Marsida Kallupi, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department:

Psychiatry

Expertise:

Behavioral models, electrophysiology

Dr. Kallupi has been working in the field of drug addiction for over 10 years. She has contributed in the development of unique experimental methodologies to investigate the neurobiological basis of relapse and to identify novel effective pharmaco-treatments for cocaine and nicotine addiction. These methodologies, considered the “gold standard” to investigate the neurobiology of addiction, are widely used to study translational aspects of cocaine and nicotine addiction in animal models. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry of the University of California San Diego. Her present scientific work is focused in investigating the ways in which discrete neuronal circuits shape our behavior, specifically with regard to drug use and stress. Using electrophysiology Dr. Kallupi studies the cellular activity of neurons in brain regions that are related to drug addiction at distinct time points of drug intake and withdrawal. Dr. Kallupi has published over 40 research papers in prestigious international journals, including Nature Communications, Science Advances, PNAS, Biological Psychiatry, Neurophsychopharmacology and has served as ad hoc reviewer for more than 15 journals. Dr. Kallupi was awarded with several awards, among them: (NIAAA) National institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in 2010; ERAB) The European Foundation for Alcohol Research in 2014 and (INRC) The International Narcotics Research Conference in 2018. She has trained several predoctoral fellows, undergraduate and high-school students. She is an active member of the scientific committee for the High Tech High school in San Diego that provides feedback to students on their research projects.

Giordano de Guglielmo, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department:

Psychiatry

Expertise:

Behavioral models, neurocircuitry, optogenetics, pharmacogenetics

Dr. Giordano de Guglielmo studied Chemistry and Pharmaceutical technology and obtained the National Pharmacist Qualification (PharmD) from the University of Camerino, (MC) Italy in 2009. He joined the Laboratory of Prof. Gunter Schumann at the King’s College of London in 2008, during the master research thesis project. Dr. de Guglielmo joined the Laboratory of Dr. Roberto Ciccocioppo at the University of Camerino as a graduate student. During this period, he spent one year in the Laboratory of Dr. Friedbert Weiss in the Department of Neuroscience at The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA), where, in collaboration with the Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, his contribution was focused on the development of an agonist-like compound of the NOP receptor, and its role on alcohol-abuse related behaviors. Dr. de Guglielmo returned to Italy, where he obtained his PhD in 2013 with a thesis on the role of PPAR gamma receptor in opioid abuse and tolerance. Between 2014 and 2019, Dr. de Guglielmo joined the Laboratory of Dr. Olivier George in the Neuroscience Department at The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA), where his studies were mainly focused on the identification and characterization of neuronal ensembles responsible of alcohol withdrawal in rats.
Dr. de Guglielmo is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSD. His research program focuses on the neural circuits of addiction, with an emphasis on critical molecular and cellular mechanisms that are responsible for adverse behavioral outcomes that are associated with substance abuse and dependence.

Lieselot Carrette, PhD

Project Scientist

Department:

Psychiatry

Expertise:

Epigenetics, Whole-brain imaging

Francesca Telese, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department:

Medicine

Expertise:

transcriptional regulation, epigenetics, crispr

Francesca Telese is a molecular neuroscientist and has a specific interest in mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in the brain. Dr. Telese gained a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Naples (Italy) where she trained in biochemistry and molecular biology. During her graduate work, she identified a nuclear protein complex implicated in transcriptional mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease. Her postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) focused on epigenetic mechanisms of learning and memory in mice. Her work identified critical enhancers elements and novel epigenetic mechanisms that regulate synaptic plasticity-dependent genes. She is currently an Assistant Professor at UCSD in the Department of Medicine. Her research interest is in epigenetic mechanisms underlying substance use disorders using rodent models. The main focus of Dr. Telese’s lab is understanding how drug exposure during critical developmental periods affects gene expression in specific neuronal subtypes, and studying the molecular underpinning of addiction vulnerability using single-cell sequencing approaches.

Chitra Mandyam, PhD

Associate Professor

Department:

Anesthesiology

Expertise:

Neuroanatomy, Neuropharmacology, Cell Biology, Small Molecules, Drug Addiction

Our laboratory incorporates innovative experiments to elucidate important issues that are of high importance to the addiction and adult neurogenesis fields. The general goal of our laboratory is to understand the relationship between brain structure and function using state-of-the-art molecular and cellular approaches to study high-level mental functions such as drug taking and seeking (which are the purview of behavioral and cognitive neuroscience). We employ genetic, pharmacological, electrophysiological and histochemical techniques, and behavioral paradigms for understanding the role of newly born neurons and myelinating oligodendrocytes in drug pathology. The specific research theme of our laboratory is to determine the functional significance of adult neurogenesis and gliogenesis in addiction and addictive disorders. Our research is focused around two areas of inquiry:1) the role of stem cells in drug neuropathology and 2) novel neuroprotective strategies in addictive disorders.

Paul Schweitzer, PhD

Project Scientist

Department:

Psychiatry

Expertise:

Cellular Neurophysiology, Addiction Neuronal Networks, Cannabinoids

I have been a long-standing researcher in cellular physiology using an electrophysiological approach, with a broad background in neuropharmacology and neurophysiology. My postdoctoral training focused on the involvement of neurotransmitters and intracellular messengers in neuronal synaptic transmission and membrane properties. After obtaining a faculty position at The Scripps Research Institute (1996), I studied the effects of addictive substances with emphasis on the neuronal mechanisms of action of cannabinoid substances and alcohol in the brain. I have now integrated the School of Medicine at UC San Diego / Department of Psychiatry, (2019) to continue my work on addictive disorders.

Olivier George, PhD

Associate Professor

Department:

Psychiatry

Expertise:

Animal model, medication development, neurobiology, neuropharmacology

Olivier George, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at UCSD, School of Medicine in the department of Psychiatry. He serves as the Co-Director of the Animal Core of the Scripps Research Alcohol Research Center, and Director of the Cocaine and Oxycodone Biobanks. Dr. George received his Ph.D. from the University of Bordeaux (France) and did postdoctoral work on animal models of addiction at The Scripps Research Institute. His studies span multiple levels of approaches from molecular to integrated systems using state-of-the-art animal models of addiction with strong translational relevance. Dr. George made several breakthrough discoveries including identifying neuronal ensembles of compulsive alcohol and nicotine use and discovering a novel neuronal population that drives negative emotional states in nicotine addiction. Dr. George has also pioneered the development of novel animal models of nicotine, opioid and alcohol addiction using vapor inhalation. Using these approaches, he has contributed to the development of several Investigational New Drugs and hold several patents. He has given over 115 talks to audiences of all levels and published more than 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals. His work is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism, and the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program.