Antonello Bonci, M.D. Scientific Director - Principal Investigators - The Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse

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251 Bayview Boulevard
Suite 200, Rm 04A521
Baltimore, MD 21224

Phone: (443) 740-2463

Antonello Bonci, M.D., Scientific Director

Chief, Synaptic Plasticity Section on-site page link

Post-doctoral Residence - Department of Neurology - University of California, San Francisco

M.D. - Sacred Heart School of Medicine - Rome, Italy


Chronic exposure to drugs of abuse causes several cellular and behavioral adaptations such as tolerance, dependence, and sensitization. The main goal of my laboratory is to understand the synaptic properties of neurons in brain areas relevant to drug addiction such as the ventral  tegmental area (VTA), the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), and the prefrontal cortex (PFC). My laboratory was the first to demonstrate that drugs of abuse such as cocaine produce a form of synaptic plasticity called long-term potentiation (LTP). The aim of my research is to apply electrophysiological, optogenetic, molecular, and behavioral approaches to elucidate the long-term effects that are produced by chronic administration of drugs of abuse such as cocaine and alcohol. Understanding the basic mechanisms at the synaptic level that underlie the long-term effects of these drugs will likely open new avenues for therapeutic strategies against the many symptoms of substance use disorders.

Selected Publications:

View more publications at PubMed.

More about Dr. Bonci

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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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