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CDAP > Basic Science Researchers > Dr. Peter Kalivas
Dr. Peter Kalivas

Dr. Kalivas

Distinguished University Professor
Professor and Co-Chair, Department of Neurosciences
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences



Research Interests

The Kalivas lab studies neuroplasticity underlying the development of addiction to drugs of abuse.  Research is at the level of protein biochemistry, neural circuitry, and dendritic spine morphology, as well as behavioral modeling.  The current focus is in adaptations in excitatory neurotransmission and elucidating the fundamental role of extracellular glutamate homeostasis in regulating neurotransmission and neuroplasticity.  This has led to preclinical and clinical evaluations of specific proteins as targets in treating addiction, including metabotropic glutamate receptors and the cystine-glutamate exchanger.


Western Washington State University, Bellingham, WA B.S. 1974 Biology
University of Washington, Seattle, WAPh.D. 1980Pharmacology 
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NCPostdoctoral 1982Neuropharmacology

Professional Experience

1982-1984 Assistant Professor, Pharmacology, Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans, LA
1984-1987Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology, & Physiology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
1987-1991Associate Professor, Department of Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology, & Physiology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
1990-1998Director, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
1991-1998Professor, Department of Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology, & Physiology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
1995-1996Visiting Professor, Department of Anatomy & Histology, The Flinders University School of Medicine, Adelaide, SA, Australia
1998-presentProfessor and Chair, Department of Neurosciences, MUSC, Charleston, SC
2000-2003Co-Director, Neuroscience Institute, MUSC, Charleston, SC

Awards and Honors

1980 NIMH Postdoctoral Trainee Fellowship
1990NIDA Research Career Development Award     
1993Smith-Kline-Beecham Research Excellence Award
1993Plenary Lecture, Summer Neuropeptide Conference, Martha's Vineyard
1995Fogarty Senior Fellowship
1995Plenary Lecture, Dopamine Symposium, Taipei, Taiwan
1996Daniel H Efron Award (American College of Neuropsychopharmacology)
1996Washington State Sahlin Faculty Research Excellence Award
1996Plenary Lecture, 7th In Vivo Monitoring of Molecules in Neuroscience, Tenerife, Spain
1996Grass Traveling Scientist Award, Indianapolis Chapter of Society for Neuroscience, Indianapolis
1998Elliot Stellar Lecture, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
1999Grass Traveling Scientist Award, Nashville Chapter of Society for Neuroscience, Nashville, TN
1999Plenary Lecture, American Neuropsychiatric Society, Fort Myers, FL
1999Grass Traveling Scientist Award, Mississippi Chapter of Society for Neuroscience, Jackson
2001Honorary Professor of Neurological Sciences, Nanjing Medical University, China
2001Grass Traveling Scientist Award, Kentucky Chapter of Society for Neuroscience, Lexington, KY
2001Plenary Lecture, Neuroscience Hellenic Society, San Diego, CA
2001-2011NIDA Merit Award for 2001-2011
2002Wheeler Plenary Speaker, 33rd International Narcotics Research Conference, Pacific Grove
2002Plenary Lecture, Society for Neuroimmunology, Tampa, FL
2002Appointed to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse
2003Distinguished University Professor, MUSC
2003Grass Traveling Scientist Award, Michigan Chapter Society for Neuroscience, Detroit, MI
2003Appointed to NARSAD Scientific Advisory Board
2003Appointed to the Fundacion Cerebro y Mente Advisory Board
2004Keynote Lecture, University of Cincinnati Medical School 25th Annual Research Forum
2004Sigma Xi Banquet Speaker, The Citadel, Charleston, SC
2005Distinguished Basic Science Scholar on the Addictions (Am J Addict)
2005Plenary Speaker, Research Society for Alcoholism, Santa Barbara, CA
2005Elected to ACNP Council
2005Appointed as Chair of the NIDA Medications Development SAB
2006Plenary Lecture, International Neuroscience Winter Conference, Solden, Austria
2006Special Lecture, Society for Neuroscience Meeting, Atlanta, GA

Recent Publications

Garcia-Keller C, Martinez SA, Esparza MA, Bollati F, Kalivas PW & Cancela LM. Cross-sensitization between cocaine and acute restraint stress is associated with sensitized dopamine but not glutamate release in the nucleus accumbens. European Journal of Neuroscience 37(6):982-995, 2013.

Gipson CD, Kupchik YM, Shen H, Reissner KJ, Thomas CA & Kalivas PW. Relapse induced by cues predicting cocaine depends on rapid, transient synaptic potentiation. Neuron 77(5):867-872, 2013. PMCID: 3619421

Gipson CD, Reissner KJ, Kupchik YM, Smith AC, Stankeviciute N, Hensley-Simon ME & Kalivas PW. Reinstatement of nicotine seeking is mediated by glutamatergic plasticity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 110(22):9124-9129, 2013. PMCID: 3670307

Lewerenz J, Hewett SJ, Huang Y, Lambros M, Gout PW, Kalivas PW, Massie A, Smolders I, Methner A, Pergande M, Smith SB, Ganapathy V & Maher P. The cystine/glutamate antiporter system x(c)(-) in health and disease: from molecular mechanisms to novel therapeutic opportunities. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling 18(5):522-555, 2013. PMCID: 3545354

Scofield MD & Kalivas PW. Forgiving the sins of the fathers. Nature Neuroscience 16(1):4-5, 2013.

Shen H & Kalivas PW. Reduced LTP and LTD in prefrontal cortex synapses in the nucleus accumbens after heroin self-administration. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 16(5):1165-1167, 2013.

Smith RJ, Lobo MK, Spencer S & Kalivas PW. Cocaine-induced adaptations in D1 and D2 accumbens projection neurons (a dichotomy not necessarily synonymous with direct and indirect pathways). Current Opinion in Neurobiology 23(4):546-552, 2013. PMCID: 3681928

Stefanik MT, Moussawi K, Kupchik YM, Smith KC, Miller RL, Huff ML, Deisseroth K, Kalivas PW & LaLumiere RT. Optogenetic inhibition of cocaine seeking in rats. Addiction Biology 18(1):50-53, 2013. PMCID: 3578202

Wang X, Moussawi K, Knackstedt L, Shen H & Kalivas PW. Role of mGluR5 neurotransmission in reinstated cocaine-seeking. Addiction Biology 18(1):40-49, 2013. PMCID: 3360124


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