Senior Research Scientist
Research Associate Professor, Psychology
The role of the mesolimbic dopamine circuit in addictive disorders with a focus on drug abuse, alcoholism and obesity
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.