ResearchersLearn about the researchers focused on understanding opioids, as well as how to reduce and prevent misuse and overdose. Search by keyword or topics of interest to find potential collaborators.
If you are a U-M researcher studying any aspect of opioids, from basic science to societal and policy issues, please let us know by filling out the “Contact Us” form at the bottom of this page and we will add you to this directory.
Huda Akil, Ph.D.
Professor, Neurosciences, Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute; Professor, Psychiatry, Medical School
Research in Dr. Akil’s laboratory is focused on understanding the neurobiology of emotions, including pain, anxiety, depression and substance abuse.
Early on, their research focused on the role of the endorphins and their receptors in pain and stress responsiveness. They provided the first physiological evidence for a role of endogenous opioids in the brain; and showed that endorphins are activated by stress and cause pain inhibition, a phenomenon they termed Stress-Induced Analgesia.
Sawsan As-Sanie, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Medical School
Dr. As-Sanie is a gynecologist and Director of the UM Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery and the Endometriosis and Chronic Pelvic Pain Consultative Clinic. Her clinical and research areas of interest are in the study of chronic pelvic pain, endometriosis, and minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. Much of her work is focused on understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of chronic pelvic pain and endometriosis, with a particular interest in acute and chronic pain following surgery for these conditions.
Satinder Singh Baveja, Ph.D.
Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering
Dr. Baveja's research interests include:
-computational game theory
-adaptive human computer interaction
Alison Berent-Spillson, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, Medical School
Dr. Berent-Spillson's research interests include:
-metabolic & hormonal influences on emotion & cognition
-the mental health impact of hormonal and metabolism disorders
-PET and functional MRI neuroimaging
-women's health and sex differences
Daniel W. Berland, MD, FACP, FASAM
Associate Professor, Internal Medicine, Medical School
Dr. Berland's research interests include:
-pain and opioid therapy management
-reducing prescription drug addiction
-clinical protocol development
-utilizing computerized physician order entry to improve practice quality
Kent C. Berridge, Ph.D.
Professor, Psychology, LSA
Dr. Berridge's research interests include:
-how opioid neural systems generate pleasure and desire in the brain
-brain mechanisms of motivation, reward, and addiction
Dr. Berridge's projects include "Opioid Modulation of Cue-Triggered “Wanting” on Amygdala."
Erin Bonar, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Psychiatry, Medical School; Director of Clinical Programs, UM Addiction Treatment Services
Dr. Bonar’s early research focused on people who inject drugs (PWIDs), including understanding provider attitudes that influence treatment recommendations for PWID and, among needle exchange attendees, examining factors influencing use of harm reduction strategies (e.g., overdose prevention). She has also contributed to studies to develop, test, and translate overdose prevention interventions. She is a co-investigator on several studies to test interventions focused on reducing or preventing substance use (including opioid use) among at-risk adolescents and emerging adults. She is the PI of 3 NIH-funded grants to develop social media-based interventions to address high risk drinking and cannabis use in emerging adults, as well as other drug use (including opioids). In addition, she is Co-PI of a NIDA grant funded through the HEAL initiative to optimize interventions for adolescents and young adults attending the Emergency Department who are at risk for opioid misuse or opioid use disorder.
Amy Bohnert, Ph.D., MHS
Associate Professor, Psychiatry, Medical School; Co-Director, Mental Health Innovations, Services, and Outcomes
Dr. Bohnert has led a number of projects related to overdose and prescription drug safety. A focus of this research has been specifically aimed at improving care occurring in emergency departments, primary care, and addictions treatment settings related to opioid use problems. She has also served in a scientific advisory role to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including as a member of the expert panel for the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, to the Food and Drug Administration, and to the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force.
Carol J Boyd, PhD, RN, FIAAN, FAAN
Director, Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health (DASH Center);; Deborah J Oakley Collegiate Professor Emerita, School of Nursing
Dr. Boyd's research interests focus on high risk populations (e.g., adolescents, emerging adults, and sexual, ethnic, and gender minorities) and the different behaviors associated with the medical misuse and nonmedical use of opioid analgesics.
Dr. Boyd's projects include:
-Discrimination, Stress and Substance Use Disorder among Sexual Minority Adults: A Secondary Analysis of NESARC-III
-Scenario-Tailored Opioid Messaging Program: An Interactive Intervention to Prevent Analgesic-Related Adverse Drug Events in Children and Adolescents.
-Trajectories of Nonmedical Prescription Drug Misuse
-Longitudinal Changes in Recovery from Drug Use Disorders: A National Study
-A Prospective Study of the Nonmedical use of Prescription Medications by Adolescents
Kirk J. Brower, MD
Professor, Psychiatry, Medical School
Dr. Brower's research interests include:
-treatment of substance use disorders
-healthcare professional mental health and well-being