Amir H. Rezvani

Amir H. Rezvani

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

External Address: 
323 Foster St., Durham, NC 27701
Internal Office Address: 
Box 104790, Dept. of Psychiatry, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: 
919.668.1880
Office Hours: 
By appointment.

Overview

My research and teaching interests have been primarily focused on the following areas:

Alcoholism: I work with "alcoholic" rats with genetic predisposition!" We use selectively-bred alcohol preferring rats as an animal model of human alcoholism for developing better pharmacological treatments for alcoholism. Recently, we are working on several novel promissing "anti-craving" compounds for the treatment of alcoholism. We are also studing the interaction bewteen alcohol drinking and nicotine intake.

Nicotine Addiction: We have been studying age and sex differences in i.v. nicotine self-administration in rats. We have found that pattern of drug intake is both age- and sex-dependent. Our lab is also exploring different neuronal targets for developing better pharmacologic treatment for nicotine addiction.

Sustained Attention: Another aspect of our research is studying the role of the neuronal nicotinic and other neuronal systems in sustained attention using a rodent model. We have shown, nicotine (not smoking!) and nicotinic compounds improve attention in rats. A majority of people with schizophrenia smoke and they smoke heavily. Thus, it is important to understand the interaction of antipsychotic medications and nicotine in sustained attention. This has been another aspect of our research with interesting results. Presently, we are testing novel nicotinic compounds for improving pharmacologically-impaired sustained attention.

Teaching: I love to teach and interact with students. Since arriving at Duke in 1999, I have been team-teaching the popular alcohol course (Psych 206-01R; Alcohol: Brain, Society and Individual). I also enjoy mentoring undergrad students who are interested in science and enjoy working in the lab with cute little creatures!.

Community: I am a member of the Board of Directors of Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA), a self-supported therapeutic community in Durham. I also give seminars and workshops on addiction around the country.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Illinois -- Urbana-Champaign 1983

Selected Grants

Paternal Transgenerational Epigenetic Legacy from Use of Cannabis awarded by John Templeton Foundation (Co Investigator). 2017 to 2020

Nicotinic Receptor Desensitization to Reduce Drug Self-Administration: Project 2 awarded by Georgetown University (Co Investigator). 2010 to 2015

Adolescence: A Sensitive Period for Nicotine Addiction awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2004 to 2010

Nicotinic-Antipsychotic Drug Interactions and Cognition awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2001 to 2006

Rezvani, A. H. “Involvement of the NMDA system in learning and memory.” Animal Models of Cognitive Impairment, 2006, pp. 37–48.

Levin, E. D., and A. H. Rezvani. “Nicotinic involvement in cognitive function of rats.” Nicotinic Receptors in the Nervous System, 2001, pp. 167–78.

Willette, Blair K. A., et al. “Acute and chronic interactive treatments of serotonin 5HT2C and dopamine D1 receptor systems for decreasing nicotine self-administration in female rats..” Pharmacol Biochem Behav, vol. 186, Nov. 2019. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2019.172766. Full Text

Levin, Edward D., et al. “Chronic memantine decreases nicotine self-administration in rats..” Eur J Pharmacol, vol. 861, Oct. 2019. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2019.172592. Full Text

Levin, Edward D., et al. “Paternal THC exposure in rats causes long-lasting neurobehavioral effects in the offspring..” Neurotoxicol Teratol, vol. 74, July 2019. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.ntt.2019.04.003. Full Text

Hawkey, Andrew B., et al. “Paternal nicotine exposure in rats produces long-lasting neurobehavioral effects in the offspring..” Neurotoxicol Teratol, vol. 74, July 2019. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.ntt.2019.05.001. Full Text Open Access Copy

Rezvani, Amir H., et al. “Oral sazetidine-A, a selective α4β2* nicotinic receptor desensitizing agent, reduces nicotine self-administration in rats..” Pharmacol Biochem Behav, vol. 179, Apr. 2019, pp. 109–12. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2019.02.007. Full Text

Levin, Edward D., et al. “α4β2 Nicotinic receptor desensitizing compounds can decrease self-administration of cocaine and methamphetamine in rats..” Eur J Pharmacol, vol. 845, Feb. 2019, pp. 1–7. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2018.12.010. Full Text

Rezvani, Amir H., et al. “Sub-anesthetic doses of ketamine attenuate nicotine self-administration in rats..” Neurosci Lett, vol. 668, Mar. 2018, pp. 98–102. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2018.01.022. Full Text

Levin, Edward D., et al. “Mutually augmenting interactions of dextromethorphan and sazetidine-A for reducing nicotine self-administration in rats..” Pharmacol Biochem Behav, vol. 166, Mar. 2018, pp. 42–47. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2018.01.005. Full Text

Pages

Rezvani, Amir H., and Edward D. Levin. “Assessment of pregnenolone effects on alcohol intake and preference in male alcohol preferring (P) rats..” Eur J Pharmacol, vol. 740, 2014, pp. 53–57. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2014.07.003. Full Text