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Dr. Manoranjan D'Souza

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology
Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences
Robertson-Evans 225
525 S. Main Street
Ada, OH 45810

Dr. D’Souza joined the faculty in the College of Pharmacy at Ohio Northern University in 2013. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences. His research focuses on identifying neural mechanisms that play a role in the development of drug dependence. Dr. D’Souza has authored several peer-reviewed original scientific papers and review articles on neural mechanisms of drugs of abuse.

Major curricular areas:


Drug addiction

Professional Experience: 

Medical Advisor: Lupin pharmaceuticals, Mumbai, India (2001)

  • M.D.: Seth G.S. Medical College and King Edward Memorial Hospital, University of Mumbai (2001)
  • Ph.D.: College of Pharmacy, University of Texas at Austin (2007)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego (2007-2013)
Teaching Interests: 
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Neurobiology of drug addiction
  • Neurobiology of neuropsychiatric disorders
  • New Investigator grant (2016-2017) awarded by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP); Title of project: Role of kappa opioid receptors in specific brain regions in the aversive effects of nicotine
  • Benett, Bower and Bower summer research grant (2015-2016) awarded by the Raabe College of Pharmacy at Ohio Northern University; Title of the project: Kappa opioid receptors and aversive effects of nicotine.
  • Tobacco Related Disease Research Program (2010-2013) awarded by State of California; Title of the project: AMPA receptors and extinction of nicotine seeking.
  • Bruce-Jones Graduate Fellowship (2003-2006) awarded by the Waggoner Center of Alcohol and Addiction Research, The University of Texas, Austin, TX; Title of the project: Dopamine and cocaine-associative learning.


  • 2004-present:  Society for Neuroscience (SFN)
  • 2008-present:  American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET)
  • 2013-present: American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP)
  • 2015-present: College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP)
Research Interests: 
  • Neurobiology of drug addiction
  • Development of translational animal models for drug addiction research
  • Understanding the role of stress and psychiatric disorders in the development of drug addiction


Dr. D’Souza’s laboratory is focused on understanding the neurobiological mechanisms that mediate the rewarding effects of nicotine, a major psychoactive component of tobacco smoke. The rewarding effects of nicotine play an important role in the initiation and maintenance of tobacco smoking behavior.

In addition, Dr. D’Souza is interested in identifying specific neural circuits that play a role in the learning and extinction of nicotine-associated environmental cues. Nicotine-associated environmental cues play an important role in relapse amongst abstinent smokers. The laboratory uses a combination of behavioral, molecular and neurochemical techniques in rodent models of nicotine dependence to achieve the above goals. The overall goal of the laboratory is to identify specific targets that can be used for the discovery of new medications, which will promote smoking cessation and prevent relapse in abstinent smokers.

Selected Publications: 
  1. Xia L, D’Souza MS, Nino AM, Cross A and Markou A (2016). Attenuation of nicotine-taking and nicotine-seeking behavior by the mGlu2 receptor positive allosteric modulators AZD8418 and AZD8529 in rats. Psychopharmacology Epub Feb 13 ahead of print. PMID 26873083
  2. Rorabaugh B, Bui A, Seeley S and D’Souza MS (2016). Prenatal methamphetamine differentially alters myocardial sensitivity to ischemic injury in male and female adult rats. American journal of Physiology Hear Circulation Physiology 310(4):H516-23. PMID 26683901
  3. D’Souza MS (2015). Role of glutamate in drug reward. Frontiers of Neuropharmacology 9:404-415. PMID  26594139
  4. Pergadia ML, Der-Avakian A, D’Souza MS, Madden PAF, Heath AC, Shiffman S, Pizzagalli DA and Markou A (2014). Association between nicotine withdrawal and reward responsiveness in humans and rats. JAMA Psychiatry 71(11): 1238-45. PMID 25208057
  5. D’Souza MS and Markou A (2014) Differential role of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-mediated glutamate transmission in nucleus accumbens shell and core in nicotine seeking in rats. European Journal of Neuroscience 39(8):1314-22. PMID:24467279
  6. Dhanya RP, Sheffler DJ, Dahl R, Davis M, Lee PS, Yang L, Nickols HH, Cho HP, Smith LH, D'Souza MS, Conn PJ, Der-Avakian A, Markou A, Cosford ND (2014). Design and synthesis of systemically active metabotropic glutamate subtype-2 and -3 (mGlu2/3) receptor positive allosteric modulators (PAMs): pharmacological characterization and assessment in a rat model of cocaine dependence. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 57(10):4154-72. PMID: 24735492.
  7. Der-Avakian A, D’Souza MS, Pizzagalli DA and Markou A (2014). Assessment of reward responsiveness in the response bias probabilistic reward task in rats: implications for cross-species translational research.  Translational Psychiatry 3, e297; doi:10.1038/tp.2013.74.PMID: 23982629.
  8. Li X, Semenova S, D’Souza MS, Stoker AK, Markou A (2013). Involvement of Glutamatergic and GABAergic Systems in Nicotine Dependence: Implications for Novel Pharmacotherapies for Smoking Cessation. Neuropharmacology 76 Pt B 554-65. PMID: 23752091.
  9. Ramirez A, D’Souza MS and Markou AM (2013). N-acetylcysteine decreased nicotine self-administration and cue-induced reinstatement of nicotine-seeking in rats. Psychopharmacology 225(2):473-82. PMID 22903390.
  10. Siddique S, Dhanya RP, Sheffler DJ, Nickols HH, Yang L, Dahl R, D’Souza MS, Semenova S, Conn PJ, Markou A, Cosford ND (2012). Orally active metabotropic glutamate subtype 2 receptor positive allosteric modulators: structure-activity relationships and assessment in a rat model of nicotine dependence. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 55(22): 9434-45. PMID 23009245
  11. D’Souza MS & Markou A (2012). Schizophrenia and tobacco smoking comorbidity: nAChR agonists in the treatment of schizophrenia-associated cognitive deficits. Neuropharmacology 62 (3): 1564-73. PMID 21288740
  12. D’Souza MS & Markou A (2011). Neuronal mechanisms underlying development of nicotine dependence: Implications for new smoking-cessation treatments. Addiction Science and Clinical Practice 6(1): 4-16. PMID 22003417
  13. D’Souza MS and Markou A (2011) The metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 antagonist 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine (MPEP) microinfusions in the nucleus accumbens shell and ventral tegmental area attenuate the reinforcing effects of nicotine in rats. Neuropharmacology 61(8): 1399-1405. PMID 21896278
  14. D'Souza MS, Liechti ME, Ramirez AM, Kuczenski R and Markou A (2011) The metabotropic glutamatergic 2/3  receptor agonist LY379268 blocked nicotine-induced increases in the nucleus accumbens shell dopamine in rats in the presence of nicotine-associated context in rats Neuropsychopharmacology 36(10): 2111-2124. PMID 21654734
  15. D’Souza MS & Duvauchelle CL (2008) Certain or uncertain cocaine expectations influences accumbens dopamine responses to self-administered cocaine and non-rewarded operant behavior. European Neuropsychopharmacology 18; 628-638. PMID 18499407.
  16. Ikegami A, Olsen CM, D’Souza MS and Duvauchelle CL (2007) Experience-dependent effects of cocaine self-administration/conditioning on prefrontal and accumbens dopamine responses. Behavioral Neuroscience 121(2): 389-400. PMID 17469929
  17. D’Souza MS & Duvauchelle CL (2006) Comparing nucleus accumbens and dorsal striatum dopamine responses to self-administered cocaine in naïve rats. Neuroscience Letters 408(2): 146-50. PMID 16979294
  18. D’Souza MS, Ikegami AI, Olsen CM and Duvauchelle CL (2003) Chronic D1 agonist and ethanol coadministration facilitate ethanol-mediated behaviors. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 76:335-342. PMID 14592686

Book Chapters:

  1. D’Souza MS (2016). Neuroscience of nicotine addiction: Novel targets for smoking cessation medication. Neuroscience for drug addiction: From Prevention to rehabilitation. Progress in Brain Research (Elsevier Publications). 223:191-214. PMID 26806777

  2. D’Souza MS and Markou A (2013) Stop & Go: Role of glutamate and GABA in nicotine dependence.In: Addiction: A neurobiological perspective. Pierce, R.C., Kenny, P.J. (eds.). Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press  2013 PMID:23732855.

  3. D’Souza MS and Markou A (2010) Neural substrates of psychostimulant withdrawal-induced anhedonia. In: The Behavioral Neuroscience of Drug Addiction. Self, D.W., Staley, J.K. (eds.). In Series: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences. Geyer, M.A., Ellenbroek, B.A., Marsden, C.A. (eds). Springer-Verlag, Berlin 3: 119-78. PMID 21161752

Oral Presentations:

  1. D’Souza MS (2015). “Promoting tobacco cessation by making tobacco smoking an unpleasant experience”. Invited lecture to the sigma Xi society (ONU Chapter) at the Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio.
  2. D’Souza MS (2014). “Comorbidity of drug addiction with mental illness”. Invited lecture at the Continuing Law Education (CLE) seminar at the Petite College of Law at Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio.
  3. D’Souza MS (2014). “Heroin addiction” Invited talk at the Stark County Law enforcement seminar. Invited by the Stark County (Ohio) Chief Prosecutor. This was part of the continued training of law enforcement officers held at R.G. Drake Center, Stark County, Ohio.
  4. D’Souza MS (2013). “Methamphetamine addiction”. Invited lecture at the Continuing Law Education (CLE) seminar at the Petite College of Law at Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio.
  5. D’Souza MS (2013). “Understanding dopamine, glutamate and acetylcholine interactions in nicotine dependence using animal models”. Oral presentation as part of a symposium at the 52nd Annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology held in Florida Dec 8-12 at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida.
  6. D’Souza MS (2012). “Blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-mediated neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens increases nicotine-seeking behavior in rats- Does the development of an anhedonia-like state play a role?” Oral presentation as part of a symposium at the 18th annual meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco in Houston, Texas.
  7. D’Souza MS (2011). “N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-mediated neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens shell or core regulates nicotine reinforcement and nicotine-seeking behavior in rats. Oral presentation as part of a Data Blitz session at the ‘Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors as Therapeutic Targets: Emerging Frontiers in Basic Research & Clinical Science’, 3rd satellite meeting to the Society for Neuroscience held on Nov 9-11 in Washington D.C.

Pharmacy and Wellness Review (PAW) publications:

  1. Brown A, Lee P, Liu K, Muhlenkamp R and D’Souza MS (2014). Memantine: Potential use in treatment of autism spectrum disorders. The Pharmacy and Wellness Review 6(1):28-34
  2. Bollinger K, Bui A, Smith A, Fink K and D’Souza MS (2014).Treatment of attention-deficit disorder in children and adolescents with stimulants: Benefits and challenges. The Pharmacy and Wellness Review 5(3):49-54.
  3. Crowe B, Kneuss T, Finley B, Fink K and D’Souza MS (2014). Drugs of abuse: a review of tramadol abuse. The Pharmacy and Wellness Review 5(1):18-23.