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Edward Daniel Levin, PhD

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Professor in the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division
Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology
Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Division: 
Addiction
Category: 
Office: 323 Foster St, Durham, NC 27701
Campus Mail: DUMC Box 104790, Durham, NC 27710

Dr. Levin is Chief of the Neurobehavioral Research Lab in the Psychiatry Department of Duke University Medical Center. His primary academic appointment is as Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He also has secondary appointments in the Department Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke. His primary research effort is to understand basic neural interactions underlying cognitive function and addiction and to apply this knowledge to better understand cognitive dysfunction and addiction disorders and to develop novel therapeutic treatments.

The three main research components of his laboratory are focused on the themes of the basic neurobiology of cognition and addiction, neurobehavioral toxicology and the development of novel therapeutic treatments for cognitive dysfunction and substance abuse. Currently, our principal research focus concerns nicotine. We have documented the basic effects of nicotine on learningm memory and attention as well as nicotine self-administration. We are continuing with more mechanistic studies in rat models using selective lesions, local infusions and neurotransmitter interaction studies. We have found that nicotine improves memory performance not only in normal rats, but also in rats with lesions of hippocampal and basal forebrain connections. We are concentrating on alpha7 and alpha4beta2 nicotinic receptor subtypes in the hippocampus, amygdala , thalamus and frontal cortex and how they interact with dopamine D1 and D2 and glutamate NMDA systems with regard to memory and addiction. I am also conducting studies on human cognitive behavior. We have current studies to assess nicotine effects on attention, memory and mental processing speed in schizophrenics, Alzheimer's Disease patients and people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In the area of neurobehavioral toxicology, I have continuing projects to characterize the adverse effects of prenatal and adolescent nicotine exposure. Our primary project in neurobehavioral toxicology focuses on the cognitive deficits caused by the marine toxins including domoic acid, ciguatera toxin and pfiesteria. We have documented a persistent neurobehavioral effects caused by Pfiesteria and domoic acid exposure. We are determining the neurobehavioral nature and mechanisms of this deficit. The basic and applied aims of our research complement each other nicely. The findings concerning neural mechanisms underlying cognitive function help direct the behavioral toxicology and therapeutic development studies, while the applied studies provide important functional information concerning the importance of the basic mechanisms under investigation.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1984

Selected Grants

Publications

Holloway, Zade, Reese Koburov, Andrew Hawkey, and Edward D. Levin. “Measuring attention in rats with a visual signal detection task: Signal intensity vs. signal duration.” Pharmacol Biochem Behav 199 (November 2, 2020): 173069. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2020.173069.

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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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Oliveri, Anthony N., Megan Knuth, Lilah Glazer, Jordan Bailey, Seth W. Kullman, and Edward D. Levin. “Zebrafish show long-term behavioral impairments resulting from developmental vitamin D deficiency.” Physiol Behav 224 (October 1, 2020): 113016. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2020.113016.

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Oliveri, Anthony N., Lilah Glazer, Debabrata Mahapatra, Seth W. Kullman, and Edward D. Levin. “Developmental exposure of zebrafish to vitamin D receptor acting drugs and environmental toxicants disrupts behavioral function.” Neurotoxicol Teratol 81 (September 2020): 106902. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ntt.2020.106902.

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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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Hawkey, Andrew B., Lilah Glazer, Cassandra Dean, Corinne N. Wells, Kathryn-Ann Odamah, Theodore A. Slotkin, Frederic J. Seidler, and Edward D. Levin. “Adult exposure to insecticides causes persistent behavioral and neurochemical alterations in zebrafish.” Neurotoxicol Teratol 78 (March 2020): 106853. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ntt.2019.106853.

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Hawkey, Andrew, Erica Pippen, Hannah White, Joseph Kim, Eva Greengrove, Bruny Kenou, Zade Holloway, and Edward D. Levin. “Gestational and perinatal exposure to diazinon causes long-lasting neurobehavioral consequences in the rat.” Toxicology 429 (January 2020): 152327. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tox.2019.152327.

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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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