Charles France, Ph.D.

Robert A. Welch Distinguished University Chair in Chemistry
Professor of Pharmacology
Professor of Psychiatry

Ph.D., University of Michigan

Office: 210-567-6969

Research Interests

• drug abuse • opioids
• benzodiazepines • neuropharmacology
 drug discrimination  • self administration
• dependence                     • withdrawal

Research Activities

Research in the France laboratory focuses on interactions between behavior and pharmacology and how those interactions impact the abuse liability of drugs. One major goal is to understand how the subjective and other abuse-related effects of drugs change as a consequence of particular behavioral and pharmacologic histories. Behavioral procedures developed in this laboratory permit systemic investigation of drug dependence and withdrawal and ongoing studies examine how these phenomena can be modified by behavioral and pharmacologic interventions.

A unifying theme of research in the France laboratory is the application of receptor theory to the planning, execution, and interpretation of behavioral pharmacological studies. Thus, many of our studies examine differences in efficacy and selectivity among potential drugs of abuse and potential treatment compounds, thereby identifying the pharmacologic characteristics of drugs that are most important for specific behavioral effects (e.g., reinforcing effects).

Current areas of research include the following: the role of different monoamine systems in modifying the abuse and therapeutic effects of opioids; the impact of different diets on the abuse and therapeutic effects of drug acting on serotonin or dopamine systems; interactions between GHB and other “club drugs”; the role of insulin receptor pathways in regulating dopamine transporter activity and sensitivity to stimulants; GABA receptor heterogeneity and the dependence liability of sedative/hypnotics; and the influence of physical dependence on the reinforcing effects of opioids.
Selected Publications

Appointments, Boards, Committees and Memberships

Secretary/Treasurer-Elect – American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) Governing Board – July 2015

Councilor – American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) Governing Board – July 2012

•Research Group 
David Maguire, Ph.D., Instructor/Research
Vanessa Minervini, Ph.D.Postdoctoral Fellow
Cindal Dominguez, Research Coordinator
Eli Desarno, Research Assistant

Steven Garza, Research Assistant
Sarah Howard, Research Assistant
Jade Jaurez, Research Assistant