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The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research

Analytical Psychopharmacology


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The Analytical Psychopharmacology Laboratory (APL) develops and applies biochemical pharmacology methods to study medications used in the in the treatment of all major psychiatric illnesses.


The laboratory was established as a joint undertaking in 1981 between Nathan Kline Institute and New York State Psychiatric Institute. The analytical procedures we have developed have been of value in basic, translational, and clinical research studies in schizophrenia, bipolar illness, depression, addiction and suicide. Over the course of several decades the laboratory developed extensive expertise in clinical and animal studies of medications used in the in the treatment of all major psychiatric illnesses. In later years we have applied many of these techniques in the exploration of the effects and mode of action of drugs of abuse. More basic animal model studies of the molecular pharmacology of alcohol abuse, depression, alcoholism and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder have been developed in recent years.

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  • Apply or develop biochemical methods to study the concentration, mode of action and time course of action of psychotropic drugs and endogenous biomarkers in animals and man. This work encompasses both drugs of use and abuse.
  • Explore the basic molecular pharmacology of alcohol abuse, depression and alcoholism with particular emphasis on the endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoid receptors, located in the brain, are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory.
  • Investigate the role of endocannabinoids such as anandamide and CB1 receptor signaling in the development of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

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Core Service Lab

The analytical procedures we've developed have proven to be of value in a large number of clinical studies, and therefore the laboratory has assumed a service role in addition to our research program. As a “Core Laboratory,” our concentration of analytical instrumentation and psychopharmacology expertise has resulted in many collaborations with academic medical research centers both in the US and internationally.

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