• 6331 Citations
  • 34 h-Index
1979 …2020
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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. Kent Vrana possesses over thirty years of research experience in molecular neuropharmacology. Notably, he has been actively involved in the neuroenzymology and molecular neurobiology since a graduate student in 1979. Over the years, his laboratory was the first to create a full-length cDNA clone for tyrosine hydroxylase and to characterize the role of catecholamine-derived quinones in neuronal toxicity. He is currently using next-generation sequencing technologies to explore the roles of naturally-occurring sequence variants in the progression and severity of Parkinson’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, he has a long history of studying the proteomics and transcriptomics of substance abuse (alcohol, cocaine, and heroin). Dr. Vrana’s laboratory was part of a team that established a new mechanism for generating embryonic stem cells. He has published widely on stem cell biology and has also patented a method for using nanoliposomal delivery of the bioactive lipid ceramide to maintain human induced pluripotent and embryonic stem cells in their undifferentiated state. More recently, he has been investigating the role of synthetic cannabinoids in colon cancer, glioblastoma and neuroblastoma. From a technical standpoint, Dr. Vrana's laboratory has been instrumental in developing and disseminating tools for analyzing gene and protein expression, as well as characterizing normal and pathological processes.

Education/Academic qualification

Biochemistry, PhD, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

… → 1983

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Projects 1979 2020

MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TRAINING IN THE BIOLOGY OF ALCOHOLISM

Vrana, K., Samson, H., Grant, K., McCool, B. & Friedman, D.

National Institutes of Health

7/1/946/30/19

Project: Research projectInstitutional National Research Service Award

Alcoholism
Alcohols
Neurosciences
Biochemistry
Students

CENTER FOR NEUROBIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF DRUG ABUSE

Vrana, K., Wood, F., Ferris, M., Jones, S. R., Booze, R., Howlett, A., Dworkin, S., Porrino, L., Davies, H. M., Deadwyler, S. A., Roberts, D. C. S., Morgan, D., Morton, K., Hemby, S. E., Beveridge, T. J. R., Childers, S., Nader, M., Bennett, B., Porrino, L. J., Deadwyler, S. A., Roberts, D. C. S., Davies, H. & Smith, J.

National Institutes of Health

9/30/912/29/20

Project: Research projectSpecialized Center

Epigenomics
Substance-Related Disorders
Street Drugs
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Cocaine

TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS IN THE 5S RNA GENE SYSTEM

Vrana, K.

National Institutes of Health

7/1/85 → …

Project: Research projectPostdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award

A diagnostic plasma protein panel for alcohol abuse

Vrana, K.

National Institutes of Health

6/15/143/31/18

Project: Research projectResearch Project

Alcoholism
Blood Proteins
Biomarkers
Drinking Behavior
Finland
Self Administration
Primates
Alcoholism
Biomarkers
Alcohols

Research Output 1981 2019

Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels
Nociception
Abdominal Pain
Pain Perception
Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Exposure to environmental enrichment attenuates addiction-like behavior and alters molecular effects of heroin self-administration in rats

Imperio, C. G., McFalls, A. J., Hadad, N., Blanco-Berdugo, L., Masser, D. R., Colechio, E. M., Coffey, A. A., Bixler, G. V., Stanford, D. R., Vrana, K., Grigson-Kennedy, P. S. & Freeman, W. M., Sep 1 2018, In : Neuropharmacology. 139, p. 26-40 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Self Administration
Heroin
Environmental Exposure
Methylation
Genetic Promoter Regions
12 Citations

Review article: the many potential roles of intestinal serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) signalling in inflammatory bowel disease

Coates, M., Tekin, I., Vrana, K. & Mawe, G. M., Sep 1 2017, In : Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 46, 6, p. 569-580 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Serotonin
Inflammation
Manuscripts
Serotonin Receptors
6 Citations

Assessment of individual differences in the rat nucleus accumbens transcriptome following taste-heroin extended access

Imperio, C. G., McFalls, A. J., Colechio, E. M., Masser, D. R., Vrana, K., Grigson-Kennedy, P. S. & Freeman, W. M., May 1 2016, In : Brain Research Bulletin. 123, p. 71-80 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Heroin
Nucleus Accumbens
Transcriptome
Individuality
Cues

Bioinformatic and computational approaches for analysis of genomics data in neurotoxicology research

Gohlke, J. M., Freeman, W. M. & Vrana, K., Apr 19 2016, Neurotoxicology: Third Edition. CRC Press, p. 29-49 21 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Genomics
Computational Biology
Research

Prizes

Fellow (Elected)

Kent Vrana (Recipient), 2016

Prize: Honorary award