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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. Sheila Vrana’s research interests involved molecular underpinnings of drug-seeking behavior in rodents. She transitioned to the field of research administration in 1997 at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and has led the Office of Research Affairs at Penn State College of Medicine since 2004.

Dr. Vrana is a member of several national research advocacy and strategic planning organizations - AAMC GRAND, COGR, NCURA and SRA - and is a member of Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute's Executive Committee and co-lead of the Workforce Development program within Translational Endeavors.

Teaching and educational interests

Dr. Sheila Vrana is co-director of Penn State College of Medicine's graduate ethics course (IBIOS 591) and the co-director of Grants Academy, a yearly workshop intended to assist participants with preparation and submission of an independent investigator-initiated grant application. 

Education/Academic qualification

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Wake Forest University School of Medicine

… → 1994

Pharmacology and Toxicology, PhD, West Viginia University School of Medicine

… → 1990

Biology, BS, Emory University

… → 1985

Psychology, BA, Emory University

… → 1985

External positions

GRAND Steering Committee Member, Association of American Medical Colleges


Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Sheila Vrana is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Vas Deferens Medicine & Life Sciences
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Adenosine Triphosphate Medicine & Life Sciences
Tryptophan Hydroxylase Medicine & Life Sciences
Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase Medicine & Life Sciences
Cocaine Medicine & Life Sciences
Messenger RNA Medicine & Life Sciences
Molecular Sequence Data Medicine & Life Sciences

Research Output 1990 1997

  • 280 Citations
  • 9 h-Index
  • 11 Article
  • 1 Short survey
18 Citations (Scopus)

Dose-effect functions for cocaine self-administration: Effects of schedule and dosing procedure

Sizemore, G. M., Gaspard, T. M., Kim, S. A., Walker, L. E., Vrana, S. L. & Dworkin, S. I., Jul 1 1997, In : Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. 57, 3, p. 523-531 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Self Administration
Appointments and Schedules

Use of elevated reverse transcription reaction temperatures in RT-PCR

Freeman, W. M., Vrana, S. L. & Vrana, K. E., May 1 1996, In : BioTechniques. 20, 5, p. 782-783 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

Molecular Sequence Data
Avian Myeloblastosis Virus
Genetic Transcription
Dopamine D2 Receptors
Gene Amplification
22 Citations (Scopus)

Application of quantitative RT-PCR to the analysis of dopamine receptor mRNA levels in rat striatum

Vrana, S. L., Kluttz, B. W. & Vrana, K. E., Dec 1 1995, In : Molecular Brain Research. 34, 1, p. 127-134 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dopamine Receptors
Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
Messenger RNA
Dopamine D2 Receptors

Young investigators' symposium: Environmental modulation of drug effects

Kamien, J. B., Amass, L., Vrana, S. L., Nader, M. A., Bush, C. R. & Foltin, R. W., Jan 1 1995, In : NIDA Research Monograph Series. 152, p. 53-57 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Research Personnel
Pharmaceutical Preparations
98 Citations (Scopus)

Chronic Cocaine Administration Increases CNS Tyrosine Hydroxylase Enzyme Activity and mRNA Levels and Tryptophan Hydroxylase Enzyme Activity Levels

Vrana, S. L., Vrana, K. E., Koves, T. R., Smith, J. E. & Dworkin, S. I., Dec 1993, In : Journal of neurochemistry. 61, 6, p. 2262-2268 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tryptophan Hydroxylase
Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
Enzyme activity
Messenger RNA