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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

Levin, Edward D., Brandon J. Hall, Autri Chattopadhyay, Susan Slade, Corinne Wells, Amir H. Rezvani, and Jed E. Rose. “Reduction of nicotine self-administration by chronic nicotine infusion with H1 histamine blockade in female rats.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 233, no. 15–16 (August 2016): 3009–15. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-016-4347-1.

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Hall, Brandon J., Marty Cauley, Dennis A. Burke, Abtin Kiany, Theodore A. Slotkin, and Edward D. Levin. “Cognitive and Behavioral Impairments Evoked by Low-Level Exposure to Tobacco Smoke Components: Comparison with Nicotine Alone.” Toxicol Sci 151, no. 2 (June 2016): 236–44. https://doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfw042.

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Levin, Edward D. “Crumbling Infrastructure and Learning Impairment: A Call for Responsibility.” Environ Health Perspect 124, no. 5 (May 1, 2016): A79. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP69.

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Bao, Xuhui, Vidyalakshmi Chandramohan, Randall P. Reynolds, John N. Norton, William C. Wetsel, Ramona M. Rodriguiz, Dipendra K. Aryal, et al. “Preclinical toxicity evaluation of a novel immunotoxin, D2C7-(scdsFv)-PE38KDEL, administered via intracerebral convection-enhanced delivery in rats.” Invest New Drugs 34, no. 2 (April 2016): 149–58. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10637-015-0318-3.

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Briggs, Scott A., Brandon J. Hall, Corinne Wells, Susan Slade, Paul Jaskowski, Margaret Morrison, Amir H. Rezvani, Jed E. Rose, and Edward D. Levin. “Dextromethorphan interactions with histaminergic and serotonergic treatments to reduce nicotine self-administration in rats.” Pharmacol Biochem Behav 142 (March 2016): 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2015.12.004.

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Brown, D. R., J. M. Bailey, A. N. Oliveri, E. D. Levin, and R. T. Di Giulio. “Developmental exposure to a complex PAH mixture causes persistent behavioral effects in naive Fundulus heteroclitus (killifish) but not in a population of PAH-adapted killifish.” Neurotoxicol Teratol 53 (January 2016): 55–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ntt.2015.10.007.

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Rezvani, A. H., E. D. Levin, C. Wells, S. Slade, M. Morrison, L. Marshall, M. Morris, J. Confino, C. Allenby, and L. Lumeng. “Different lines of rats selectively-bred for high alcohol-drinking demonstrate disparate preferences for nicotine self-administration.” Journal of Drug and Alcohol Research 2016, no. 5 (January 1, 2016). https://doi.org/10.4303/jdar/235972.

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Bailey, Jordan M., Anthony N. Oliveri, Nishika Karbhari, Roy A. J. Brooks, Amberlene J. De La Rocha, Sheila Janardhan, and Edward D. Levin. “Persistent behavioral effects following early life exposure to retinoic acid or valproic acid in zebrafish.” Neurotoxicology 52 (January 2016): 23–33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuro.2015.10.001.

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Hall, Brandon J., Susan Slade, Cheyenne Allenby, Munir G. Kutlu, and Edward D. Levin. “Neuro-anatomic mapping of dopamine D1 receptor involvement in nicotine self-administration in rats.” Neuropharmacology 99 (December 2015): 689–95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.03.005.

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Levin, Edward D., Allan V. Kalueff, and Robert T. Gerlai. “Perspectives on zebrafish neurobehavioral pharmacology.” Pharmacol Biochem Behav 139 Pt B (December 2015): 93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2015.11.007.

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