William D. Wessinger, Ph.D.

SPaT Wessinger 3Professor and Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences
and MD/PhD Program Director
Phone: (501) 686-5514
Fax: (501) 686-5521


Ph.D. – Medical College of Virginia, 1983

Research Interests

My research employs in vivo pharmacology and behavioral analysis to study the effects of drugs of abuse. A variety of techniques and models are used including drug discrimination, drug self-administration, locomotor activity, receptor binding and pharmacokinetics, to gain a better understanding of the psychopharmacology of drug abuse, drug tolerance and drug dependence. New, integrated behavioral models are under development to examine the complexities of drug abuse as a process. In collaboration with Dr. Owens’ research group, we are evaluating the behavioral effects and effectiveness of antibody-based medications for treating methamphetamine abuse and its medical consequences. Other research focuses the stimulus properties of drugs of abuse, with an emphasis on the interactions that occur when multiple drugs are taken in combination.

Recent Research Support

NIH/NIDA U01 DA23900 (CoI)  (09/15/07 – 09/14/12)
“Active Immunization for Treating Methamphetamine Abuse”

NIH/NIEHS (NIMH/NINDS) 1R211ES017311-01A2 (CoI)  (09/01/10 – 08/31/12)
“Neuroimmune dysregulation with developmental exposure to trichloroethylene”

NIH/NCRR 1UL1RR029884 (CoI)  (12/01/10 – 11/30/11)
UAMS Translational Research Institute Pilot Study Grant
“K2 in Arkansas: A Translational Public Health Response to an Emerging Drug of Abuse”


Inyushin MY, Huertas A, Kucheryavykh YV, Kucheryavykh LY, Tsydzik V, Sanabria P, Eaton MJ, Skatchkov SN, Rojas LV, Wessinger WD. l-DOPA uptake in astrocytic endfeet enwrapping blood vessels in rat brain. Parkinsons Dis. 2012:321406, 2012 (PMID: 22888467).

Wessinger WD, Li M, McMillan DE. Drug Discrimination in pigeons trained to discriminate among morphine, U50488, a combination of these drugs, and saline. Beh Pharmacol. 22:468-479, 2011 (Special Issue in Memory of Francis Colpaert) (PMID: 21836460).

Moran CL, Le V-H, Chimalakonda KC, Smedley AL, Lackey FD, Owen SN, Kennedy PD, Endres GW, Ciske FL, Kramer JB, Kornilov AM, Bratton LD, Dobrowolski PJ, Wessinger WD, Fantegrossi WE, Prather PL, James LP, Radominska-Pandya A, Moran JH. Quantitative measurement of JWH-018 and JWH-073 metabolites excreted in human urine. Anal Chem. 83(11):4228–4236, 2011 (PMID: 215065191).

View Dr. Wessinger’s Publication List