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Student Profiles:
clack

Chris Lack, MD, PhD



Matriculated: 2001

Graduate Program: Physiology & Pharmacology

Education:

M.D. - Wake Forest University School of Medicine 2008
Ph.D. - Physiology & Pharmacology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine 2006
B.S. - Biochemistry, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo 2000

Residency Program:

Diagnostic Radiology, Wake Forest Univ School of Medicine

Research:
The neurochemical investigation and treatment of cocaine addiction using rodent models.


Cocaine is the second most abused drug after marijuana. After decades of research we still do not have a clear understanding of what is wrong in addiction. Many people sample cocaine, yet only a fraction become addicted and entrenched in the disease of cocaine addiction. For those who become addicted there is little help in the form of pharmaceutical treatment as no medication currently exists specifically for cocaine addiction. With the use of animals, we can develop models of addiction to not only study the pathology but also treatment options for cocaine addiction. Here I present three different studies. The first two use self-administration models in which rats show an increased motivation to self-administer cocaine over time. We used voltammetry and microdialysis to study the role of dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens. Both studies indicated that our models of increased motivation for cocaine are associated with tolerance to the dopamine-elevating effect of cocaine. In addition to neurochemical tolerance, locomotor stimulation was also decreased. In the third study we were interested in the use of agonist treatment in cocaine addiction. Rats treated with amphetamine showed increased motivation following acute treatment but decreased motivation to take cocaine after extended treatment. These studies further our understanding of changes associated with increases in cocaine self-administration. They also add to the growing body of literature that agonist treatment, in the form of amphetamine, might serve as a valid option for the treatment of cocaine addiction.

Presentations:
Lack CM, Oleson EB, Roberts DCS. (2006) Constant subcutaneous amphetamine decreases the motivation to self-administer cocaine. 35th Annual Meeting for the Society for Neuroscience, Atlanta, DC.

Lack CM, Morgan D, Jones SR, Roberts DCS. (2005) Sensitization of cocaine-reinforced breakpoints results in a reduced cocaine-induced locomotor response and dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens. 35th Annual Meeting for the Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC.

Lack CM. Constant Subcutaneous Amphetamine Decreases the Motivation to Self-Administer Cocaine. Talk presented at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC, Spring 2006.

Lack CM, Ward SJ, Roberts DCS. (2004) Sensitization to the reinforcing effects of heroin. 34th Annual Meeting for the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.

Lack CM, Mateo Y, Morgan D, Roberts DCS, Jones SR. (2004) Behavioral sensitization to cocaine in spite of reduced dopamine terminal function. FASEB Summer Research Conference, Tucson, AZ.

Lack CM. Neurochemistry of sensitization to the reinforcing effects of cocaine. Talk presented at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC, Winter 2004.

Lack CM. Drugs and behavioral sensitization. Talk presented at M.D./Ph.D. member group at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC, Fall 2004.

Lack CM. Sensitization to the reinforcing effects of heroin. Talk Presented at Emory-Wake Exchange. Chestnut Room, PTCRC, Winston Salem, NC Summer 2004.

Mateo Y, Morgan D, Lack CM, Roberts DCS, Jones SR. (2003) Long-Term Changes in Dopamine Terminal Function in a Bing/Abstinence Model of Cocaine Self-Administration. 33rd Annual Meeting for the Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, LA.

Lack CM, Vaughn J, Chen Y, Williams H, Roten S, Du W, Willingham M, Kute T. Mechanism for Herceptin Resistance in Breast Cancer. Poster Presented at Summer Research Poster Session. Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC 2001.

Lack CM, Sims PW, Meng YG. Detection of VEGF using Real-Time Immuno PCR. Talk Presented at Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA 2000.

Lack CM, Sims PW, Meng YG. Detection of VEGF using Real-Time Immuno PCR. Poster Presented at Summer Intern Poster Session. Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA 2000.

Publications:
Lack CM, Oleson EB and Roberts, DC. Constant Subcutaneous Amphetamine Decreases the Motivation to Self-Administer Cocaine. Submitted to Psychopharmacology.

Lack CM and Roberts, DC. Increased motivation for cocaine is associated with tolerance to locomotor stimulation and dopamine in nucleus accumbens shell. Submitted to Psychopharmacology.

Ward SJ, Lack C, Morgan D, Roberts DC. Discrete-trials heroin self-administration produces sensitization to the reinforcing effects of cocaine in rats. Psychopharmacology. 2006 Jan 14;1 10.

Mateo Y, Lack CM, Morgan D, Roberts DC, Jones SR. Reduced Dopamine Terminal Function and Insensitivity to Cocaine Following Cocaine Binge Self-Administration and Deprivation. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2005 Aug;30(8):1455-63.

Kute T, Lack CM, Willingham M, Bishwokama B, Williams H, Barrett K, Mitchell T, Vaughn JP. Development of Herceptin resistance in breast cancer cells. Cytometry 2004 Feb; 57A(2): 86-93.

Honors and Awards:
2004 - National Institute on Drug Abuse Individual Predoctoral Fellow

2001 – 2003 Charles A. Strickland Scholarship. Wake Forest University. Monetary award for medical school

2001 – 2003 Walter J. Bo, Ph.D. Scholarship. Wake Forest University. Monetary award for medical school

2002 Medical Student Summer Research Grant, NIH, #5T35DK07400-23 “Herceptin resistance in breast cancer”

Professional Society Memberships:
Since 2004 - Society for Neuroscience, Member

Since 2001 - North Carolina Medical Society, Member

Since 2001 - American Medical Student Association, Member

Interests & Hobbies:
Soccer
Zymurgy
Golf

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