Center for Clinical Pharmacology

Researcher Profile: Ream Al-Hasani, Ph.D.

Ream Al-Hasani, Ph.D.Ream Al-Hasani, Ph.D., holds a primary appointment as ‭assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical ‭and Administrative Sciences at the College and an adjunct ‭appointment as assistant professor in the Department of ‭Anesthesiology at WUSM. Al-Hasani’s interest in neuroscience began during her ‭undergraduate years studying pharmacology at the ‭University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom. While at ‭the University of Portsmouth, she secured an internship ‭at GlaxoSmithKline studying neurodegenerative diseases.

Following these formative experiences, Al-Hasani focused ‭her interests on addiction, by pursuing a Medical Research ‭Council-funded Doctor of Philosophy in neuropharmacology ‭at the University of Surrey where she studied the involvement ‭of adenosine A2 receptors in morphine and cocaine addiction.‭

Al-Hasani completed her postdoctoral training in the Department of Anesthesiology at WUSM. There, she focused ‭on dissecting the role of the opioid circuitry in motivated ‭behaviors. Her work has clarified the role of chronic, mild stress ‭on noradrenergic systems and has uncovered new roles for ‭cue-induced reinstatement of morphine seeking behavior.

‭In 2015, Al-Hasani was awarded the prestigious Pathway ‭to Independence Award (K99/R00) from the National ‭Institute on Drug Abuse for her work implementing wireless ‭optogenetics, in vivo neuropeptide detection and neural ‭circuit tracing, that led to the identification of two distinct ‭subpopulations of behaviors. The award provided her ‭with an additional two years of mentored phase funding ‭and three years of R01-like funding to use in her own ‭independent laboratory.

‭In her laboratory at the center, Al-Hasani will continue to use ‭multidisciplinary approaches to further our understanding of ‭the negative affective behaviors associated with the withdrawal ‭phase of addiction and the interaction of endogenous opioid ‭systems with commonly prescribed opioid analgesics.

‭“It’s a new venture and a chance to do what everyone’s been ‭trying to do—bridge basic research with clinical research,” ‭Al-Hasani said. “To have both the clinical and basic aspects ‭in one building adds a lot of strength. It’s invigorating to be ‭a part of the growth of the center and help shape it into what ‭it will become.”