Robert T. Malison, MD

Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit (CNRU); Director, Neuroscience Research Training Program; Chief, Cocaine Research Clinic

Research Interests

Biological Psychiatry; Genetics, Behavioral; Motivation; Psychopharmacology; Psychoses, Substance-Induced; Substance-Related Disorders; Cocaine-Related Disorders

Research Organizations

NIMH Research Training Program in Childhood-onset Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Psychiatry: Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit | Connecticut Mental Health Center | Human Genetics, Division of | Substance Abuse Research | Yale Cocaine Research Clinic

Research Summary

Our group is interested in the neurobiology and genetics of substance dependence disorders, including psychostimulant (cocaine, methylphenidate and methamphetamine) and opiate dependence. Various methodologies are employed, including human laboratory studies of cocaine self-administration, reinforcement, and subjective effects (e.g., euphoria, paranoia). We are currently exploring via pharmacogenetic methods the impact of acute administration of stimulants on impulsivity and related behavioral constructs (compulsivity, reward prediction error, psychosis vulnerability and stress). Concurrent with this work, we have developed an interest in the role of neuropeptides (e.g., orexin and leptin) in mediating relapse to stimulant abuse, and the potential therapeutic actions / mechanism of the wakefulness promoting agent and dopamine reuptake inhibitor, modafinil. Finally, in collaboration with Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, we are conducting a study of the genetics of opioid and methamphetamine dependence in a northern Thai (Hmong) hill tribe population.

Extensive Research Description

  • Translational Research of Cocaine, Striatum, and Impulsivity (P20 DA027844)
  • Patient-Oriented Research and Mentoring in the Neurobiology and Genetics of Drug Addiction (K24 DA017899)
  • Genetics of Opiate Dependence in a Hmong (Thai) Isolate (R01 DA018363)Drug Abuse, Sleep and Cognition (R01 DA011744)
  • DBH, D2high, and Cocaine Aversion: A [11C]PHNO PET Study (R03 DA027466)
  • Integrated Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Training (IMPORT) in Psychiatry (R25 MH071584)
  • A Human Laboratory Study of the Safety and Potential Efficacy of Metreleptin in Cocaine-Abusing Humans

Selected Publications

Edit this profile

Contact Info

Robert T. Malison, MD
Patient Care Location
Connecticut Mental Health Center
34 Park Street

New Haven, CT 06519
Mailing Address
Yale School of Medicine34 Park Street
New Haven, CT 06519