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James Barrett

James Barrett, PhD

Professor; Director, Clinical & Translational Research Institute

Department: Pharmacology & Physiology


  • PhD - Pennsylvania State University, State College

James Barrett, PhD, is professor and former chair of the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology. He was responsible for the creation of the master's degree program in Drug Discovery & Development. This program provides an opportunity for students at Drexel University College of Medicine to have an in-depth exposure to the many different facets of drug discovery and development, ranging from the early identification of a molecular target through the multiple steps involved in preclinical assessment and development, and ultimately to approval and post-marketing activities. The objective is to provide opportunities for students in both MS and PhD programs who may be interested in a career in the pharmaceutical and/or biotechnology industry to acquire formal exposure to these processes in the context of their graduate training.

Research Overview

Dr. Barrett's research interests involve behavioral pharmacology, animal models of neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders, cognitive neuroscience, CNS plasticity and pain.

Research Interests

Pain, behavioral pharmacology, animal models


In addition to his leadership in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, Dr. Barrett is the founding director of the Clinical & Translational Research Institute, which promotes and supports outstanding research and academic programs that lead to innovative science, advanced therapeutic applications and, ultimately, improved clinical care. The institute was created to capture the many diverse and unique resources available within the University to cultivate the rich multidisciplinary infrastructure that is essential for successfully translating biomedical discoveries into effective therapeutics.

In the Media

"Unlocking the Secrets of Pain"
College of Medicine Alumni Magazine (Fall/Winter 2016)

"A New Collaboration"
Exel, Drexel's Research Magazine (2014)


Recent publications:

"Application of behavioral techniques to central nervous system (CNS) drug discovery and development"
Barrett JE and Witkin JM
In: Behavioral Pharmacology, to be published in Russian by Binom (Moscow) – Nevsky Dialekt (St. Petersburg), Editors: AY Bespalov, EEZvartau, PM Beardsley and JL Katz. In press.

"Translational neuroscience: Applications in neurology, psychiatry and neurodevelopmental disorders"
Barrett JE, Coyle JT and William, M (Eds.).
Cambridge University Press.Cambridge University Press, 2012.

"Characterization of vabicaserin (SCA-136), a selective 5-HT2C receptor agonist"
Dunlop J, Watts S, Barrett JE, Coupet J, Harrison B, Mazandarani H, Smith D, Stack G, Zhang J, Zhang G, and Rosenzweig-Lipson S 
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 2011, 337, 673-680.

"P11 (S100A10) as a potential biomarker of psychiatric patients at risk of suicide"
Zhang L, Su T-P, Choi K, Marre W, Li, C-T, Chung M-Y, Chen Y-S, Bi Y-M, Chou Y-H, Barker JL, Barrett JE, Li XX, Li Hi, Ursano R
Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2011, 45. 435-441.

"P11 expression and PET in bipolar disorders"
Zhang L, Li C-T, Su T-P, Hu X-Z, Lanius RA, Webster MJ, Chung M-Y, Chen Y-S, Bai Y-M, Barker JL, Barrett JE, Li X-X, Li H, Benedek DM, Ursano R
Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2011, 45, 1426-1431.

"MicroRNA modulation in complex regional pain syndrome"
Orlova I, Alexander G, Qureshi R, Sacan A, Graziano A, Barrett JE, Schwartzman R and Ajit S
Journal of Translational Medicine, 2011, 9, 195.

Commentary: "mGluR2 Positive Allosteric Modulators: Therapeutic Potential for Treating Cocaine Abuse?"
Barrett JE 
Neuropsychopharmacology, 2010, 35, 2007-2008.

"Translating the Translators: Review of Animal and Translational Models for CNS Drug Discovery, Volumes 1-3"
Barrett JE 
Edited by Robert A. McArthur and Franco Borsini, Academic Press.  Book review.  Behavioural Pharmacology, 2009, 20, 561-566.

"Levels of the potential biomarker p11 in peripheral blood cells distinguish patients with PTSD from those with other major psychiatric disorders"
Tung-Ping Su, Ming-Yi Chung, Ying-Sheue Chen, Ya-Mei Bi, Yuan-Hwa Chou, Jeffery L. Barker, James E. Barrett, Dragan Maric, Xiao Xia Li, He Li, David D. Benedek, Robert Ursano, Lei Zhang. 
Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2009, 43, 1078-1085.

Contact Information

Research Office

Clinical & Translational Research Institute
1505 Race Street, MS 1058
Bellet Building Room 1123
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215.762.2398
Fax: 215.762.2344