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

Skip Navigation


Steven R. Goldberg, Ph.D., Senior Investigator


Biomedical Research Center
Suite 200, Room 05A711A
251 Bayview Blvd.
Baltimore, Maryland 21224 U.S.A.

Voice: (443) 740-2519

Fax: (443) 740-2733


Steven R. Goldberg, Ph.D., Senior Investigator

Chief, Preclinical Pharmacology Section on-site page link

Research Fellow - in Pharmacology and Psychobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (NIMH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship), l970-l973; mentors: RT Kelleher and WH Morse.

Research Fellow - Department of Psychology and Laboratory of Organismic and Quantitative Biology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida (NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship), l969; mentor: N. Schneiderman.

Ph.D. - 1969, major in pharmacology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

B.A. - 1964, major in biology , Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts.


The Preclinical Pharmacology Section conducts research in animals on environmental, historical, and pharmacological determinants of the behavioral and cardiovascular effects of psychoactive drugs, with an emphasis in recent years on the psychoactive marijuana constituent delta-9-tetrahydrocannbinol (THC), the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide, the psychoactive tobacco constituent nicotine, and the psychostimulant methamphetamine. Research focuses on the reinforcing (rewarding), cognitive (learning and memory), discriminative and motor effects of drugs, and on the cardiovascular and neuropharmacological consequences of acute or chronic drug exposure. Neurochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying behavioral responses to drugs that we measure are facilitated by collaborative projects both within and outside the Intramural Research Program and by intravenous drug self-administration (both rodent and non-human primate) and in-vivo microdialysis (rodent) facilities that allow us to pursue work in this area more intensely. Our goal is to elucidate behavioral and neuropharmacological mechanisms that underlie the actions of licit (nicotine) and illicit (marijuana and methamphetamine) drugs of abuse, develop pharmacological treatment approaches to abuse of these drugs and to develop new medications which maximize positive actions of cannabinoids, in particular, without their negative actions such as abuse liability and cognitive impairment.

Selected Publications:
  1. Mascia, P., Pistis, M., Justinova, Z., Panlilio. L.V., Luchicchi A., Lecca, S., et al (2011). Blockade of nicotine reward and relapse by activation of alpha-type peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR-). Biological Psychiatry, 69:633–641.

  2. Justinova, Z., Yasar, S., Redhi, G.H., Goldberg, S.R. (2011). The endogenous cannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol is intravenously self-administered by squirrel monkeys. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(19):7043-7048.

  3. Melis, M., Carta, S., Fattore, L., Tolu, S., Yasar, S., Goldberg, S.R., et al. (2010). PPARα modulate dopamine neuron activity through nicotinic receptors. Biological Psychiatry, 68(3):256-264.

  4. Le Foll, B., Chefer, S.I., Kimes, A.S., Shumway, D., Stein, E.A. and Mukhim, A.G. et al. (2009). Baseline expression of a4b2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors   predicts motivation to self-administer nicotine. Biological Psychiatry, 65(8):714-716.

  5. Mazzola, C., Medalie, J., Scherma, M., Panlilio, L.V., Solinas, M., Tanda, G., et al. (2009). Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibition enhances memory acquisition through activation of PPAR-alpha nuclear receptors. Learning and Memory, 16:332-337.

  6. Justinova, Z., Mangieri, R.A., Bortolato, M., Chefer, S .I., Mukhin, A.G., Clapper, J. R. et al. (2008). Fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibition heightens anandamide signaling without producing reinforcing effects in primates. Biological Psychiatry, 64, 930-937.

  7. Justinova, Z., Munzar, P., Panlilio, L.V., Yasar, S., Redhi, G.H., Tanda, G., et al. (2008). Blockade of THC-seeking behavior and relapse in monkeys by the cannabinoid CB1 -receptor antagonist rimonabant. Neuropsychopharmacology, 33, 2870-2877.

  8. Solinas, M., Scherma, M., Fattore, L., Stroik, J., Wertheim, C., Tanda, G., et al. (2007). Nicotinic α7 receptors as a new target for treatment of cannabis abuse. Journal of Neuroscience, 27(21), 5615-5620.

  9. Justinova, Z., Solinas, M., Tanda, G., Redhi, G. H., & Goldberg, S. R. (2005). The endogenous cannabinoid anandamide and its synthetic analog R(+)-methanandamide are intravenously self-administered by squirrel monkeys. Journal of Neuroscience, 25, 5645-5650.

  10. Tanda, G., Munzar, P., & Goldberg, S. R. (2000). Self-administration behavior is maintained by the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana in squirrel monkeys. Nature Neuroscience, 3, 1073-1074.

About Dr. Goldberg's...

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.