Exercise and its Ability to Help Fight Drug Addiction

The image provided is an image of a cartoon rat on a treadmill to signify our exercise study on an animal model.

Assist in determining how exercise helps individuals recover from addiction and how we can personalize exercise to allow for a high rate of success.

Project description

Our Behavioral Neuropharmacology and Neuroimaging laboratory is interested in drug addiction and exercise’s role as a form of treatment. Exercise have been proven to have many health benefits including improving mental health, decreasing risk of heart disease and helping stabilize blood sugar levels. In our research we have seen exercise as an effective preventative measure against addiction. To help increase the success of recovery from addiction our focus is to create customizable exercise regimens that are the most effective for individuals. To achieve this goal, we first need to understand the mechanism in which exercise and drugs of abuse interact. Our lab has many exercise experiments lined up; in particular, we will be investigating the effects of estrogen and testosterone on exercise proficiency in rodents. We will also be analyzing the neurochemical changes in rodent brains after different exercise regimens and drug exposure. We are looking for students who can assist with brain imagining analysis as well as animal behavioral testing.

Project outcome

This project will provide students with the opportunity to write and submit abstract/posters as well as peer reviewed research papers.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Year long (10-12 months) 
Start time Anytime
In-person, remote, or hybrid?
Level of collaboration Small group project (2-3 students)
Benefits Academic credit 
Who is eligible All undergraduate students 

Project mentor

Panayotis Thanos

Senior Research Scientist

Pharmacology and Toxicology

Phone: (716) 881-7520

Email: thanos@buffalo.edu

Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • Students will watch supplied training videos and learn more about the background of the project. 
  • Students will read several articles from our lab that are related to the project the student will work on.


Pharmacology and Toxicology