Michael Baumann, PhD, Chief, Designer Drug Research Unit

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Michael Baumann, PhD

Chief, Designer Drug Research Unit


Michael H. Baumann, PhD, is a Staff Scientist and Facility Head at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Intramural Research Program, in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Baumann joined NIDA in 1991 as a Staff Fellow in the laboratory of Richard B. Rothman, MD, PhD. For more than twenty years, Drs. Baumann and Rothman examined the role of brain dopamine and serotonin systems in mediating the effects of therapeutic and abused stimulant drugs. In 2012, Dr. Baumann joined the laboratory of Amy H. Newman, PhD, where he established the Designer Drug Research Unit (DDRU). The main goal of the DDRU is to collect, analyze and disseminate the most up-to-date information about the pharmacology and toxicology of newly-emerging designer drugs of abuse, more formally known as new psychoactive substances (NPS). Working with partner organizations such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), Dr. Baumann is kept informed about recent trends in the abuse of NPS. Most recently, his research team has characterized the molecular mechanism of action and biological effects for many of the so-called “bath salts” cathinones and their replacement analogs. DDRU scientists are now investigating the pharmacology of various NPS including synthetic cannabinoids, hallucinogens and opioids.

Selected Publications:

  • In vivo effects of amphetamine analogs reveal evidence for serotonergic inhibition of mesolimbic dopamine transmission in the rat.
    Baumann, M.H., Clark, R.D., Woolverton, W.L., Wee, S., Blough, B.E. and Rothman, R.B. (2011)
    J.Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 337:218-225.
  • The designer methcathinone analogs, mephedrone and methylone, are substrates for monoamine transporters in brain tissue.
    Baumann, M.H., Ayestas, M.A., Partilla, J.S., Sink, J.L., Shulgin, A.T., Daley, P.F., Brandt, S.D., Rothman, R.B., Ruoho, A.E. and Cozzi, N.V. (2012)
    Neuropsychopharmacology 37:1192-1203.
  • Effects of MDMA and related analogs on plasma 5-HT: relevance to 5-HT transporters in blood and brain.
    Yubero-Lahoz, S., Ayestas, Jr., M.A., Blough, B.E., Partilla, J.S., Rothman, R.B., de la Torre, R. and Baumann, M.H. (2012)
    Eur. J. Pharmacol. 674:337-344.
  • Psychoactive “bath salts”: Not so soothing.
    Baumann, M.H., Partilla, J.S. and Lehner, K.R. (2013) Psychoactive “bath salts”: Not so soothing.
    Eur. J. Pharmacol. 698:1-5.
  • Powerful cocaine-like actions of 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), a principal constituent of psychoactive “bath salts” products.
    Baumann, M.H., Partilla, J.S., Lehner, K.R., Thorndike, E.B., Hoffman, A.F., Holy, M., Rothman, R.B., Goldberg, S.R., Lupica, C.R., Sitte, H.H., Brandt, S.D., Tella, S.R., Cozzi, N.V. and Schindler, C.R. (2013)
    Neuropsychopharmacology 38:552-562.

View more publications at PubMed.

About Dr. Bauman

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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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