Dr. Kenneth Perkins' laboratory has examined acute effects of nicotine and cigarette smoking in adults that may explain the persistence of tobacco dependence since 1986. The first two decades of this effort resulted in his being listed among the top 100 most cited authors in tobacco and nicotine research and the top 70 most productive faculty in clinical psychology. Dr. Perkins' is the Principal Investigator of the first programmatic lab-based research in humans funded by the National Institutes of Health on: 1) nicotine and energy balance, to help determine why smoking lowers body weight, which may help maintain smoking in those with weight concerns; 2) chronic tolerance to nicotine (tolerance being a classic hallmark of abused drugs) and examination of associations of tolerance with dependence; 3) discriminative stimulus effects of nicotine, believed related to nicotine reinforcement; and 4) sex differences in the reinforcing and rewarding effects of nicotine vs. non-nicotine stimuli of smoking. His more recent projects focused on developing and validating an efficient procedure for initial screening novel medications for evidence of smoking cessation efficacy, and on nicotine’s reinforcement enhancing effects.
Location: Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic Auditorium
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