Scientific Program

Conference Series Ltd invites all the participants across the globe to attend 3rd International Conference and Exhibition on Addiction Research & Therapy Chicago, USA.

Day 1 :

Keynote Forum

Rajendra Badgaiyan

University of Buffalo, USA

Keynote: Dopaminergic neuroimaging across the brain

Time : 08:35-09:00

OMICS International Addiction Therapy-2014 International Conference Keynote Speaker Rajendra Badgaiyan photo

Rajendra Badgaiyan completed his MD and MA (Psychology) in India and finished postdoctoral training at University of Oregon, University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University. He completed residency training in Psychiatry at Harvard and currently directs the outpatient addiction clinic and Neuroimaging Laboratory at SUNY Buffalo. He is a member of the editorial boards of 12 journals and Chief/executive editor of 3 journals. He received several awards for research and he is recognized as the original developer of single scan dynamic molecular imaging technique that\\r\\nallows detection, mapping and measurement of dopamine released during task performance in the live human brain.


Converging evidence from clinical and animal studies suggests that dysregulated dopamine neurotransmission is associated\\r\\nwith addictive behavior. The precise nature of dysregulation however is unclear. It has been suggested that dysregulated\\r\\ndopamine neurotransmission alters processing of the reward and associative memory systems. These alterations lead\\r\\nto maladaptive motivational behavior leading to chemical dependency. The concepts concerning the role of dopamine in\\r\\naddiction are based mostly on the data obtained in laboratory animals. It is therefore unclear whether human addiction, which\\r\\nhas unique social and cultural influences, has similar underlying mechanism. Due to lack of a reliable technique to study\\r\\nneurotransmission in the live human brain, the role of dopamine in human addiction has not yet been completely understood.\\r\\nRecently, we developed a single scan dynamic molecular imaging technique for detection, mapping and measurement of\\r\\ndopamine released acutely in the live human brain. This technique will help us study the nature of dysregulated dopamine\\r\\nneurotransmission in addiction.

Keynote Forum

Jason Connor

The University of Queensland, Australia

Keynote: The role of the DRD2 gene, impulsivity and expectancies in severe alcohol dependence

Time : 09:00-09:25

OMICS International Addiction Therapy-2014 International Conference Keynote Speaker Jason Connor photo

Jason P Connor is as a Principal Research Fellow in the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research at The University of Queensland, Australia. He also holds a National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) of Australia Fellowship. He is a clinical psychologist by training and a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society (APS). Since moving from full-time clinical practice to academia (PhD, 2002), he has successfully combined teaching and clinical responsibilities with research, publishing over 100 peer reviewed papers. Over the past 10 years he has received $4.75 AUD million in peer reviewed research funding and $2.6 AUD million in industry and philanthropic funding as a chief investigator.


Parallel research in disciplines of molecular genetics and clinical psychology has contributed significantly, but independently, to our understanding of both the etiology and treatment of Alcohol Use Disorders. This presentation argues that cross-disciplinary research is essential to progress our understanding of genetics, the reward deficiency syndrome and effective alcohol use disorder treatment. A series of studies are reported that move beyond DRD2 association studies to examine phenotypes of severity in samples with severe alcohol dependence. Studies reporting robust psychological mechanisms also known to be associated with alcohol dependence are also discussed. Recent findings that combine the A1 allele of the DRD2 gene and key psychological markers are then presented. The presentation concludes that addiction scientists must embrace research design technologies and evidence-based findings from multiple disciplines to improve alcohol use disorder treatment outcomes.

Keynote Forum

Marcelo Febo

University of Florida, USA

Keynote: Brain reward functional connectivity during resting state in animal models

Time : 09:25-09:50

OMICS International Addiction Therapy-2014 International Conference Keynote Speaker Marcelo Febo photo

Marcelo Febo completed his PhD at the University of Puerto Rico Medical School and postdoctoral studies at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. His work focuses on measuring in vivo functional and structural changes in the rat brain following chronic drug exposure. Over the past decade he has pursued this goal through the use of high field functional magnetic resonance imaging in awake rats and mice. He has been funded early in his career by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to examine the relationship between cocaine sensitization and alterations in maternal brain activity. He is presently Program Director of Translational Research Imaging at the University of Florida Brain Institute and is also a faculty member of the Department of Psychiatry.


There is a growing literature supporting alterations in the functional interactions between multiple brain regions in addiction. Result from many study points beyond the mesolimbic system shows important associations between reward regions and areas of the brain regulating memory, emotions, habit formations, and cognitive functions. These areas include prefrontal cortical subregions, hippocampal and parahippocampal areas and anterior thalamic nuclei along with dorsal striatum. Our laboratory has applied a variety of experimental paradigms using functional MRI in rats to investigate putative neural circuits of drug and natural reward. Key to the strategy for examining brain function has been the use of techniques to image the unanesthetized rats. The initial work examined the direct pharmacodynamic actions of cocaine in the male and female rat brain. These studies provided an initial insight into the use of pharmacological MRI in awake rats and the regions directly activated by cocaine. In follow up experiments discussed at the conference, we explore interactions between sex and responsivity to cocaine, epigenetic modulation of cocaine-induced neuroadaptations. More recently we have used other methods to examine neuronal activity changes more directly with manganese enhanced MRI (MEMRI) and resting state functional connectivity analysis. The latter methods, along with the traditional fMRI techniques are gradually piecing together important properties of drug-induced changes in functionality in the in vivo rodent brain that can be used to guide the development of treatments.

Keynote Forum

Igor Elman

Harvard Medical School, USA

Keynote: Neuroimaging of reward deficiency syndrome: Chronic stress and behavioral addiction findings

Time : 09:50-10:15

OMICS International Addiction Therapy-2014 International Conference Keynote Speaker Igor Elman photo

Igor Elman, MD, is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He was trained at the National Institute of Mental Health and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry with a subspecialty certification in Addiction Psychiatry. Presently, he heads a clinical research lab, focused on the role of reward and motivational systems in pathophysiology of severe neuropsychiatric disorders, including addictions, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. He is a recipient of NIDA K23 and R01 Awards. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Psychology Research and Behavioral Management.


Based on extensive investigations of rodent and primate models, the mesoaccumbens dopamine pathway, extending from\\r\\nthe ventral tegmentum of the midbrain to the forebrain regions such as nucleus accumbens, is a crucial component of\\r\\nthe brain reward and reinforcement system that purportedly mediates pleasure, contentment, and motivation.The common\\r\\nelement of the rewarding effects of addictive chemicals relates to increases in dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens,\\r\\nwhich is a critical event underlying the subjective pleasure or “high” (reward) that is sought by drug users. In contrast, repeated\\r\\nartificial dopamine enhancement in the neurophysiologic reward system by euphorogenic drugs leads to a dysfunctional\\r\\nhypodopaminergic state rendering it less responsive to natural reinforcers i.e., reward deficiency syndrome. Both chronic stress\\r\\nexposure in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the behavioral addiction, classified among “Substance-\\r\\nRelated and Addictive Disorders” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, namely gambling\\r\\ndisorder (GD) are also characterized by decreased sensitivity to natural reinforcers. The purpose of this talk is to present\\r\\nfunctional magnetic resonance imaging and behavioral data, collected by our lab, demonstrating reward deficiency-type\\r\\nneuroadaptations in patients diagnosed with either PTSD or with GD. The author will highlight three lines of research\\r\\nevidence from the wheel of fortune gambling task, from visual processing of rewarding and stressful images selected from the\\r\\nInternational Affective Picture System and from the Skinner box-like computer key pressing procedurevalidated for measuring\\r\\nmotivational function in humans. Testable hypotheses and further research to unravel the primary versus secondary nature\\r\\nof the observed deficits will be highlighted along with role of the reward-enhancing behavioral and pharmacotherapeutic\\r\\ninterventions within the addictive- and stressor-related disorders’ treatment armamentarium.

Break: Coffee Break 10:15-10:30 @ Foyer

Keynote Forum

Kelvin Lim

University of Minnesota, USA

Keynote: Using brain imaging to identify new targets and strategies for addiction treatment

Time : 10:30-10:55

OMICS International Addiction Therapy-2014 International Conference Keynote Speaker Kelvin Lim photo

Kelvin Lim received his MD from Johns Hopkins University and completed a psychiatry residency and neuroimaging fellowship at Stanford University. Since 2001, he has held the Drs. T.J. and Ellla M. Arneson Land Grant Chair in Human Behavior in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota. His research interests are in the use of neuroimaging methods to inform the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders including addiction and schizophrenia. He has received research funding from the NIH and Department of Veterans Affairs.


Treatment outcome for addiction is dismal; about 64% of those entering treatment will relapse within one year after treatment. Of those 36% able to maintain abstinence for a year, only 66% will go on to remain abstinent for 3 years (cumulative 24%). The good news is that those who make it beyond 3 years of abstinence have an 86% chance of remaining abstinent. Data collected in our laboratory in abstinent users has identified brain patterns that can predict their future relapse. These brain patterns provide possible novel approaches for relapse prevention and improved treatment outcome.

Keynote Forum

Bryan K. Yamamoto

University of Toledo, USA

Keynote: Peripheral and central mechanisms of Methamphetamine neurotoxicity: Connecting the dots

Time : 10:55-11:20

OMICS International Addiction Therapy-2014 International Conference Keynote Speaker Bryan K. Yamamoto photo

Bryan K. Yamamoto received his PhD from Syracuse University in Neurobiology after which, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical pharmacology at the University of Colorado Medical School. He is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurosciences at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences. He has been a member of NIH Study Sections since 1987 and a member of several advisory boards of NIH sponsored research centers and programs. His research has focused on how drugs of abuse affect the neurochemistry of brain and has been funded continuously over the last 27 years by the NIH.


Methamphetamine is a drug that is abused worldwide. Emerging clinical studies are supportive of previous preclinical findings from animals that illustrate methamphetamine injures dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitter systems. Results will be presented from animal model studies that demonstrate oxidative and excitotoxic mechanisms are involved which converge to mediate the toxic effects of methamphetamine on dopamine and serotonin neurons. Although these neurochemical findings have traditionally been attributed to the direct action of methamphetamine on the brain, new evidence will be presented indicating that the causes of the neurotoxicity are also initiated by the effects of the drug on systemic organs and circulating small molecules. Moreover, additional studies will be described that demonstrate the toxic effects of methamphetamine are not limited to neurotransmitter systems but also include protracted damage to brain endothelium that comprises the blood-brain barrier. Overall, these recent studies broaden the scope of the causes and consequences associated with the injurious effects of methamphetamine on the brain.

Keynote Forum

Subhash C Pandey

University of Illinois and Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, USA

Keynote: Neuroepigenetics and alcoholism

Time : 11:20-11:55

OMICS International Addiction Therapy-2014 International Conference Keynote Speaker Subhash C Pandey photo

Subhash C Pandey received his PhD in 1987 from the Pharmacology division of the Central Drug Research Institute in Lucknow, India and then received his postdoctoral training in neuropsychopharmacology in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago. He is currently a Professor of Psychiatry, Anatomy and Cell Biology and the Director of Neuroscience Alcoholism Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also holds a position as a VA Career Scientist at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Chicago. He is well known for his scientific contributions towards the molecular and cellular neuroscience of alcoholism. He received Bowles Lectureship from the Alcohol Research Center located at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2010 and 6th SN Pradhan Lectureship from the department of pharmacology, Howard University, Washington DC in 2011 and distinguished scientist award in 2014 from the association of scientists of Indian origin in America for his outstanding contributions in the field of alcoholism research. He is serving as a Field Editor of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Journal since 2011.


Epigenetic mechanisms, such as histone acetylation and DNA methylation induced changes in gene expression play an important role in brain maturation and synaptic plasticity. The effects of adolescent intermittent ethanol (AIE) treatment on epigenetically regulated synaptic plasticity associated events in the amygdala and on anxiety-like and alcohol-drinking behaviors at adulthood were investigated. Adolescent (Sprague-Dawley) rats were exposed with intermittent n-saline or ethanol [2 g/kg, intraperitoneal (IP); 2-days on/2-days off, 4 cycles (8 injections) from postnatal days 28-41]. The behavioral and epigenetic measures were performed at adulthood (postnatal day 92). It was found that histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity was increased in the amygdala of AIE adult rats as compared with adolescent intermittent saline (AIS) adult rats. This was due to increase in HDAC2, but not HDAC4, protein levels in the central (CeA) and medial nucleus of the amygdala (MeA) of AIE adult rats compared with AIS adult rats. The global histone H3-K9 acetylation was correspondingly decreased in the CeA and MeA of AIE adult rats compared with AIS adult rats. It was also found that mRNA levels of activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated (Arc) protein and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) exons (I & IV) and protein levels of Arc and BDNF were significantly decreased in the CeA and MeA, but not basolateral amygdala (BLA) of AIE adult rats compared with AIS adult rats. Interestingly, decreased expression of BDNF and Arc was associated with lower histone H3 acetylation levels in the promoters of these genes in the amygdala. AIE produced a reduction in dendritic spine density in the CeA and MeA of rats at adulthood. AIE also induced anxiety-like and alcohol-drinking behaviors at adulthood which were attenuated by treatment with the HDAC inhibitor, trichostatin A (TSA). Using, different model alcohol preferring and non-preferring genetic rats it was demonstrated that innately higher expression of HDAC2 in the CeA produced deficits in synaptic plasticity associated events and regulated anxiety-like and alcohol drinking behaviors. These results suggest that innately or ethanol exposure-induced abnormal chromatin architecture due to HDAC2-mediated histone modifications in the amygdala may play a crucial role in anxiety and alcoholism (Supported by the grants from NIH-NIAAA and VA Merit grant from department of Veterans Affairs).

Break: Panel Discussion 11:55-12:10