Jerrold Meyer’s research program has two major themes. The first theme concerns the neurotoxic and behavioral effects of drugs of abuse, with a current focus on MDMA (“Ecstasy”). We are particularly interested in MDMA preconditioning (the ability of moderate MDMA pretreatment to blunt the serotonergic neurotoxic effects of a subsequent MDMA binge) as well as the interactions between MDMA and
THC in a rat model of adolescent Ecstasy/marijuana co-use. The second research theme involves a collaboration with Dr. Melinda Novak to study the role of stress and anxiety in spontaneously occurring self-injurious behavior in rhesus monkeys. These studies led to the establishment of a novel method for measuring cortisol in hair, a technique that is opening up new avenues for non-invasively assessing chronic stress in both human and animal populations.
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