Prof. Jibran Y. Khokhar has a broad background in behavioural neuropharmacology, specifically in animal models of co-occurring mental illness and substance use.
After completing his undergraduate studies at Queen’s University, Khokhar headed to the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Toronto. Here, he developed an animal model of selective modulation of brain cytochrome P450s (CYPs), and used this model to show, for the first time, that local metabolism by CYPs in the brain can meaningfully alter the disposition of, and response to, centrally acting drugs and toxins, and how this metabolism contributes to therapeutic efficacy, addiction, as well as neurotoxicity from these substrates.
As a post-doctoral fellow at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Khokhar worked on establishing novel animal models of schizophrenia and alcohol use disorder, while beginning to study the mechanisms underlying alcohol use in these models using behavioral and neuroimaging approaches. Toward this end, he has received training in acquisition and analysis of magnetic resonance spectroscopy and resting state functional connectivity data in rats.
At Guelph, Khokhar plans to continue to assess the mechanisms underlying co-occurring substance use in schizophrenia, with an eye toward treatment development. He is also interested in understanding the long-term consequences of adolescent drug exposure and how this exposure might relate to the future development of the co-occurring disorders.