Gianluigi Tanda

National Institutes of Health, USA

Dr. Gianluigi Tanda was born in Cagliari, Italy in 1960. He received the Diploma as Doctor in Pharmacy, and the PhD in Toxicology (summa cum laude), in 1993, from the University of Cagliari, Italy. In collaboration with Prof G. DiChiara, Dr. Tanda has worked on neuroscience projects about functional interactions of dopaminergic, serotonergic, and noradrenergic brain systems. These studies were the first to identify a common trait of different clinically effective antidepressants in stimulating brain dopamine transmission in the medial prefrontal cortex, but not in the nucleus accumbens. After working on the successful development of original vertical probes for “in vivo” intracerebral microdialysis, Dr. Tanda, in collaboration with Drs FE Pontieri and G DiChiara firstly characterized different brain patterns of stimulation of dopamine transmission by drugs abused by humans and suggested different roles for nucleus accumbens shell and core subregions in reward-related drug effects. In collaboration with Dr. S. Goldberg, NIDA/NIH, Dr. Tanda successfully developed the first animal model of THC (marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient) self-administration behavior, demonstrating THC reinforcing effects in non-human primates. Dr. Tanda is currently a Senior Staff Scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, where he works, in collaboration with Dr Jonathan Katz and Dr. Amy Newman, NIDA/NIH, on research projects related to the effects of newly synthesized dopamine membrane transporter blockers on behavioral measures and on DA neurotransmission. Some of the newly synthesized analogs of benztropine, from Dr. Amy Newman’s lab, show a behavioral profile different from that of cocaine, and some of these compounds significantly reduce the behavioral, neurochemical, and reinforcing effects of cocaine, providing new clues in the search for cocaine-abuse medications.

Biography Updated on 27 September 2011

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