Yavin Shaham, Ph.D., Senior Investigator - Principal Investigators - The Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse

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Yavin Shaham, Ph.D., Senior Investigator


Dr. Yavin Shaham
Behavioral Neuroscience Branch
251 Bayview Blvd, Suite 200
Baltimore, MD 21224

Voice: (443) 740-2723

Fax: (443) 740-2827

Yavin Shaham, Ph.D., Senior Investigator

Branch Chief, Behavioral Neuroscience Branch on-site page link
Section Chief, Neurobiology of Relapse Section on-site page link

Ph.D. - 1992, Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland

M.A. - 1988, Psychology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

B.S. - 1986, Biology & Psychology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel


We use rat models to study the cellular and neuroanatomical mechanisms that underlie relapse to drug and palatable food seeking induced by stressors and drug-associated or food-associated cues (Yavin Shaham group). We also study neurophysiological mechanisms of addictive drugs and motivated behavior (Eugene Kiyatkin group). Our current research projects include:

Current projects of Shaham group:

  • Incubation of drug craving
  • Relapse to palatable food seeking during dieting in female and male rats
  • Context-induced relapse to drug seeking
  • Relapse to alcohol seeking

Current projects of Eugene Kiyatkin group (In-vivo electrophysiology unit):

  • Physiological analysis of motivated behavior using single-unit recording, iontophoresis, EEG/EMG, brain thermorecording, and glutamate electrochemistry
  • Neurophysiological and neurochemical mechanisms of action of drugs of abuse (cocaine, nicotine)
  • Alterations in blood-brain barrier in normal brain functions and during drug intoxication

Selected Publications:

  1. Lu L, Hope BT, Dempsey J, Liu S, Bossert JM, Shaham Y (2005) Central amygdala ERK signaling pathway is critical to incubation of cocaine craving. Nature Neuroscience 8:212-219

  2. Ghitza UE, Nair SG, Golden SA, Gray SM, Uejima JL, Bossert JM, Shaham Y (2007) Peptide YY3-36 decreases reinstatement of high-fat food seeking during dieting in a rat relapse model. The Journal of Neuroscience 27:11522-11532

  3. Conrad KL, Tseng K, Uejima J, Reimers J, Heng L, Shaham Y, Marinelli M, Wolf ME (2008) Formation of accumbens GluR2-lacking AMPA receptors mediates incubation of cocaine craving. Nature 454:118-121

  4. Lu L, Wang X, Wu P, Zhao M, Morales M, Harvey BK, Hoffer BJ, Shaham Y (2009) Role of ventral tegmental area GDNF in incubation of cocaine craving. Biological Psychiatry 66:137-145

  5. Nair SG, Navarre BM, Cifani C, Pickens CL, Bossert JM, Shaham Y (2011) Role of dorsal medial prefrontal cortex dopamine D1-family receptors in relapse to high-fat food seeking induced by the anxiogenic drug yohimbine. Neuropsychopharmacology 36:497-510

  6. Bossert JM, Stern AL, Theberge F, Koya E, Hope BT, Shaham Y (2011) Ventral medial prefrontal cortex neuronal ensembles mediate context-induced relapse to heroin. Nature Neuroscience 14:420-422

  7. Pickens CL, Airavaara M, Theberge F, Fanous S, Hope BT, Shaham Y (2011) Neurobiology of incubation of drug craving. Trends in Neuroscience 34:411-420

  8. Bossert JM, Stern AL, Theberge FR, Marchant MJ, Wang HL, Morales M, Shaham Y (2012) Role of projections from ventral medial prefrontal cortex to nucleus accumbens shell in context-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking. The Journal of Neuroscience32:4982-4991

  9. Lenoir M, Kiyatkin EA (2011) Critical role of peripheral actions of nicotine in mediating its central effects. Neuropsychopharmacology 36:2125-2138

  10. Wakabayashi KT, Kiyatkin EA (2012) Rapid changes in extracellular glutamate induced by natural arousing stimuli and intravenous cocaine in the nucleus accumbens shell and core.Journal of Neurophysiology (in press)

About Dr. Shaham's...

IRP Training Opportunities...

2009 Postbacs
Postdoc, Predoc, Postbac and Summer Student training opportunities available!

2009 Summer Students
Research & Training Program for Under-represented Populations

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the principal biomedical and behavioral research agency of the United States Government. NIH is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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