Training in Neuroimmune/Neurobehavior Addiction Research

Official Title:

"Training in Neuroimmune/Neurobehavior Addiction Research"

Unofficial Title:

PNI Program

Training Grant Directors:

Tom Molitor, Ph.D.


For both predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees: U.S. citizen and those foreign nationals who possess a permanent residency.

Predoctoral Trainees: Predoctoral candidates must have earned a bachelor degree and be accepted into the University of Minnesota Graduate Program and interested in interdisciplinary aspects of addiction-related research.

Postdoctoral Trainees: Postdoctoral candidates must have a PhD, DVM, or MD and be interested in laboratory-based Neuroimmune/Neurobehavior Addiction Research


To train biomedical scientists at the pre- and post-doctoral levels in an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the interactions of drugs of abuse with the nervous and immune systems, and integrates our understanding of these physiological interactions with their behavioral counterparts. 


The PNI program focuses on the training of pre- and post-doctoral fellows in areas that intersect four disciplines: Pharmacology, Psychology/Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Microbiology/Immunology. Trainees are committed to a research in the field of Neuroimmune/Neurobehavior Addiction Research, which emphasizes the effects of drug abuse. 

Selection Procedure:

Selection Procedure:
Application materials are accepted throughout the year until all the slots are filled. Qualified candidate must submit following materials to Program Administrator via email.
1. PNI Application form
2. Curriculum Vitae
3. Official transcripts for both (non-University of Minnesota) undegraduate and graduate course work
4. Three letters of recommendation

Once all the materials have been received by the Program Administrator, our selection committee will review the materials and make decisions based on the candidates' productivity, research goals and experience. This process will take up to four weeks. 

Contact Information:

Director: Thomas Molitor, PhD <>
Program Administrator: Yorie Smart <>

Faculty Trainers:

Contact Information:

Director: Thomas Molitor, PhD <>
Program Administrator: Yorie Smart <>

Faculty Trainers:

Gavin Bart, MD Medicine (Pharmacology) Opiate dependence and human pharmacology
Alvin J. Beitz, PhD Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Mechanisms underlying chronic pain conditions and the role of inflammation
David R. Brown, PhD Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Drugs of Abuse and Mucosal Immune Function
Marilyn E. Carroll, PhD Psychiatry (Neuroscience) Vulnerability to drug abuse, animal models, phases of drug abuse, and treatment approaches.
Maxim C.J. Cheeran, PhD Veterinary Population Medicine Neuroimmune response to viral infections of the CNS
William C. Engeland, PhD Neuroscience Neuroendocrinology of Stress
Carolyn A. Fairbanks, PhD Pharmaceutics (Pharmacology, Neuroscience) Endogenous control of the neuroadaptation of pain, opioid tolerance and addiction
Jonathan C. Gewirtz, PhD Psychology (Neuroscience) Negative affect and drug dependence
Andrew C. Harris, PhD Medicine Preclinical Behavioral Models of Drug Addiction
Dorothy K. Hatsukami, PhD
Psychiatry Tobacco Addiction
Christopher N. Honda, PhD Neuroscience Neural-immune Interactions in Peripheral Analgesia
Alice A. Larson, PhD Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Mechanism of pain transmission, especially with respect to musculoskeletal pain of fibromyalgia
Mark LeSage, PhD Medicine Behavioral Pharmacology of Stimulants, Immunotherapy for Drug Abuse
Allen S. Levine, PhD

Food Science & Nutrition (CFANS)

Neuroregulation of food intake
Kelvin O. Lim, MD Psychiatry Neuroimaging of cocaine dependence
James R. Lokensgard, PhD
Medicine Neurovirology
Walter C. Low, PhD Neurosurgery (Integrative Biology and Physiology) Neural regeneration, stem cells, gene therapy, and antiapoptotic agents
Louis M. Mansky, PhD Institute for Molecular Virology, Diagnostics & Biological Sciences (Microbiology) Molecular and cell biology of HIV and HTLV
Thomas W. Molitor, PhD Veterinary Population Medicine Opioid drug abuse and immune system/infectious disease interactions
Michael P. Murtaugh, PhD
Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Host response and immunity to infection
J. Bruce Overmier, PhD
Psychology (Neuroscience, Cognitive Science) Stress and Learning
Jose V. Pardo, MD, PhD
Psychiatry Neuroimaging of Aging & Fibromyalgia
Paul R. Pentel, MD
Medicine (Pharmacology) Pharmacokinetic approaches to addiction treatment
Phillip K. Peterson, MD
Medicine Host defenses and pathogenesis of central nervous system infections.
Philip S. Portoghese, PhD
Medicinal Chemistry (Pharmacology, Neuroscience) Opioid and chemokine receptors
Marco Pravetoni, PhD Medicine Prescription opioid abuse
Sundaram, Ramakrishnan, PhD Pharmacology (Medical School) Endothelial biology and angiogenesis
R. Bryan Rock, MD Medicine Central Nervous System Infections
Sabita Roy, PhD
Surgery (Pharmacology) Opioid drug abuse and immune modulation
Ashok K.Saluja, PhD Surgery (Pharmacology) Pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer
Pamela J. Skinner, PhD Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Prion diseases and HIV pathogenesis and treatment
Srinand Sreevatsan, PhD Veterinary Population Medicine (Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences) Microbe-host interactions
Stanley A. Thayer, PhD
Pharmacology Pharmacological Regulation of HIV Neurotoxicity
Lucy Vulchanova, PhD Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Neuroimmune interactions in pain mechanisms
Kevin D. Wickman, PhD
Pharmacology Neuronal G protein signaling and complex behavior
George L. Wilcox, PhD Neuroscience (Pharmacology, Dermatology) Opioid use in chronic pain; mechanism of synergistic interactions between spinal analgesics; microglial activation metabolomics; anti-glutamatergic neuromodulation of opioid tolerance and addiction.