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”). He and the researchers in his lab 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.