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Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Psychiatry Grand Rounds Speaker


        Scott E. Lukas, PhD


Scott Lukas received his Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology in 1979 from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy at Baltimore. He then spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Behavioral Biology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and another 18 months at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Addiction Research Center in Baltimore Maryland before moving to McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School in 1984. He was promoted to Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School in 2003. He currently directs the Behavioral Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory at McLean Hospital and from January 2008 until March 2010 he served as Interim Director of the NeuroImaging Center. On April 1st 2010 he became the Director of the NeuroImaging Center, which supports 3 clinical (1.5, 3 and 4T) and 1 animal (9.4T) magnet for both research and clinical diagnostic applications.  Dr. Lukas has been conducting clinical electrophysiological and psychopharmacological research for the past 35 years. He has applied the principles of experimental analysis of behavior to studying animal models of drug abuse. He has focused his clinical research on use of EEG topographic brain mapping, polysomnography, and a variety of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI/fMRI/MRS) techniques to quantify the changes in brain function that parallel altered states of consciousness, sleep, performance, mood states, and reinforcement after psychoactive drug administration or presentation of drug‐related cues in adults and  adolescents. He also uses wrist actigraphy to study sleep/wake profiles and drug use. Specific drugs of interest have included: alcohol, cocaine, marihuana, nicotine, and the combinations of these drugs in the context of polydrug abuse. Recent interests include Chinese herbal therapy and acupuncture to treat alcohol and drug abuse. He presently is conducting clinical trials on new medications to treat marihuana and alcohol abuse/dependence and developing ways to measure how smoked drugs alter reward function using fMRI. His work on the herb kudzu to reduce alcohol consumption received worldwide attention in 2005 and his brain imaging research has been featured in TIME Magazine and on the news show Prime Time Live with Diane Sawyer. He has received continuous NIH funding since 1984 and is currently the Director of a NIDA T32 Training Grant. For 10 years Dr. Lukas served as chair of the NIDA‐K study section that reviews all training and career development applications for NIDA.

Dr. Lukas has been an active participant in the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) serving on the CPDD Board of Directors from 1995‐1999, Chair of the Program Committee from 1999‐2004 the Newsline Editor from 1996‐2000. In June of 2007, Dr. Lukas received the CPDD Mentorship Award and in 2009, he was elected to a second term on the CPDD Board of Directors, and is now the Chair of the Nominations Committee. He is currently President‐Elect and will begin his term as President in June 2011.

       At the completion of this session, the participant should be able to:

1.  List the various factors that contribute to patient’s desire to pursue the use of complementary and alternative medicine
     (CAM), and how clinicians should respond to those needs.
2.  Discuss the neurobiological basis of using acupuncture to treat pain.
3.  Describe the various mechanisms of action of nutritional supplements and herbal preparations that are being targeted in
     order to optimize the treatment of cocaine addiction and alcoholism.


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