Addiction is a worlwide public health problem for which there are currently no satisfactory treatments. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying compulsive behaviors and persistence of the addictive effects of drugs of abuse are still poorly understood. The biochemical methods and the contribution of molecular biology allow us to explore by an original way the neurobiological basis of dependence. The originality of our research lied on a multidisciplinary approach ranging from molecular and cellular biology to behavioral studies, and vice versa.
Our research projects are specifically focused on two major classes of drugs: opioids on one hand, because of their ubiquitous involvement in addictions, and psychostimulants on the other hand. Researches that we are carrying out not only allow us to better understand the neuropathology of addictions, but also the functioning of the central nervous system. It seems essential to acquire a better knowledge of the pathology at the molecular level, and to understand the relationships between alterations of the brain functions and the observed behaviours. Since, animal models constitute the foundation of all our activities (neurochemistry, pharmacogenomics, brain plasticity…) we are also concerned about the development and refinement of animal models with high predictive validity and translational value. Our scientific approach in the field of drugs of abuse is very unique as it is driven by a pharmacological approach. Our main goals are to identify and validate new therapeutic targets.