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Authors > Todd Vanderah, PhD

Todd Vanderah, PhD is Professor and Head, Department of Pharmacology; Professor, Departments of Neurology and Anesthesiology, University of Arizona in Tucson. He is the author of Nolte’s Essentials of the Human Brain, 2nd Edition.


Dr. Vanderah received his PhD (Pharmacology and Toxicology) from the University of Arizona, Tucson, and performed a fellowship in Neuropharmacology at the University of Colorado, Denver. He is a professor of pharmacology, anesthesiology, and neurology and serves as the nervous system block director at the UA College of Medicine. He also is an adjunct professor at the University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine in the department of basic sciences.


Dr. Vanderah’s research interests include mechanisms of cancer pain, neuronal integration in pain pathways, neurochemical release during conditions of neuropathy, neuronal plasticity, opioid receptor pharmacology, and novel targets for drug discovery. Other research includes mechanisms and pharmacology of acute and chronic models of pain; endogenous opioid systems; sensory neural systems; opioid tolerance; and antinociceptive synergy between cannabinoids and opioids. He is author of over 135 original research articles.


His research drug discoveries, while working with a small pharmaceutical company, include an oxytocin antagonist to prevent preterm-birth. He also has conducted an investigation of a novel highly selective kappa opioid agonist for somatic and inflammatory pain. His recent studies have identified the use of a non-euphoric cannabinoid for bone cancer pain that not only inhibits pain, but also reduces bone wasting.


Dr. Vanderah has received numerous honors and awards, including Academy of Medical Education Scholars, 2010-present; Better-Than-Ever Award in Breast Cancer Research 2009-2010; and multiple awards for outstanding teaching and speaking throughout his career.

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