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Phase III+: The University is open for expanded research operations; only authorized personnel will be admitted on campus. More info here.

A major focus of Butelman’s work is the behavioral and neurobiological impact of the κ-opioid receptor (KOPr) system, and of the endogenous agonists that activate it, the dynorphins. The KOPr system is thought to be involved in several neuropsychiatric disorders, including anxiety, depression, and addictive diseases. His long-term goal is to open the door for the development of new pharmacotherapeutic approaches for these neuropsychiatric disorders, and for opiate and cocaine addiction, based on a better understanding of their etiology and their interaction with the KOPr–dynorphin system.

Butelman also focuses on analyzing dimensional aspects of drug use in people with specific addictive diseases. The major dimensions include measurements of drug exposure on a continuum, in addition to categorical diagnoses. This work leverages clinical research studies in the Laboratory on the Biology of Addictive Diseases. This project focuses primarily on the amounts of exposure to drugs (especially opioids and cocaine), and the age trajectory of this exposure, from adolescence to adulthood.