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February 1, 2002


"Drug Abuse: The Drive Within" -- Emory Great Teachers Lecture Series February 21, Emory Conference Center Hotel, 1615 Clifton Road

Michael J. Kuhar, Ph.D.
Charles Howard Candler Professor of Pharmacology, Emory School of Medicine Chief of Neuroscience, Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar

Over the past 25 years, scientists have achieved significant progress in understanding the process of drug addiction. As Emory neuroscientist Michael J. Kuhar, Ph.D., explains, it has become clear that continued use of drugs causes a changed and disordered brain. These changes are long lasting, and help us understand that drug addiction is a mental disease or disorder with a physiological basis that can be treated.

As part of Emory's Great Teachers Lecture Series, Dr. Kuhar will discuss the physiological basis of drug addiction and the research advances that are bringing us closer to effective medical treatment for this problem. The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 21, at the Emory Conference Center Hotel, located at 1615 Clifton Road. It is free, open to the public, and does not require reservations. Call 404-727-6000 for further information.

One of the world's leading neuroscientists in the study of addiction, Dr. Kuhar is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Pharmacology at the Emory University School of Medicine and Chief of the Division of\ Neuroscience at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center of Emory University. He also is a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, and has received numerous awards and accolades. Dr. Kuhar's research focuses on the biochemical and physiological mechanisms of drug abuse and the development of novel medications to treat addiction, specifically cocaine addiction, for which no medication exists.

Dr. Kuhar and his colleagues discovered the exact mechanism by which cocaine disrupts the brain's levels of dopamine, a chemical that helps brain cells communicate. This important finding directed scientists to focus on restoring normal dopamine system function in drug abusers. Before joining Emory, Dr. Kuhar was Chief of the Neurosciences Branch of the National Institute on Drug Abuse's Addiction Research Center in Maryland and Professor of Neurosciences, Psychiatry and Psychopharmacology at Johns Hopkins University. He earned his B.S. in physics and philosophy at the University of Scranton in 1965 and his Ph.D. in biophysics and pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University in1970.

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