Drake Morgan, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Dr. Drake Morgan
Department of Psychiatry and
Division of Addiction Medicine
University of Florida College of Medicine
PO Box 100256
Gainesville, FL 32610-0256
Email: drakem@ufl.edu


Dr. Morgan is an Assistant Professor in the University of Florida Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL

Research Area

Dr. Morgan’s research focuses on behavioral and physiological consequences of repeated cocaine exposure; assessment of potential pharmacotherapies for stimulant abuse, and effects of chronic opioid administration across ages.


B.A. – Seaton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, in Experimental Psychology
Ph.D. – University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, Behavioral Pharmacology
Postdoc – Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, in Behavioral Neuropharmacology

Current Research

The lines of research being investigated in our laboratory include studies of behavioral and physiological consequences following repeated cocaine exposure, assessment of potential pharmacotherapies for stimulant abuse, and effects of chronic opioid administration across ages, as detailed below:
Long-term consequences of cocaine administration: Repeated administration of cocaine results in various behavioral and physiological changes thought to last for extended periods of time. These include tolerance and sensitization (decreases and increases in sensitivity) to various behavioral effects (e.g. locomotor-altering effects), changes in gene and protein profiles (assessed using gene arrays, western blots, or proteomic procedures), and potential cardiac problems. In collaboration with researchers both within and outside of Psychiatry, we are trying to identify some of these changes.

Medication development for stimulant abuse: In collaboration with a medicinal chemist (in the UF College of Pharmacy), we are testing novel serotonergic-based compounds in various procedures including drug discrimination, schedule-controlled responding, and self-administration. We hope to characterize the involvement of various serotonin receptor subtypes in the abuse-related effects of these stimulants, and find a compound that blocks some of these effects.

Chronic opioids and aging: As the relative age of the population increases, more people will experience chronic pain and be exposed to opioids as potential medications. Unfortunately little is known about the long-term consequences of chronic opioid administration, especially in older populations. We are examining differences in pain sensitivity across ages in a rat animal model, the effects of repeated exposure (e.g. tolerance and opioid-induced hyperalgesia), and developing new “operant-based” procedures to assess pain. In addition, other physiological (e.g. fat and lean body composition, thermoregulation) and behavioral changes (e.g. various physical performance measures, and “cognitive” measures) are being assessed.

Recent Publications

Morgan, D., Carter, C.S., DuPree, J.P., Yezierski, R.P., and Vierck, C.J. Jr. (2008) Evaluation of Prescription Opioids using Operant-based Pain Measures in Rats. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 16, 367-375.

Morgan, D., Frost-Pineda, K., Gold, M.S. Medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids: epidemiology and prevalence. Psychiatric Annals, 2006, 36: 404-409.

Morgan, D., Liu, Y., Roberts, D.C.S. Rapid and persistent sensitization to the reinforcing effects of cocaine. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2006, 31: 121-128.

Morgan, D. Grant, K.A., Mach, R.H. Gage, H.D., Ehrenkaufer, R.L., Kaplan, J.R., Prioleau, O.A. Nader, S.H., Buchheimer, N., Nader, M.A. (2002) Social dominance in monkeys: dopamine D2 receptors and cocaine self-administration. Nature Neuroscience, 5:169-174.

Morgan, D., Cook, D.D., Picker, H.J. (1999) Sensitivity to the discriminative stimulus and antinociceptive effects of m opioids: Role of strain of rat, stimulus intensity, and intrinsic efficacy at the m opioid receptor. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 1999, 289: 965-975.