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Welcome to the Neuropsychopharmacology Research Group Website

The Neuropsychopharmacology Research Group belongs to the Department of Pharmacology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and consists of pharmacologists, psychiatrists, pharmacists, biologists, chemists and other scientists. The group has extensive experience in behavioral, pharmacological and neurochemical studies in animal models of stress, depression, anxiety, cognition and drug abuse.

The group is currently led by Assistant Professor of Psychopharmacology Dr. Christina Dalla. Senior member of the group is Dr. Nikolaos Kokras, who is a psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist. 

The research of the Neuropsychopharmacology group focuses on sex differences and in particular in the understanding of the neurobiological basis of disease and the identification of novel treatments, considering gender and the varying hormonal status of males and females as important factors. We focus on depression and Alzheimer’s disease using stress animal models/tests (e.g. the chronic mild stress, the forced swim test, the fear conditioning tests, activity/anxiety tests), as well as genetic models (e.g. FSL rats and 3xTg mice). In these models, we use behavioralneurochemical (chromatographic analysis of monoamines and aminoacids), molecular (Western blot analysis, IHC) and endocrinological approaches (RIA, ELISA) with a main interest in identifying sex differences. We have found that male and female animals have a differential response to stress and psychotropic drugs. Our current and future projects include the study of neurosteroids, such as neuroestrogens, with a particular focus on the hippocampal-prefrontal cortex circuit. Lately, the group through collaborations with the clinic, has expanded its studies in sex differences in stress and drug response in humans. Finally, we have a strong interest in the pharmacological screening of new molecules with CNS-acting potential and the effects of psychotropic drugs.

The Neuropsychopharmacology group is training undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Medical, Pharmacy, Biology and other Schools. The group also accepts international students for training and research.

The group has been awarded with several research grants and fellowships from the European Union (Marie Curie), the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), the National State Scholarship Foundation (IKY), as well as the General Secretariat of Research and Technology in Greece.