About Lance McMahon, Jr
Dr. McMahon is Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacodynamics at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy. He previously held the position of Tenured Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He obtained a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from Texas A&M University, and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He has been continuously funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse since 2002 as PI of 6 R01 grants, an R21, and a U grant for a total of $22M in funding. He is a regular member of the Center for Scientific Review NIH study section Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology. He served on the Executive Board of the Behavioral Pharmacology Division of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Dr. McMahon’s laboratory integrates principles of behavior and receptor theory to identify CNS mechanisms responsible for drug dependence, and novel pharmacological strategies that maximize therapeutics and minimize abuse liability.
Research in my laboratory integrates principles of behavior and receptor theory to identify central nervous system mechanisms responsible for drug dependence. We also investigate novel pharmacological strategies that maximize therapeutic potential and minimize abuse and dependence liability. We combine behavioral and physiological approaches, receptor-selective ligands, and quantitative analyses of drug interactions. We are interested in several pharmacological classes of abused drugs.
Cannabinoids, for example, include cannabis-derived tetrahydrocannabinols, numerous synthetic cannabinoids, and endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitters. We systematically compare the effects of cannabinoids and evaluate underlying receptor mechanisms to better understand dependence and therapeutic potential.
Cholinergic drugs of interest include FDA-approved smoking cessation aids such as nicotine, varenicline, and bupropion. We compare the effects of smoking cessation aids and investigational nicotinic acetylcholine receptor drugs to better understand relationships between nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes, intrinsic activity (i.e., efficacy), and behavioral effects. Most recently, we are joining investigators in the Departments of Medicinal Chemistry (McCurdy), Pharmaceutics (Avery), and Pharmacodynamics (McLaughlin, Peris) to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo pharmacology of kratom and its derivatives which have proven therapeutic utility in the reduction of opioid dependence.
The awards come from various federal institutions, but all 10 have at least one grant from the National Institutes of Health, or NIH.
Drs. Lance McMahon and Jenny Wilkerson author a story for The Conversation about the rising popularity and the scientific interest in cannabidiol.
The grant will bolster research on Mitragyna speciosia, or kratom, and its potential to treat opioid misuse and physical dependence.
The event was hosted by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Education at University of Florida Health and featured five panelists.