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Michael Kuhar, PhD

Yerkes Affiliate Researcher

Candler Professor of Neuropharmacology
Emory University School of Medicine


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Michael Kuhar, PhD, is a Researcher at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Candler Professor of Neuropharmacology at Emory University School of Medicine and Senior Fellow in the Center for Ethics at Emory.

Dr. Kuhar has spent more than four decades as a neuroscience and neuropharmacology researcher. His studies have focused on the cellular and anatomical bases of addiction in order to pave the way for a new class of drugs to target addiction and obesity through a better understanding of CART peptides. These specific peptides are neurotransmitters that have been implicated in the regulation of feeding, body weight, drug reward and stress.

With his more than 900 scientific publications, Dr. Kuhar is the most cited researcher at Emory. He has trained more than 60 students, research fellows and visitors, and he is the author of The Addicted Brain, Why we abuse drugs, alcohol, and nicotine (2012 Pearson Education/FT Press) and The Art and Ethics of Being a Good Colleague (2013 CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform). His latest book is the basis for the "Michael Kuhar on Getting Collegial" article in the Spring 2014 issue of Emory Magazine. 

In 2011, Dr. Kuhar received the Nathan B. Eddy Memorial Award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence to honor his lifetime achievements in research that have advanced the understanding of drug dependence.

A recent interest of Dr. Kuhar's is working with Tibetan monks who are part of the community of the Dalai Lama in Exile. Dr. Kuhar is a member of the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI) and taught information about neurotransmission and drug addiction as part of a Neuroscience course for Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns. Dr. Kuhar has traveled to India twice as part of the ETSI. 

This summer, Dr. Kuhar is offering an expert glimpse into addiction research through Coursera, an Emory partner for MOOCs (massive open online courses). The course, "The Addicted Brain," examines addiction to drugs and other behaviors. In the course, Dr. Kuhar describes what happens in the brain and how this information helps us deal with and overcome addiction.


View publications on PubMed