Charles France, Ph.D.

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

Personal Statement:

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.


Ph.D., University of Michigan


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

Awards & Accomplishments

President (Elect, 2019-2020; Current, 2020-2021) – American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET)

Director, Addiction Research, Treatment and Training Center of Excellence (ARTT)


American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Addiction Research, Treatment and Training Center of Excellence
American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
American Psychological Association
Behavioral Pharmacology Society
College on Problems of Drug Dependence
Society for Neuroscience
Society for Stimulus Properties of Drugs
Texas Research Society on Alcoholism

Lab Members

Cindal Dominguez
Lawrence M. Carey, Ph.D., Postdoctoral FellowCindal C. Dominguez, Med, MBA, Manager, Research Operations
Steven M. Hargis, MS, Administrative Assistant, SrJulia Taylor, Laboratory Supervisor
Jade Juarez, Research Assistant, SrAnastassia Nelson, Research Assistant, Sr
Jordyn Lacy, Research AssistantJacob Tovar, Research Assistant
Samuel Womack, Research Assistant


Gerak LR, Maguire DR, Woods JH, Husbands SM, Disney A, France CP (2019) Reversal and prevention of the respiratory-depressant effects of heroin by the novel µ-opioid receptor antagonist methocinnamox in rhesus monkeys.  Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 368, 229-236. PMID30463875, PMC6337004.

Collins GT, Sulima A, Rice KC, France CP (2019) Self-administration of the synthetic cathinones 3,4-methylenedioxyprovalerone (MDPV) and α-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (α-PVP) in rhesus monkeys. Psychopharmacology, 236, 3677-3685. PMCID: PMC7274354

Gerak LR, Minervini V, Latham E, Ghodrati S, Lillis KV, Wooden J, Disney A, Husbands SM, France CP (2019) Methocinnamox (MCAM) produces long-lasting antagonism of the behavioral effects of µ opioid receptor agonists but not prolonged precipitated withdrawal in rats.  Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 371, 507-516. PMID31439807

Maguire, DR, Gerak LR, Cami-Kobeci G, Husbands SM, France CP, Belli B, Flynn P (2020) OREX-1019: a novel treatment for opioid use disorder and relapse prevention. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 372, 205-215. PMID31748404

Minervini V, Tye CB, Ghodrati S, France CP (2021) Effects of remifentanil/histamine mixtures in rats responding under a choice procedure. Behavioural Pharmacology. PMID33491991

France CP, Ahern G, Averick S, Enright HA, Esmaeli-Azad B, Federico A, Gerak LR, Kolber B, Lau EY, Lao V, Maguire DR, Malfatti MA, Martinez G, Mayer BP, Pravetoni M, Sahibzada N, Snyder E, Skolnick P, Snyder EY, Tomycz N, Valdez CA, Wilson M, Zapf J (2021) Countermeasures for preventing and treating opioid overdose. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 109, 578-590. PMID33113208

Jimenez Jr VM*, Castaneda G, France CP (2021) Methocinnamox (MCAM) reverses and prevents fentanyl-induced ventilatory depression in rats. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 377, 29-38. *VM Jimenez Jr Featured Trainee of the Month.

Flynn SM, France CP (2021) Discriminative stimulus effects of carfentanil in rats discriminating fentanyl: differential antagonism by naltrexone. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. PMID33631547