Charles D. Nichols, PhD

Model Girl 1

My undergraduate education was at Purdue University where I graduated in 1989 with a degree in Biological Sciences. My honors research was in the laboratory of Dr. Barry Wanner, whose focus was on phosphate metabolism in bacteria.

I attended graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh PA, and completed my dissertation in Biological sciences in 1997. My research involved investigating Drosophila eye development in the laboratory of Dr. John Pollock, and my dissertation was focused on elucidating the complex genetics of the lozenge gene locus.

For my postdoctoral training I moved to mammalian CNS systems, and studied serotonin 5-HT2 receptor neuropharmacology in the laboratory of Dr. Elaine Sanders-Bush in the Pharmacology Department at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Here, I began my research into the neuroscience of 5-HT2A receptor agonists and psychedelics by examining gene expression changes in mammalian brain cortex in response to LSD. After a few years away from the fly, I then began to develop Drosophila as a translational model to study serotonin neuropharmacology.

I am currently a Professor of Pharmacology, and have been in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at LSU Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, since 2004. My research program initially focused on the neuropharmacology and behaviors mediated by 5-HT2A receptors using both mammalian and Drosophila systems. Since we discovered that psychedelics have potent anti-inflammatory properties, a large portion of my research has moved into the development of this technology as a clinical therapeutic to treat inflammatory disorders such as asthma.