• 6381 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 project

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 project

Epigenomics
Substance-Related Disorders
Street Drugs
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Cocaine
Alcoholism
Blood Proteins
Biomarkers
Drinking Behavior
Finland
Self Administration
Primates
Alcoholism
Biomarkers
Alcohols

Research Output 1981 2019

A single nucleotide polymorphism in dopamine beta hydroxylase (rs6271(C>T)) is over-represented in inflammatory bowel disease patients and reduces circulating enzyme

Gonzalez-Lopez, E., Kawasawa-Imamura, Y., Zhang, L., Huang, X., Koltun, W., Coates, M. & Vrana, K., Feb 1 2019, In : PloS one. 14, 2, e0210175.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
dopamine beta-monooxygenase
Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase
inflammatory bowel disease
Polymorphism
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
1 Citation (Scopus)
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
Open Access
Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels
Genetic Polymorphisms
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Abdominal Pain
Phenotype

Synthetic cannabinoid activity against colorectal cancer cells

Raup-Konsavage, W. M., Johnson, M., Legare, C. A., Yochum, G., Morgan, D. J. & Vrana, K., Mar 1 2018, In : Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. 3, 1, p. 272-281 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Dronabinol
Cannabinoids
Colorectal Neoplasms
Cell Survival
Cell Line

Prizes

Fellow (Elected)

Kent Vrana (Recipient), 2016

Prize: Honorary award