Olivier George, Ph.D. is a Professor at the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine in the department of Psychiatry. He is the Director of the Cocaine and Oxycodone Biobanks and is a Project Lead in the Alcohol Research Center at the Scripps Research Institute.
Dr. George received his Ph.D. from the University of Bordeaux (France) where he worked with Drs. Le Moal, Piazza and Mayo on the role of cholinergic neurons in age-related sleep and memory impairments. He went on to conduct postdoctoral work on animal models of addiction at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla with Dr. Koob, before joining the faculty in 2013. He has studied alcohol, nicotine, and drug addiction for more than 15 years, starting with his postdoctoral studies that were the first to identify the role of corticotropin releasing factor in escalation of nicotine self-administration and demonstrating that escalation of cocaine, methamphetamine, and alcohol intake produces a dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex leading to cognitive impairment.
Dr. George has made several breakthrough discoveries including identifying the neuronal ensembles of alcohol and nicotine addiction and discovering a novel neuronal population that drives negative emotional states in nicotine addiction. Dr. George has also pioneered the development of novel animal models of nicotine, opioid, and alcohol addiction using electronic cigarette vapor self-administration. His recent work focuses on unveiling the genetic basis of addiction and identifying brain-wide functional architecture remodeling in animal models of drug addiction using single-cell whole-brain imaging. His studies span multiple levels of approaches from molecular to integrated systems using state-of-the-art animal models of addiction with strong translational relevance. Using these approaches, he has contributed to the development of several Investigational New Drugs and hold several patents.
Dr. George has given over 120 talks to audiences of all levels, from high school, undergraduate and graduate students, to the general public, and scientific colleagues in the field. Dr. George has published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals. His work is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP).