Panayotis (Peter) K. Thanos, PhD

Jaye L. Derrick, PhD.

Senior Research Scientist

Behavioral Neuropharmacology

Faculty, Neuroscience 

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Contact Information

1021 Main Street
Buffalo, NY  14203-1016
Phone: (716) 881-7520


Primary Research Areas

The role of the mesolimbic dopamine circuit in addictive disorders with a focus on drug abuse, alcoholism and obesity

Research Publications Expertise

Research Agenda

Dr. Thanos’ current research includes four major areas: (1) using animal models to study the underlying neural mechanisms of increased vulnerability to alcohol abuse after gastric bypass surgery; (2) determining the chronic effects of methylphenidate on the development of the brain in terms of functional connectivity, behavior, receptor dysregulation and skeletal development and if so, how to reduce its adverse effects; (3) developing a combined cocaine and HIV vaccine based on a common protein scaffold, which could potentially address major challenges facing both HIV/AIDS research and research on drug abuse;  (4) dissection of the role of Fatty Acid Binding Proteins on endocannabinoid signaling and function. (5) functional connectivity and brain mapping (microPET) of rodent models of psychiatric disease.

Areas of Expertise

  • Animal models of diet-induced obesity
  • Animal models of alcohol and substance use disorders
  • Translational research – emphasis in Reward Deficiency Syndrome
  • Brain Circuit Mapping and functional connectivity in rodents (Positron Emission Tomography -  microPET)
  • Optogenetic stimulation of brain targets, stereotaxic and microsurgery, jugular vein catheterization, viral vector transfection
  • Pharmacokinetic assays of drugs, drug development and testing
  • In-vitro and ex-vivo brain quantitative receptor binding using autoradiography
  • Structural and DT MRI of the rodent brain, microCT imaging of rodent brain vasculature (contrast agents)
  • Numerous animal modeling behavioral paradigms: (exercise, gait analysis, motor coordination and balance, locomotor activity, anxiety, memory, exploratory behavior test, social interaction test, sleep, anxiety, depression, alcohol and drug conditioned place preference, alcohol and drug self-administration), feeding and drinking behavior
  • Genetic and environment vulnerabilities of addictive disorders