Ronald Kuczenski, Ph.D. 



Contact Information

9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0603
San Diego, CA 92093-0603
T: (858) 534-4107
F: (858) 534-7653


Ronald Kuczenski is Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. He received his PhD in Biochemistry from Michigan State University in 1970 and did post-doctoral work in the Psychiatry Department at UC San Diego before he joined the faculty of the Department of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He returned to UC San Diego in 1985 and currently directs a neuropsychopharmacology laboratory in the Department of Psychiatry.

Research Interests

Research Focus

Dr. Kuczenski uses animal models to examine the neurobiological effects associated with acute and long-term exposure to drugs, particularly the psychostimulants such as methylphenidate and methamphetamine. The stimulants produce diverse behavioral effects, ranging from their efficacious actions in the pharmacotherapy of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to a paranoid psychosis-like syndrome during high-dose stimulant abuse. The long term objectives of this research are to understand the neurochemical mechanisms and processes associated with these behavioral effects.


  • Kuczenski R, Segal DS (2005) Stimulant actions in rodents: implications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder treatment and potential substance abuse. Biol Psychiatry 57: 1391-1396.
  • O'Neil ML, Kuczenski R, Segal DS, Cho AK, Lacan G, Melega WP (2006) Escalating dose pretreatment induces pharmacodynamic and not pharmacokinetic tolerance to a subsequent high-dose methamphetamine binge. Synapse 60: 465 - 473.
  • Segal DS, Kuczenski R (2006) Human methamphetamine pharmacokinetics simulated in the rat: Single daily intravenous administration reveals elements of sensitization and tolerance. Neuropsychopharmacol 31: 941-955.