Cody Wenthur, PhD
Immunology Focus area:
Descriptive Title of Research:
Neuro and Immunopharmacology in Substance Use Disorders
The Wenthur laboratory is focused on understanding how the immune system can alter the function of brain reward systems, as a means to develop new therapeutics for addiction and associated psychiatric illnesses. Within this overall effort, there are four interconnected projects crafted to support rapid translation of these findings into human medicine to improve human health.
The first project is focused on development of novel vaccines and antibodies that can block the effects of abused drugs, such as opiates, stimulants, and cannabinoids. The second project uses antibody-mediated techniques to understand how multiple neurochemical systems interact to support maladaptive learning during chronic stress in mammalian systems, including long-term pain and associated drug use. The third project is to identify altered biochemical immune-system markers of ongoing drug abuse, especially the abuse of prescription opioids, and to understand how these alterations in immune function affect the efficacy of these abused drugs. The final project assesses the ethical, practical, and therapeutic concerns of patients, providers, and payers in regard to the implementation of vaccination against abused drugs as an addiction treatment across several treatment populations.
Link to Publications:
Graduate Program Affiliations:
Pharmaceutical Sciences, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology