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Laboratory of Translational Neuropsychopharmacology

The Laboratory of Translational Neuropsychopharmacology (LTN) designs, leads and coordinates both NIH (NIMH, NIDA and NIAAA) and industry sponsored (investigator-initiated) studies at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), as well as through a network of clinical sites in New Hampshire, Vermont and across the country.

The mission of the LTN is to gain a better systems-neuroscience understanding of severe mental illness and substance use disorders in order to develop novel therapeutic interventions and personalize the implementation of existing treatments to improve patients' lives.

The areas of focus of the on-going studies of the group are schizophrenia and co-occurring substance use disorder, as well as alcoholism, binge eating disorder, and cannabis use disorder.

  • Animal studies: On-going animal research within the LTN is closely linked to the work of the Neuroscience Center at Dartmouth. These translational research studies involve investigation of animal models of schizophrenia and co-occurring substance use to further understand the basis of these disorders, and to test out potential new therapeutic agents and techniques. Other studies probe the neural circuitry of food and drug addiction alone. Among new therapeutic strategies being studied are novel pharmacological approaches and neurosurgical methods to modulate activity of delineated neural circuitry. Methodology includes animal behavior, pharmacology, brain imaging, electrophysiology, chemogenetics, and focal brain stimulation.
  • Neuroimaging studies: On-going neuroimaging studies (in partnership with the Brain Imaging Lab) use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques to elucidate structural and functional deficits in patients with serious psychiatric disorders. One area of focus at present involves the use of fMRI to elucidate brain reward circuitry as a target for therapeutic intervention. A recent study is seeking to assess the effect of cannabis on brain function in people with schizophrenia and co-occurring cannabis use disorder.
  • Clinical trials: The LTN has a number of on-going clinical trials, most of which are hypothesis testing proof of concept studies. In these studies, therapeutic agents (some of which are also studied within our animal research and neuroimaging programs) can be evaluated in human populations. We also collaborate with sites/groups and affiliated academic institutions, such as the University of Vermont and Northeastern University.
  • Contact Elise Bragg for more information (elise.m.bragg@hitchcock.org)

Our members

  • Alan I. Green, MD, Professor and Director
  • Mary F. Brunette, MD, Medical Director and Associate Professor
  • Ree Dawson, PhD, Senior Statistician
  • Elise Bragg, Lab Manager
  • Wilder Doucette, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor
  • Jibran Y. Khokhar, PhD, Collaborating Investigator and Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • Angela M. Henricks, PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow
  • Diana J. Wallin, PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow
  • Lucas L. Dwiel, BS, Graduate Student
  • Emily K. Sullivan, BA, Graduate Student
  • Pamela T. Geiger, BS, Study Assistant
  • Sara M. Hickey, BS, Research Coordinator, Clinical Studies
  • Mary L. Hynes, RN, BS, MPH, CCRC, Administrative Director, Clinical Studies
  • William Keller, MD, Assistant Professor
  • Jeffrey Reed, DO, Assistant Professor
  • Robert M. Roth, PhD, ABPP, Associate Professor
  • Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli, PhD, Collaborator and Professor (Northeastern University)
  • Rosemarie S. Wolfe, MS, Data Manager
  • Thomas Zeffiro, MD/PhD, Collaborator

Recent publications

Visit the PubMed website to see a selection of publications by the by the Laboratory of Translational Neuropsychopharmacology.

Current funding

  • NIH/NIDA: Clozapine for cannabis use disorder in schizophrenia (AIG — 2012-2017)
  • NIH/NIDA: Cannabis, schizophrenia and reward: self-medication and agonist treatment? (AIG — 2013-2020)
  • NIH/NIDA: Reward circuit dysfunction, substance use disorder, and  schizophrenia: a preclinical fMRI-based connectivity study (AIG — 2017-2019)
  • NIH/NCATS: SYNERGY: The Dartmouth Clinical and Translational Science Institute (AIG [PI], WD —  2013-2020)
  • NIH/NIDA:  Applying Novel Technologies and Methods to Inform the Ontology of Self-Regulation (AIG, Co-I – 2015-2020)
  • Creare: Self Administered Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (RR, 2015-2017)
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