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

Skip Navigation


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 after forced and self-imposed abstinence
  • Relapse to palatable food seeking
  • 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. 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

  2. Badiani A, Belin D, Epstein DH, Calu D, Shaham Y (2011) Heroin and cocaine addictions: the differences do matter. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 12:685-700

  3. 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

  4. 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 Neuroscience 32:4982-4991

  5. Calu DJ, Kawa AB, Navarre BM, Henderson MJ, Chen B, Yau HJ, Schoenbaum G, Deisseroth K, Harvey BK, Hope BT, Shaham Y (2013) Optogenetic inhibition of dorsal medial prefrontal cortex attenuates stress-induced reinstatement of palatable food seeking in female rats. The Journal of Neuroscience 33:214-226

  6. Marchant NJ, Khuc TN, Pickens CL, Bonci A, Shaham Y (2013) Context-induced relapse to alcohol seeking after punishment in a rat model. Biological Psychiatry 73:256-262

  7. Theberge FR, Li A, Kambhampati S, Pickens, CL, St Laurent R, Bossert JM, Baumann MH, Hutchinson MR, Rice RC, Watkins LR, Shaham Y (2013) Effect of chronic delivery of the Toll-like receptor 4 antagonist (+)-Naltrexone on incubation of heroin craving. Biological Psychiatry 73:729-737

  8. Marchant NJ, Kaganovsky K, Caprioli D, Rabei R, Bossert JM, Bonci A, Shaham Y (2014) Lateral hypothalamus is critical for context-induced reinstatement to alcohol seeking after punishment-imposed abstinence. The Journal of Neuroscience 34:7447-7457

  9. Lenoir M, Tang JS, Woods AS, Kiyatkin EA (2013) Rapid sensitization of physiological, neuronal, and locomotor effects of nicotine: critical role of peripheral drug actions. The Journal of neuroscience 33:9937-994

  10. Kiyatkin EA, Kim A, Wakabayashi KT, Baumann MH, Shaham Y (2014) Critical role of peripheral vasoconstriction in fatal brain hyperthermia induced by MDMA (Ecstasy) under conditions that mimic human drug use. The Journal of Neuroscience 34:7754 –7762

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

Health and Human Services Logo National Institute on Drug Abuse Logo

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.

PDF documents require the free Adobe Reader. Microsoft Word documents require the free Microsoft Word viewer. Microsoft PowerPoint documents require the free Microsoft PowerPoint viewer. Flash content requires the free Adobe Flash Player.