Advisory Board

Dr. Antonello Bonci

Antonello Bonci, M.D. is Professor of Neurology, Howard J. Weinberger Chair in Addiction Research, Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center and Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco.
Substance abuse is a chronic, persistent problem. The main goal of Anto’s laboratory is to understand how stress and chronic exposure to ethanol and cocaine produce long-term changes in the activity of neurons relevant to the development and expression of addiction. Since his initial discovery, where his laboratory provided the first evidence that a drug of abuse (cocaine) produces a form of synaptic memory called long-term potentiation (LTP), he has continued to study how long-lasting changes in cellular activity contribute to addictive behaviors. His hope is that through a better understanding of how synapses are changed by drug exposure, we will be able to design new therapies to assist in the cessation of this pathological behavior.
Anto coauthored Inhibition of orexin-1/hypocretin-1 receptors inhibits yohimbine-induced reinstatement of ethanol and sucrose seeking in Long—Evans rats, Rapid strengthening of thalamo-amygdala synapses mediates cue—reward learning, Corticotropin-releasing factor increases mouse ventral tegmental area dopamine neuron firing through a protein kinase C-dependent enhancement of Ih, Withdrawal From Intermittent Ethanol Exposure Increases Probability of Burst Firing in VTA Neurons In Vitro, Brief ischemia causes long-term depression in midbrain dopamine neurons, and Nicotine and Ethanol Activate Protein Kinase A Synergistically via Giβγ Subunits in Nucleus Accumbens/Ventral Tegmental Cocultures: The Role of Dopamine D1/D2 and Adenosine A2A Receptors.
Anto earned his M.D. at Universitá Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy in 1991. His patents include Modulation of CRF potentiation of NMDA receptor currents via CRF receptor 2 and Modulating cooperative activity of dopamine D1 and D2 receptors to mitigate substance abuse.