Cynthia E. Kuhn

Professor of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology and Faculty Fellow of the Center for Child and Family Policy

Cynthia Kuhn is a professor of pharmacology and cancer biology and psychiatry and behavioral sciences. The primary focus of her work is to understand the biologic factors that increase sensitivity to drug abuse and depression in vulnerable populations. Specifically, she is interested in mechanisms responsible for the developmental and sex differences in monoamine neurotransmitter systems. One important current focus is studying the neural mechanisms that mediate sex differences in behavioral responses to addictive drugs. The second is understanding the neural and endocrine changes during adolescence that influence sensitivity to drugs of abuse at this critical developmental stage.

Her work at the Center includes the project A Neuroscience-based Health Curriculum to Promote Academic Success.

Research Interests:

  • Adolescent Substance Abuse


  • Ph.D. Duke University - 1976

Recent Publications (More Publications)

  • JM Caster, QD Walker, CM Kuhn (2005) Enhanced behavioral response to repeated-dose cocaine in adolescent rats. Psychopharmacology, 183, 218-25, [doi], [abs]
  • HL Rincavage, DP McDonnell, CM Kuhn (2003) Expression of functional estrogen receptor beta in locus coeruleus-derived Cath.a cells. Endocrinology, 144, 2829-35, , [abs]
  • RB Williams, DA Marchuk, KM Gadde, JC Barefoot, K Grichnik, MJ Helms, CM Kuhn, JG Lewis, SM Schanberg, M Stafford-Smith, EC Suarez, GL Clary, IK Svenson, IC Siegler (2003) Serotonin-related gene polymorphisms and central nervous system serotonin function. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 28, 533-41, [doi], [abs]
  • (2003) Buzzed:  The Straight Facts about the most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy.  Kuhn, CM, Swartzwelder S and Wilson W.  Second Edition.  W.W Norton 2003 ,
  • (2001) C. Kuhn, S. Swartzwelder and W. Wilson.  Just Say Know.  W.W. Norton, New York, 2001 ,
  • (2001) Kuhn, C.M., Walker, Q.D., Kaplan, K.A. and LI, S.T. Sex Steroids and Stimulant Sensitivity. Annals N.Y. Acad. Sci. 937:188-201. 2001 ,
  • (2001) Walker, Q. David, Cabassa, J., Kaplan, K.A., Li, S.T., Haroon, J., Spohr, H.A. and Kuhn, C.M. Sex Differences in cocaine-stimulated motor behavior: disparate effects of gonadal hormones. Neuropsychopharmacology 25:118-130. 2001 ,
  • (2000) Walker, QD, Li, ST, Bunin, M,Wightman, RM and Kuhn, CM (2000) Gender differences in behavioral responses to cocaine and in extracellular dopamine regulation. Neuroscience 95:1061-1070. ,