Jun-Xu Li, MD, PhD and pharmacology graduate students and trainees.

From left: Jianfeng Liu, PhD; Zi-Jun Wang, PhD; Lakeisha Lewter, Lauren Mueller, Justin Siemian, Jennifer Martin and Jun-Xu Li, MD, PhD.

Pharmacology Students, Trainees Lauded for Meeting Presentations

Published March 28, 2016 This content is archived.

story by dirk hoffman

Graduate student and trainee researchers and their mentors in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology received positive feedback on in-depth studies they presented at the 2016 Behavior, Biology and Chemistry: Translational Research in Addiction meeting.


The conference was conducted March 5-6 at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Event Organizer Impressed With UB Team

Jun-Xu Li, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology, traveled to the event accompanying four graduate students and two postdoctoral fellows who each won travel awards.

“There were about 170 participants, and the University at Buffalo was very well represented at the meeting,” Li says. “In fact, the event’s organizer, Dr. Charles France, emailed me afterward to express his impressions of the UB team. He said ‘your institution was very well represented, you should be proud.’”

Talks Receive Glowing Reviews From Attendees

Two students in the department’s doctoral program presented talks at the conference.

Justin Siemian, who is mentored by Li, gave a talk titled “Anti-Hyperalgesic Effects of the Imidazoline I2 Receptor Agonist 2-BFI in a Rat Model of Inflammatory Pain: Interactions With Mu Opioids of Varying Efficacies.”

­“The Essential Role of Drebrin in Mediating Opiate-Induced Plasticity in the Nucleus Accumbens,” was the title of the talk given by Jennifer Martin, who is mentored by David Dietz, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology.

“Each of them gave a very good talk,” Li says. “I heard a lot of compliments from colleagues about both talks.”

Research Explores Possible Drug Addiction Therapies

The postdoctoral fellows and other two doctoral candidates presented posters at the conference.

Jianfeng Liu, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Li’s laboratory, presented a poster titled “Effects of Trace Amine-Associated Receptor 1 Agonists on the Expression, Reconsolidation and Extinction of Cocaine Reward Memory.”

Zi-Jun Wang, PhD, who conducts research in Dr. Dietz’s laboratory, presented a poster titled “BRG1 in the Nucleus Accumbens Regulates Cocaine-Seeking Behavior.”

Graduate student Lakeisha Lewter, who is mentored by Li, presented a poster titled “Behavioral Effects of Novel GABAa Receptor Positive Allosteric Modulators in Rats.”

Doctoral candidate Lauren Mueller is mentored by Dietz. Her poster presentation was titled “Sex Differences in Drug-Induced Plasticity Following Heroin Self-Administration.”