Michael Kuhar, PhD

Affiliate Researcher, Emory National Primate Research Center
Michael Kuhar, PhD

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Affiliate Researcher
Emory National Primate Research Center

Candler Professor of Neuropharmacology
Emory University School of Medicine


Michael Kuhar, PhD, is a researcher at the Emory National Primate Research Center, Candler Professor of Neuropharmacology at Emory University School of Medicine and Senior Fellow in the Center for Ethics at Emory.

Dr. Kuhar has spent more than five decades as a neuroscience and neuropharmacology researcher. His studies have focused on the cellular and anatomical bases of drug addiction in order to pave the way for new medicines to improve addiction and obesity. His recent research has focused on CART peptides. These specific peptides are neurotransmitters that have been implicated in the regulation of feeding, body weight, drug reward and stress.

With his more than 900 scientific publications of all types, Dr. Kuhar is one of the most cited researchers at Emory. He has trained more than 70 students, research fellows and visitors, and he is the author of three books: The Addicted Brain, Why we abuse drugs, alcohol, and nicotine (2012 Pearson Education/FT Press), The Art and Ethics of Being a Good Colleague (2020 CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform) and Research Ethics in The Life Sciences (updated 2022, Amazon).

In 2011, Dr. Kuhar received the Nathan B. Eddy Memorial Award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence to honor his lifetime achievements in research that have advanced the understanding of drug addiction.

One interest of Dr. Kuhar's is working with Tibetan monks who are part of the community of the Dalai Lama in Exile. Dr. Kuhar is a member of the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI) and taught information about neurotransmission and drug addiction as part of a neuroscience course for Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns. Dr. Kuhar has traveled to India three times as part of the ETSI.

Dr. Kuhar has also prepared a very successful massive open online course (MOOC), "The Addicted Brain." It examines addiction to drugs and other behaviors. In the course, Dr. Kuhar describes what happens in the brain and how this information helps us deal with and overcome addiction.

In recognition of his expertise in the drug abuse field, he has been invited to the White House twice and has testified to a congressional subcommittee in support of the NIH budget.

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