Yasmin Hurd is a neuroscientist recognized for her translational research examining the neurobiology of drug abuse and related psychiatric disorders. She is known for her molecular studies of the postmortem human brain and preclinical animal models identifying neurobiological signatures of opioid addiction and the developmental effects of cannabis. She was born in Jamaica, West Indies, and immigrated to the USA where she grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from Binghamton University with a degree in Biochemistry and Behavior and obtained a Doctor of Medical Sciences (PhD) from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, in Neuropsychopharmacology in 1990. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health, NIH, before joining the faculty of the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in 1993 and subsequently was faculty at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2006. She is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

Research Interests

Yasmin Hurd's laboratory is interested in the neurobiological mechanisms underlying substance use disorders with a focus on opioids and cannabis. They have explored molecular and epigenetic events in the postmortem brains of human substance users as well as translational animal models to help characterize neurobiological signatures of addiction and to identify neurobiological targets for developing novel treatment strategies. They have examined the neurobiological impact of developmental cannabis exposure in humans and animal models where they have identified epigenetic mechanisms associated with the drug's protracted effects on behaviors into adulthood and even across generations. They have identified distinct neurobiological and behavioral effects of different cannabinoids that has led to the evaluation of the therapeutic potential of phytocannabinoids (such as cannabidiol) to reduce opioid-seeking behavior. Based on their preclinical evidence, they have conducted clinical laboratory trials that replicate the animal findings thus leveraging science-based strategies for the treatment of opioid addiction and related psychiatric disorders.

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Primary Section

Section 42: Medical Physiology and Metabolism

Secondary Section

Section 28: Systems Neuroscience