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College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Pharmacology

Pharmacology

Portrait of Nissar A. Darmani Nissar A. Darmani, PhD
Associate Dean for Basic Sciences and Research Chair, Basic Medical Sciences
COMP-Pomona
ndarmani@westernu.edu
Office#: (909) 469-5654 – Lab#: (909) 469-5218
Research Interests:

  • Developmental effects of drugs of abuse on the newborn.
  • Serotonergic mechanisms of cocaine’s actions.
  • Mode of action of antidepressant drugs.
  • Adaptive mechanisms of serotonergic 5-HT2 receptor functions.
  • The role of delta-9 -THC and synthetic cannabinoids on chemotherapy- and radiotherapy-induced vomiting. His laboratory had the first opportunity to demonstrate the mechanisms of antiemetic actions of marijuana.
  • Role of 5-HT3-, Dopamine D2/3-, Lekotriene CysLT1- and NK1- receptors in emesis and application of their antagonists as antiemetics.
  • Another of his research interests involves the role of osteopathic manipulative medicine on the blood levels of endogenous cannabinoid-like compounds and other pain markers in patients with back pain. He had been successful in obtaining several million dollars of research grants from numerous funding agencies including the Pharmaceutical industry, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Cancer, the Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency.
R Pechnick Robert N. Pechnick, PhD
Professor of Pharmacology
COMP-Pomona
rpechnick@westernu.edu
Office#: (909) 469-8669
Research Interests: The research in my laboratory has been focused on three aspects of neuropsychopharmacology: using animal models to understand the causes of and to develop new potential treatments for various forms of mental illness; utilizing both in vivo and in vitro approaches to study the neuropharmacology of drugs of abuse; and defining the role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in health and disease states. Primary goals include: characterizing the role of developmental insults (prenatal, neonatal and adolescence) in producing neuropsychiatric disorders; defining the involvement of cytokines and stress in adult hippocampal neurogenesis and depression; understanding the role of neurogenesis in post-chemotherapy-induced cognitive function, and determining the neurochemical mechanisms underlying the effects and the pathophysiological and neurochemical consequences of the repeated administration of drugs of abuse. Experimental approaches involve studying the effects of the systemic and central administration of selective agonists, antagonists, using transgenic animal models, utilizing viral-mediated gene delivery and characterizing functional responses as well as changes in receptor subunit gene expression after acute and chronic drug administration.