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Ellen Unterwald, PhD

Chair and Professor, Department of Neural Sciences
Professor, Center for Substance Abuse Research

Ellen Unterwald
Contact Information

Contact Information



About Me

Research Interests

Our research investigates cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in drug addiction. We are particularly interested in neuroadaptations in specific receptors, signal transduction pathways, and transcription factors that result from exposure to psychostimulants (eg, cocaine and amphetamine) and opiates (eg, morphine and heroin). These adaptations are important as they mediate the processes of drug tolerance, dependence, sensitization, withdrawal and craving, which form the basis of addictive disease. The roles of these molecules and pathways in addiction-related behaviors are investigated using several relevant animal models. Some of these studies focus on identification of novel targets for the prevention of relapse and treatment of addiction. Other studies investigate the relationship between stress, anxiety, and relapse to drug use.  It is anticipated that by identifying neurobiological alterations that occur during exposure to drugs of abuse, the molecular mechanisms of drug addiction will be elucidated and effective therapeutic strategies will follow. These research projects have been supported in part by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Department of Health, and Temple University.

Education, Training & Credentials

Educational Background

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1988
  • PhD, Pharmacology, Boston University School of Medicine, 1985
  • BS, Pharmacy, University of Rhode Island, 1980

Digital Bibliography

View PubMed Publications