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Search Program Faculty/Research

Gregory Collins, Ph.D.



Research in Dr. Greg Collins’ laboratory is broadly aimed at understanding the determinants of drug-taking and drug-seeking behaviors. 

Accordingly, we utilize a variety of behavioral and physiological procedures including intravenous self-administration and implantable telemetry combined with quantitative analyses to (1) identify factors that alter vulnerability to drug abuse and relapse; (2) characterize the abuse-related and toxic effects of drugs of abuse; and (3) develop and test novel pharmacotherapies for the treatment of substance use disorders.

Current research is focused on characterizing the abuse-related and toxic effects of synthetic cathinones (e.g., MDPV, α-PVP, and methylone), an emerging class of abused drugs commonly referred to as “bath salts.” Although their composition can vary greatly, “bath salts” are most often mixtures of multiple pharmacologically active compounds. 

Thus, these studies utilize highly quantitative behavioral and pharmacological procedures to determining whether the reinforcing, discriminative stimulus, and toxic (behavioral and cardiovascular) effects of synthetic cathinones are enhanced when administered in combination with common “bath salts” constituents (e.g., other cathinones or caffeine).

Selected Publications 

Collins GT, Gerak LR, Javors MA, France CP. Lorcaserin Reduces the Discriminative Stimulus and Reinforcing Effects of Cocaine in Rhesus Monkeys. The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 2016; 356(1):85-95.

Collins GT, France CP. Determinants of conditioned reinforcing effectiveness: Dopamine D2-like receptor agonist-stimulated responding for cocaine-associated stimuli. European Journal of Pharmacology. 2015; 769:242-9.

Collins GT, Chen Y, Tschumi C, Rush EL, Mensah A, et al. Effects of consuming a diet high in fat and/or sugar on the locomotor effects of acute and repeated cocaine in male and female C57BL/6J mice. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. 2015; 23(4):228-37.

Collins GT, Narasimhan D, Cunningham AR, Zaks ME, Nichols J, Ko MC, Sunahara RK, Woods JH. Long-lasting effects of a PEGylated mutant cocaine esterase (CocE) on the reinforcing and discriminative stimulus effects of cocaine in rats. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2012; 37(5):1092-103.

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Assistant Professor/Research


Ph.D., Pharmacology, University of Michigan Medical School


Office: (210) 567-4172

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