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Medical Expert - Michael A. Nader, PhD

Area of Expertise: Addiction Research
Media Contact: Marguerite Beck
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Michael A. Nader, PhD

Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology

Nader is an expert on how drug abuse affects the brain. For nearly 30 years, Nader has studied cocaine addiction with grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. His team’s research is unique because Wake Forest's non-human primates self-administer drugs and live in social groups. This allows researchers to study how the reinforcing actions of cocaine affect social behavior and the brain. Nader's research combines positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to examine levels of dopamine and nicotine receptor activity, as well as glucose activity in the brain. His group has examined sex differences in vulnerability to cocaine abuse and found significant differences in how social rank (being dominant or subordinate) affects brain function and cocaine reinforcement in males and females. Nader and colleagues are looking at the effect of long-term cocaine use on dopamine receptors, behavior, brain function and cognition. His goal is to identify drugs that not only fight cocaine addiction but also enhance cognitive performance.


drug abuse, nonhuman primate models of cocaine abuse, brain imaging, behavioral pharmacology, behavioral neuroscience, neuropharmacology addiction, addiction to prescription drugs


Long-term ADHD Drug Use Appears Safe
Drugs used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) do not appear to have long-term effects on the brain, according to new animal research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Wake Forest Baptist March Awards and Recognitions
Wake Forest Baptist March Awards and Recognitions

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Holding faculty appointments in both physiology/pharmacology and general surgery, Friedman is a neuroscientist who has worked in the drug abuse field for more than 15 years. He is an expert on how drugs of abuse affect the brain and making new scientific findings accessible to lay

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