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Harry L. June
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Harry L. June Ph.D.

Academic Title: Adjunct Professor
Primary Appointment: Pharmacology
Location: 110 S. Paca Street, 4th floor
Phone: (443) 242-7125

Personal History:

Dr. June completed his Ph.D. in  Physiological Psychology/Animal Psychopharmacology at Howard University in Washington, DC under Dr. Michael Lewis, a noted brain stimulation reward researcher. From 1989 to 1992,  he completed his postdoctoral studies in human psychopharmacology in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he studied the dynamics of opioid withdrawal, and the development of the novel opioid agonist-antagonist, buprenorphine. Following his postdoctoral work, from 1993 to 2004 he took a position in the psychobiology program at Indiana University- Purdue University at Indianapolis. In addition, during this period, he was also a member of the Alcohol Research Center, under the direction of Dr. T-K Li. At Indiana, Dr. June’s  work investigated the neurobehavioral effects of alcohol, focusing on the GABAA receptor systems. The long-term objective of this work was the pre-clinical development of novel compounds to reduce alcohol drinking behaviors. Dr. June is a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and has served on numerous NIAAA Grant Review Panels.

Academic Appointments

2005-2011: Professor, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

2005-2011: Director of Substance Abuse, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Baltimore, Maryland

2011-present: Professor, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC

2011-present: Professor, Psychiatry, Director of Substance Abuse Research, Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC

Professional Society Memberships

2003-Present: Member, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

1999-Present: Member, Research Society on Alcoholism

National Service

2002-2006: Member, AA-1 Review Committee for National Institute of Alcoholism Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) [2 Yr, R21 Grants], Grant Reviewer

2010: Adjunct Reviewer, Neurotoxicology and Alcohol Study Section [NAL]

2012-Present: Member, Pathophysiological Basis of Mental Disorders and Addictions Study Section (PMDA) Grant Reviewer

Research Interests:

The molecular mechanisms by which alcohol exerts its effects on the brain largely remain an enigma.  Understanding the neuromechanisms of action of this widely used drug is essential for the rational design of therapeutic interventions to combat alcohol use disorders.  The primary objective of our laboratory is to identify effective compounds at the preclinical level that may serve as prototypes for further evaluation of clinical efficacy in treating comorbid alcohol dependencies. These include comorbid alcoholism and depression, alcoholism and anxiety, and alcoholism and nicotine addiction. To accomplish this, we employ behavioral pharmacology, gene therapy  (HSV-siRNA vectors), and molecular  (e.g., immunoblotting, immunocytochemistry) approaches in alcohol selectively bred rats [ P, HAD] and mice  [HAPs] to  investigate excessive alcohol drinking models.

Current Research Projects

  • Alcoholism and Depression
  • Alcoholism and Anxiety
  • Binge Alcohol Drinking is Associated with GABAA Receptors and Innate Immunity

Lab Techniques and Equipment:

Behavioral: Excessive/heavy alcohol drinking (i.e., BACs > 80 mg%) is investigated employing the operant motivated “binge model” [e.g., drinking-in-the-dark-multiple-scheduled-access (DIDMSA)], and “relapse model” [e.g., prolonged repeated alcohol deprivation (PRAD). Negative affective states [e.g., withdrawal symptomatology] characterized by reductions in pleasure [e.g., anhedonia] and increased immobility, indicative of “depressive-like behavior,” following alcohol-induced abstinence are evaluated using the intracranial self-stimulation [ICSS] and forced swim test [FST] models, respectively.

Molecular: Gene therapy (HSV-siRNA vectors), immunoblotting, immunocytochemistry) approaches performed in collaboration with Pharmacology and Neuroanatomy

Grant Support:

Active Grants

12/30/2008 – 11/30/2013: Harry L. June (PI, 10%)
"Efficacy of Novel Triple Uptake Inhibitors in Treating Alcoholism and Depression"
NIAAA R01 (AA017461)
Total Direct Costs: $1,250,000
Total Direct and Indirect Costs: $1,875,000

09/30/2009 – 08/31/2012: Harry L. June (PI, 10%)
"Anxiety and Alcoholism: Novel Benzodiazepine Treatments"
NIAAA R01 (AA017963)
Total Direct Costs: $541,000
Total Direct and Indirect Costs: $791,000


Links to Recent Articles

  1. June H.L., Tzeng Yang A.R., Bryant J.L., Jones O., Royal W 3rd. (2009) Vitamin A deficiency and behavioral and motor deficits in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 transgenic rat. Journal of Neurovirology. 15(5-6):380-9.
  2. Yang A.R., Yi H.S., Mamczarz J., June H.L. Jr., Hwang B.H., June H.L. Sr. (2009) Deficits in substance P mRNA levels in the CeA are inversely associated with alcohol-motivated responding. Synapse. 63:972-81.
  3. Wiltgen B.J., Godsil B.P., Peng Z., Saab F., June H.L., Linn M.L., Cook J.M., Houser C.R., O'Dell T.J., Homanics G.E., Fanselow M.S. (2009) The alpha1 subunit of the GABA(A) receptor modulates fear learning and plasticity in the lateral amygdala. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 3:37.
  4. Liu J., Yang A.R., Kelly T., Puche A., Esoga C., June H.L. Jr., Elnabawi A., Merchenthaler I., Sieghart W., June H.L. Sr., Aurelian L. (2011) Binge drinking is associated with GABAA {alpha} 2-regulated Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) expression in the central amygdala. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science U.S.A. 108:4465-70.
  5. Iyer, S. Benavides R., Chandra D., Cook J., Rallapalli S., June H.L., Homanics G. (2011) a4-Containing GABAA receptors are required for antagonism of ethanol-induced motor incoordination and hypnosis by the imidazobenzodiazepine Ro15-4513. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2:18.
  6. Yang A.R.S.T., Liu J., Yi H.S., Warnock K.T., Wang, M., June H.L. Jr., Puche A.C., Elnabawi A., Merchenthaler I., Sieghart W., Aurelian L., June H.L. Sr., (2011) Binge alcohol drinking: In search of its molecular target via the GABAA receptor. Frontiers in Neuropharmacology. 5:123.
  7. Yang A.R.S.T., Heon SY, Warnock KT, Mamczarz J., June HL Jr., Mallick N., Krieter PA, Tonelli T, Skolnick P, Basile AS, and June HL Sr. (2012) Effects of the triple monoamine uptake inhibitor DOV 102,677 on alcohol-motivated responding and antidepressant activity in P rats. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 36(5):863-73.
  8. Warnock KT, Yang AR, Yi HS, June HL Jr, Kelly T, Basile AS, Skolnick P, June HL (2012) Amitifadine, a triple monoamine uptake inhibitor, reduces binge drinking and negative affect in an animal model of co-occurring alcoholism and depression symptomatology. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 103(1):111-118.

Other Selected Publications

  1. June, H.L., Foster, K.L., McKay, P.F., Carroll, M.R., Seyoum, R., Woods, J.E., Harvey, S.C., Eiler, W.J.A. II, Grey, C., McCane, S., Garcia, M., Jones, C.M., Mason, D., Cummings, R., Yin, W., Cook, J.M., & Skolnick, P. (2003) The reinforcing properties of alcohol are mediated by GABA(A1) receptors in the ventral pallidum. Neuropsychopharmacology 28:2124-2137.
  2. June, H.L., Cummings, R., Eiler, W.J.A. II, Foster, K.L., Garcia, M., Mason, D., McKay, P.F., Hawkins, S., & Mason, M. (2004) Central opioid receptors differentially regulate the nalmefene-induced suppression of ethanol- and saccharin-reinforced behaviors in alcohol-preferring (P) rats. Neuropsychopharmacology 29:285-299.
  3. McKay P.F., Foster K.L., Mason D., Cummings R., Garcia M., Williams. L., Eiler, W.J.A. II, Woods J.E., Harvey S.C., Garcia M., Grey C., Grey C., Mc Cane S., Xiaohui H., Cook, J.M., & June H.L. (2004) A high affinity ligand for GABAA-receptor containing alpha5 subunit antagonizes ethanol's neurobehavioral effects in Long-Evans rats. Psychopharmacology 172:455-462.
  4. Foster K.L., McKay P.F., Seyoum R., Milbourne D., Yin W., Cook J.M., June H.L. (2004) GABA(A) and opioid receptors of the central nucleus of the amygdala selectively regulate ethanol-reinforced behaviors. Neuropsychopharmacology 29:269-284.
  5. Eiler II, W.J.A., Woods II, J.E., Masters, J., McKay, P.F., Hardy III, L., Goergen, J.J., Mensah-Zoe, B., Cook, J.B., Johnson, N.J., & June, H.L. (2005) Brain stimulation reward performance and sucrose maintained behaviors in alcohol preferring (P) and non-preferring (NP) rats. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 29(4):571-83
  6. Cook J.B., Foster K.L., McKay P.F., Harvey S.C., Carroll Mm, Seyoum R., Woods J.E. II, Grey C., McCane S., Cummings R., Mason D., Jones C.M., Ma C., Cook J.M., & June H.L. (2005) Further studies of the GABAA receptor a5 subtype in regulating EtOH-seeking behaviors. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 9:1390-401.
  7. Eiler II, W.J.A., Masters, J., McKay, P.F., Hardy III, L., Goergen, J.J., Mensah-Zoe, B., Seyoum, R., Cook, J.B., Johnson, N.J., Neal-Beliveau, B., & June, H.L. (2006) Amphetamine lowers brain stimulation reward (BSR) threshold in alcohol preferring (P) and non-preferring (NP) rats: regulation by D1 and D2 receptors in the nucleus accumbens. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 14:361-76.
  8. Chester, J.A., Rausch, E.J., June, H.L., & Froehlich J.C. (2006) Decreased reward during acute alcohol withdrawal in rats selectively bred for low alcohol drinking. Alcohol. 38:165-72.
  9. Eiler II, W.J.A., & June, H.L. (2007) Blockade of GABA(A) receptors within the extended amygdala attenuates D(2) regulation of alcohol-motivated behaviors in the ventral tegmental area of alcohol-preferring (P) rats. Neuropharmacology. 52:1570-9.
  10. June, H.L. Sr, Foster, K.L., Eiler II, W.J.A., Goergen, J., Cook, J.B., Johnson, N., Mensah-Zoe, B., Simmons, J.O., June, H.L. Jr, Yin, W., Cook, J.M., & Homanics, G.E. (2007) Dopamine and benzodiazepine-dependent mechanisms regulate the EtOH-enhanced locomotor stimulation in the GABAA alpha1 subunit null mutant mice. Neuropsychopharmacology. 32:137-52.
  11. Eiler II W.J.A., Hardy, L., Woods, J., Seyoum, R., & June, H.L. (2007) Responding for Brain Stimulation Reward (BSR) in the Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis (BST) in Alcohol Preferring (P) Rats Following EtOH and Amphetamine Pretreatments. Synapse. 61:912-24

Book Chapters

  1. June, H.L., & Eiler II, W.J.A. (2007). "Dopaminergic and Gabaergic Regulation of Alcohol-Motivated Behaviors: Novel Neuroanatomical Substrates," In Handbook of Contemporary Neuropharmacology ([Editor-in-Chief: Sibley, D.] [Associate Editors: Hanin, I., Kuhar, M., & Skolnick, P.]) John Wiley and Sons, NY, NY, 2:1-72.
  2. June H.L., Gilpin N.W. (2010). "Operant self-administration models for testing the neuropharmacological basis of ethanol consumption in rats." In Current Protocols in Neuroscience. John Wiley and Sons, NY, NY 9: 9.12