Meet Our Lab Leader: Andrea Hohmann, Ph.D.

Linda and Jack Gill Chair and Professor of Psychological Brain Sciences

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Research Interests

My research has focused on understanding pain modulation from a neurochemical perspective. The discovery of cannabinoid receptors and identification of brain constituents that act at these receptors established the existence of an endogenous cannabis-like (endocannabinoid) transmitter system. My research has identified functional roles of the endocannabinoid system in the nervous system and mapped it's distribution in sensory pathways. My research has identified enzymes implicated in endocannabinoid deactivation as novel therapeutic targets. My laboratory strives to maximize the therapeutic potential of endocannabinoid signaling systems while minimizing unwanted central nervous system side-effects (e.g. psychoactivity and addiction). My research program combines behavioral, drug self-administration, neuroanatomical, neurophysiological and molecular approaches to study cannabinoid mechanisms for suppression of pain and stress responsiveness.

My research goal is to identify novel therapeutic interventions for treating pain that lack abuse liability and adverse side effects. The discovery of cannabinoid receptors and identification of brain constituents that act at these receptors established the existence of an endogenous cannabis-like (endocannabinoid) transmitter system. My lab has focused on harnessing the therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid signaling system to suppress neuropathic pain while minimizing unwanted side effects (i.e., psychoactivity and addiction). The endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids), and the enzymes catalyzing endocannabinoid synthesis and degradation. My lab has identified functional roles of the endocannabinoid system in the nervous system and mapped its distribution in sensory pathways. My research has identified enzymes implicated in endocannabinoid deactivation as novel therapeutic targets for pain and stress-related disorders. My laboratory strives to maximize the therapeutic potential of endocannabinoid signaling systems while minimizing unwanted central nervous system side effects (e.g., psychoactivity and addiction). My lab has also disrupted protein-protein interactions downstream of NMDA receptors to suppress pronociceptive signaling cascades without the adverse effects of NMDAR antagonists (i.e., by targeting interactions between neuronal nitric oxide synthase and its upstream [PSD95] or downstream [NOS1AP] protein partners). My laboratory combines approaches from behavioral pharmacology, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, biochemistry, and molecular biology.