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Translational Neuropsychopharmacology Laboratory

Translational Neuropsychopharmacology Laboratory is led by Herbert Y. Meltzer, MD. His research interests span clinical, basic and translational topics. His clinical work is directed toward the evaluation and treatment of patients with psychotic spectrum disorders, which includes schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

 Clinical Research Interests

  • Development of novel treatments for schizophrenia, particularly treatment resistant schizophrenia
  • Optimizing the efficacy and minimizing the side effects of approved antipsychotic drugs
  • Prevention of suicide
  • Developing treatments to overcome the cognitive deficit of schizophrenia
  • Understanding the cognitive effects of psychotropic drugs
  • Pharmacogenomic research to identify risk genes for psychotic disorders and genetic biomarkers to guide choice of treatments for psychosis

 Basic Research Interests

  • Clarifying the mechanism of action of antipsychotic drugs
  • Animal models of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia
  • Illuminating the roles of glutamate, GABA, dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine in psychosis and cognition models
  • The evaluation and treatment of patients with psychotic spectrum disorders, which includes schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

 Facilities & Equipment

Our research group occupies a suite of laboratories and offices in the Ward and Tarry buildings on the Chicago campus. The lab area accommodates our requirements for a variety of research paradigms, which include behavior, in vivo micro dialysis and analysis of neurotransmitter efflux using mass spectrometry. The laboratory conducts research on both rat and mouse species using pre-clinical methods such as novel object recognition, locomotor activity, HPLC/mass spectrometry analysis and operant behavior.

Equipment includes:

  • Waters ACQUITY UPLC System including Binary solvent manager, Sample manager, column heater, sample organizer. Operation software Water MassLynx 4.0.
  • Thermo TSQ Quantum Ultra mass spectrometer and related software for operation (Thermo Xcaliber) and data analysis (Thermo LCquan 2.5).
  • Panasonic MDF Ultra-Low -80 Freezer
  • San Diego Instruments Photobeam Locomotor Activity System - Open Field (16X16), 2 Chambers with Rearing Frames and Computer Interface
  • Med Associates Modular Behavior Chambers (8), Computer Interface, Stimulus Light, 2 Levers/Chamber, Sound-Attenuating Cubibles (8)
  • Novel Object Recognition Arena (4), Video Camera, Recording and Scoring Software
  • Morris Water Maze Tank, Video Camera, Recording and Scoring Software
  • Bioseb Rodent Thermometer BIO-TK8851, Single Chamber
  • Mettler Toledo XP205Scale


 Recent Publications

  • Horiguchi M, Hannaway KE, Adelekun AE, Huang M, Jayathilake K, Meltzer HY. D(1) receptor agonists reverse the subchronic phencyclidine (PCP)-induced novel object recognition (NOR) deficit in female rats. Behav Brain Res. 2013 Feb 1; 238:36-43.
  • Meltzer HY. Update on typical and atypical antipsychotic drugs. Annu Rev Med. 2013 Jan 14; 64:393-406.
  • Lett TA, Chakavarty MM, Felsky D, Brandl EJ, Tiwari AK, Gonçalves VF, Rajji T, Daskalakis ZJ, Meltzer HY, Lieberman JA, Lerch J, Mulsant BH, Kennedy JL and VoineskosAN. The genome-wide supported microRNA-137 variant predicts phenotypic heterogeneity within schizophrenia. Mol Psychiatry. 2013 Apr; 18(4):443-50.
  • Horiguchi M, Meltzer HY. Blonanserin reverses the phencyclidine (PCP)-induced impairment in novel object recognition (NOR) in rats: role of indirect 5-HT1A partial agonism. Behav Brain Res. 2013 Jun 15; 247:158-64. 
  • Kishi T, Meltzer HY, Iwata N. Augmentation of antipsychotic drug action by azapirone 5-HT1A receptor partial agonists: a meta-analysis.Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013 Jul; 16(6):1259-66.
  • Brandl EJ, Tiwari AK, Lett TA, Shaikh SA, Lieberman JA, Meltzer HY, Kennedy JL, Müller DJ. Exploratory study on association of genetic variation in TBC1D1 with antipsychotic-induced weight gain. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2013 Mar; 28(2):183-7.
  • Tiwari AK, Brandl EJ, Weber C, Likhodi O, Zai CC, Hahn MK, Lieberman JA, Meltzer HY, Kennedy JL, Müller DJ. Association of a functional polymorphism in neuropeptide Y with antipsychotic-induced weight gain in schizophrenia patients. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2013 Feb; 33(1):11-7.
  • Nowrouzi B, Souza RP, Zai C, Shinkai T, Monda M, Lieberman J, Volvaka J, Meltzer HY, Kennedy JL, De Luca V. Finite mixture regression model analysis on antipsychotics induced weight gain: investigation of the role of the serotonergic genes. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013 Mar;23(3):224-8.
  • Brandl EJ,  Tiwari AK,  Lieberman JA,  Meltzer HY,  Kennedy JL, Muller DJ. The Role of Genetic Variation in the Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 and the Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 Receptor Genes in Antipsychotic-Induced Weight Gain. Bio Psychiatry. 2013 May;73(9):61S.
  • Chowdhury NI, Tiwari AK, Souza RP, Zai CC, Shaikh SA, Chen S, Liu F, Lieberman JA, Meltzer HY, Malhotra AK, Kennedy JL, Müller DJ. Genetic association study between antipsychotic-induced weight gain and the melanocortin-4 receptor gene. Pharmacogenomics J. 2013 Jun; 13(3):272-9.

 Grants & Funding

  • Astellas Research Institute of America(Meltzer PI;2013-2014) “Effect of amphetamine on Alpha-CaMKII heterozygous knockout mice, as compared with wild type controls, using microdialysis”
  • NeuroTherapeutics Pharma, Inc(Meltzer PI;2012-2015) “Dialysis and Behavior Studies with NTP260”
  • Dainippon Sumitomo (Meltzer PI; 2008-2014) “Development of novel targets for cognitive improvement in schizophrenia: Role 5-HT”     
  • Brain & Behavior Research Foundation(Meltzer PI; 2012-2013) “Pharmacologic, Neurochemical and Molecular Studies of the Effects of Subchronic Phencyclidine (PCP)”
  • Otsuka, INC Research Prot# 31-08-252 (Meltzer, PI; 2013-2016)            “A 52-week, multicenter open-label study to evaluate the effectiveness of an intramuscular depot formulation of Aripiprazole (OPC-14597) as maintenance treatment in patients with bipolar I disorder (ATLAS)”
  • Sunovion Pharma, Inc  (Meltzer PI; 2011-2013) “Evaluation of high dose  lurasidone in treatment resistant schizophrenia”
  • National Institutes of Health (Univ. of Washington)(Meltzer PI;2011-2013) “A Comprehensive Probabilistic-Micro-Simulation Model to Assess Cost-Effectiveness”
  • Takeda (Covance Inc.)(Meltzer PI;2012-2015) “Randomized, Double blind, Placebo controlled, Phase 3 Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Once a Day, TAK-375 (Ramelteon) Tablet for Sublingual Administration (TAK-375SL Tablet) 0.1 mg and 0.4 mg as an Adjunctive Therapy in the Treatment of Acute Depressive Episodes Associated with Bipolar 1 Disorder in Adult Subjects”
  • Envivo Pharma, Inc EVP-6124-015(Meltzer PI; 2013-2016) “A Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel, 12 week, phase 3 study of 2 doses of an Alpha-7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Agonist (EVP-6124) or placebo as an adjunctive pro-cognitive treatment in schizophrenia subjects on chronic stable atypical antipsychotic therapy”
  • Envivo Pharma, Inc EVP-6124-017(Meltzer PI; 2013-2016) “A Multicenter 40-week extension study to evaluate the safety and clinical effects of prolonged exposure to 1 and 2 mg doses of EVP-6124, an alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist as an adjunctive pro-cognitive treatment in subjects with schizophrenia on chronic stable atypical antipsychotic therapy”
  • NIH R34MH100460 (Meltzer, Co-Investigator; 2013-2016) “A mobile behavioral monitoring intervention for bipolar disorder”
  • NIMH – 5 R01 MH083706 06  (Meltzer, Advisor; 2011-2013) “A comprehensive probabilistic-micro-simulation model to assess cost effectiveness of pharmacological algorithms in schizophrenia” – subcontract with University of Chicago
  • Alkermes, ALK9072-003EXT(Meltzer, PI; 2013-2016) “A phase 3, multicenter, extension of study ALK9072-003 to assess the long-term safety and durability of effect of ALKS 9072 in subjects with stable schizophrenia”

Contact Us

For more information, contact Meltzer at 312-503-3939.

Lab Staff

Clinic Staff

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