We have been studying age and sex differences in i.v. nicotine self-administration in rats. We have found that pattern of drug intake is both age- and sex-dependent. Our lab is also exploring different neuronal targets for developing better pharmacologic treatment for nicotine addiction.

Sustained Attention: Another aspect of our research is studying the role of the neuronal nicotinic and other neuronal systems in sustained attention using a rodent model. We have shown, nicotine (not smoking!) and nicotinic compounds improve attention in rats. A majority of people with schizophrenia smoke and they smoke heavily. Thus, it is important to understand the interaction of antipsychotic medications and nicotine in sustained attention. This has been another aspect of our research with interesting results. Presently, we are testing novel nicotinic compounds for improving pharmacologically-impaired sustained attention.

Teaching: I love to teach and interact with students. Since arriving at Duke in 1999, I have been team-teaching the popular alcohol course (Psych 206-01R; Alcohol: Brain, Society and Individual). I also enjoy mentoring undergrad students who are interested in science and enjoy working in the lab with cute little creatures!.

Community: I am a member of the Board of Directors of Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA), a self-supported therapeutic community in Durham. I also give seminars and workshops on addiction around the country.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1983

Publications

Holloway, Zade R., Andrew B. Hawkey, Alexandra K. Torres, Janequia Evans, Erica Pippen, Hannah White, Vaishnavi Katragadda, et al. “Paternal cannabis extract exposure in rats: Preconception timing effects on neurodevelopmental behavior in offspring.” Neurotoxicology 81 (October 19, 2020): 180–88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuro.2020.10.007.

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Levin, Edward D., Corinne Wells, Andrew Hawkey, Zade Holloway, Graham Blair, Alexander Vierling, Ashley Ko, et al. “Amitifadine, a triple reuptake inhibitor, reduces self-administration of the opiate remifentanil in rats.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 237, no. 6 (June 2020): 1681–89. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-020-05489-w.

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Blair, Graham, Corinne Wells, Ashley Ko, John Modarres, Caroline Pace, James M. Davis, Amir H. Rezvani, Jed E. Rose, and Edward D. Levin. “Dextromethorphan and bupropion reduces high level remifentanil self-administration in rats.” Pharmacol Biochem Behav 193 (June 2020): 172919. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2020.172919.

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Levin, Edward D., Corinne Wells, Susan Slade, Michelle Lee, Anthony A. McKinney, Jed E. Rose, and Amir H. Rezvani. “Prolonging the Reduction of Nicotine Self-Administration in Rats by Coadministering Chronic Nicotine With Amitifadine, a Triple Monoamine Reuptake Inhibitor With CYP2B6 Inhibitory Actions.” Nicotine Tob Res 22, no. 2 (February 6, 2020): 232–37. https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntz054.

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Willette, Blair K. A., Anica Nangia, Sarah Howard, Devon DiPalma, Collin McMillan, Sonum Tharwani, Janequia Evans, et al. “Acute and chronic interactive treatments of serotonin 5HT2C and dopamine D1 receptor systems for decreasing nicotine self-administration in female rats.” Pharmacol Biochem Behav 186 (November 2019): 172766. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2019.172766.

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Levin, Edward D., Corinne Wells, Leah Yao, Wendi Guo, Anica Nangia, Sarah Howard, Erica Pippen, Andrew B. Hawkey, Jed E. Rose, and Amir H. Rezvani. “Chronic memantine decreases nicotine self-administration in rats.” Eur J Pharmacol 861 (October 15, 2019): 172592. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2019.172592.

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Hawkey, Andrew B., Hannah White, Erica Pippen, Eva Greengrove, Amir H. Rezvani, Susan K. Murphy, and Edward D. Levin. “Paternal nicotine exposure in rats produces long-lasting neurobehavioral effects in the offspring.” Neurotoxicol Teratol 74 (July 2019): 106808. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ntt.2019.05.001.

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Levin, Edward D., Andrew B. Hawkey, Brandon J. Hall, Marty Cauley, Susan Slade, Elisa Yazdani, Bruny Kenou, et al. “Paternal THC exposure in rats causes long-lasting neurobehavioral effects in the offspring.” Neurotoxicol Teratol 74 (July 2019): 106806. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ntt.2019.04.003.

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Rezvani, Amir H., Corinne Wells, Susan Slade, Yingxian Xiao, Kenneth J. Kellar, and Edward D. Levin. “Oral sazetidine-A, a selective α4β2* nicotinic receptor desensitizing agent, reduces nicotine self-administration in rats.” Pharmacol Biochem Behav 179 (April 2019): 109–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2019.02.007.

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Levin, Edward D., Amir H. Rezvani, Corinne Wells, Susan Slade, Venkata M. Yenugonda, Yong Liu, Milton L. Brown, Yingxian Xiao, and Kenneth J. Kellar. “α4β2 Nicotinic receptor desensitizing compounds can decrease self-administration of cocaine and methamphetamine in rats.” Eur J Pharmacol 845 (February 15, 2019): 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2018.12.010.

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