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Behavioral Science

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Photo of Craig RushCraig R. Rush, Ph.D.

(University of Vermont, 1992)

Laboratory of Human Behavioral Pharmacology (LHBP)

465 E. High Street, 204B
Lexington, KY  40507
Lab Telephone: 859-257-5388
Lab FAX: 859-257-7684
Office Telephone: 859-323-6130
crush2@uky.edu

Research Description

Dr. Rush’s research interests are primarily focused on identifying putative pharmacotherapies for the management of stimulant dependence. Dr. Rush uses the principles of pharmacology and behavioral analysis to determine the effects of commonly abused stimulants alone and following pretreatment with the putative pharmacotherapy.  Special emphasis is given to putative stimulant antagonists as well as agonist replacement therapies. Currently, there are four funded projects underway in Dr. Rush’s laboratory. The first project is investigating the neuropharmacology of stimulant abuse in humans.  Specifically, this project is attempting to elucidate the role of dopamine, a chemical in the brain, in mediating the effects of stimulants in humans.  They use a human drug-discrimination procedure and subject-rated drug-effect questionnaires to assess drug effects in volunteers with recent histories of stimulant use. This project has important implications for validating animal models and for understanding the neuropharmacology of stimulant abuse in humans.  Two projects are investigating the efficacy of novel antipsychotics as putative pharmacotherapies for stimulant dependence. The final project is attempting to elucidate to identify the behavioral mechanism that mediates the clinical effects of agonist replacement therapies for cocaine dependence.  This project will also determine the efficacy of novel agonist replacement therapies. These projects could have implications for the treatment of methamphetamine and cocaine dependence..

2012 Accomplishments

Dr. Rush has been extremely productive during 2012 in the areas of research, teaching, and service. Dr. Rush is currently the principal investigator on three (3) R01 applications from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Dr. Rush is a co-investigator on four (4) other NIH-funded projects, which reflects his collaborative spirit. During 2012, Dr. Rush continued his role as director of a T32 awarded to the University of Kentucky (Research Training in Drug Abuse Behavior). Dr. Rush submitted the competing continuation of this T32 award and it received a very favorable impact score (i.e., 19). Dr. Rush submitted two (2) other R01 grant applications to the National Institutes on Health (NIH) as principal investigator for consideration for funding along with an R21 application, all of which received favorable impact scores (i.e., 10-24). Dr. Rush is a co-investigator on six (6)  applications submitted to NIH by junior faculty, which attests to his commitment to the development of junior colleagues. Dr. Rush is the proposed director of the training core, as well as a co-investigator on one of the scientific projects, on a P50 award submitted by investigators in the College of Nursing and Medicine. Dr. Rush published three (3) manuscripts during 2012 and has three (3) manuscripts in press. The Laboratory of Human Behavioral Pharmacology at the University of Kentucky, under the direction of Dr. Rush, continues to be highly visible at national scientific meetings with at least four (4) presentations during 2012. Dr. Rush contributed to the teaching mission of the Department of Behavioral Science during 2012. Dr. Rush served as a mentor to two graduate students, Erika Pike and Katie Marks. Dr. Rush served on the committee of at least three (3) other graduate students. Dr. Rush assumed the position of Associate Vice President of Research during 2012, which requires 50% of his effort. Dr. Rush provided service to the University of Kentucky by continuing to serve on the Institutional Review Board during 2012. Dr. Rush continued in his the role as an Associate Editor for Drug and Alcohol Dependence and handles 100-150 manuscripts annually. Dr. Rush continues to serve as a member of the Risk, Prevention, and Invention for Addictions (RPIA) initial review group  (Center for Scientific Review [CSR], National Institutes of Health [NIH]). Dr. Rush provides review services to approximately 12 scientific journals. Finally, during 2012 Dr. Rush served on two additional committees: 1) Committee for the Department of Psychiatry Six Year Review; and 2) University Research Professorship Committee. Dr. Rush clearly provides an inordinate amount of service to the University of Kentucky.

Current Research Funding

Preventing Cocaine Relapse: (R01 DA020429).    National Institute on Drug Abuse (09/27/05 – 8/31/09)..

Stimulant Abuse Pharmacotherapy: Novel Antipsychotics (R01 DA017711). National Institute on Drug Abuse (08/01/05 - 04/30/10).

Agonist Replacement Therapy for Cocaine Dependence: Identifying Novel Medications (R01 DA021155).  National Institute on Drug Abuse (06/01/06 - 03/31/10).

GABAA Modulation as a Target for Developing Medications for Methamphetamine Abuse (R01 DA025591).  National Institute on Drug Abuse (09/15/08 - 09/15/12).

Agonist Replacement Therapy for Methamphetamine Dependence: Human Lab Studies (R01 DA025032).  National Institute on Drug Abuse (01/01/2009 – 12/31/2013).

Representative Publications

Vansickel, A.R., Stoops, W.W., Glaser, P.E.A., and Rush, C.R. (2007). A pharmacological analysis of stimulant-induced increases in smoking. Psychopharmacology, 193: 305-313.

Stoops WW, Lile JA, Lofwall MR, Rush CR (2007). The safety, tolerability, and subject-rated effects of acute intranasal cocaine administration during aripiprazole maintenance. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 33: 769-776.

Stoops WW, Blackburn JW, Hudson DA, Hays LR, Rush CR (2008). Safety, tolerability and subject-rated effects of intranasal cocaine during atomoxetine maintenance. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 92: 282-285.

Vansickel AR, Fillmore MT, Hays LR, Rush CR (2008). Effects of potential agonist-replacement therapies for stimulant dependence on inhibitory control in cocaine abusers. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 34: 293-305.

Stoops WW, Vansickel AR, Glaser PEA, Rush CR (2008). The influence of acute varenicline administration on eating and smoking behavior in humans. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 91: 165-169.

Lile JA, Stoops WW, Hays LR, Rush CR (2008). The safety tolerability and subject-rated effects of acute intranasal cocaine administration during aripiprazole maintenance II: Increased aripiprazole dose and maintenance period. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 34: 721-729.

Rush CR, Stoops WW, Hays LR (2009). Cocaine effects during d-amphetamine maintenance: A human laboratory analysis of safety, tolerability and efficacy. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 99: 261-271.

Sevak RJ, Stoops WW, Hays LR, Rush CR (2009). Discriminative-stimulus and subject-rated effects of methamphetamine, d-amphetamine, methylphenidate and triazolam in methamphetamine-trained humans Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 328: 1007–1018.

Vansickel AR, Poole MM, Stoops WW, Hays KE, Upchurch MB, Glaser PEA, Rush CR (2009). Stimulant-Induced Changes in Smoking and Caloric Intake: Influence of Rate of Onset. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 92: 597-602.

Laboratory of Human Behavioral Pharmacology

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