Cooper Medical School of Rowan Univerisity
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Research Profile

Bradford Fischer, PhD

Bradford D. Fischer, PhD

Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Department of Biomedical Sciences

401 South Broadway

Camden, NJ 08103




Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA

BS (Mathematics / Psychology), 1999


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

MA (Biological Psychology), 2005

PhD (Behavioral Neuroscience / Neurobiology), 2008


Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Postdoc (Neuroscience / Pharmacology), 2012

Research Interests

Our research program is aimed at studying the pharmacological basis of the therapeutic- and side-effects of psychoactive drugs using in vivo techniques. Specific interests are in preclinical drug discovery, the translational pharmacology of stimulants, opioids, and benzodiazepines and the quantitative assessment of drug combinations. As an example, a current focus is on the neuropharmacology of novel GABA-A receptor modulators on endpoints related to their pain-relieving antihyperalgesic effects as well as on endpoints related to their unwanted side-effects. The working hypothesis that underpins this work is that different GABA-A receptor subtypes mediate the sedative, discriminative stimulus, reinforcing, motoric, memory impairing and antihyperalgesic effects of these and other benzodiazepine-like drugs. If these hypotheses were to hold true, itmay be possible to develop effective antihyperalgesics with an improved side-effect profile relative to drugs that are available currently.

We rely on the assessment of both simple and complex behaviors in rodents to answer these questions. Current protocols include animal models of motor function (e.g. locomotor activity, rotorod, grip strength), drug abuse (e.g. operant drug discrimination, self-administration, conditioned place preference), memory/cognition (e.g. holeboard, fear conditioning), depression (e.g. differential reinforcement of low rate of responding, tail suspension), anxiety (e.g. vogel conflict) and pain (e.g. von Frey mechanical hypersensitivity, pain suppressed behavior).

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Recent Publications

Fischer, B.D., Teixeira, L.P., Van Linn, M., Namjoshi, O., Yin, W., Cook, J.M., Rowlett, J.K. Role of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor subtypes in acute benzodiazepine physical dependence-like effects: evidence from squirrel monkeys responding under a schedule of food presentation. Psychopharmacology 2013; 227:347-354.

Shinday, N.M., Sawyer, E.K., Fischer, B.D., Platt, D.M., Licata, S.C., Atack, J.R., Dawson, G.R., Reynolds, D.S., Rowlett, J.K. Reinforcing effects of compounds lacking intrinsic efficacy at α1 subunit-containing GABAA receptor subtypes in midazolam- but not cocaine-experienced rhesus monkeys. Neuropsychopharmacology 2013; 38:1006-1014.

Fischer, B.D., Platt, D.M., Rallapalli, S. K., Namjoshi, O. A., Yin, W., Cook, J.M., Rowlett, J.K. Antagonism of triazolam self-administration in rhesus monkeys responding under a progressive-ratio schedule: In vivo apparent pA2 analysis. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2016; 158:22-29.

Fischer, B.D., Schlitt, R.J., Hamade, B.Z., Rehman, S., Ernst, M., Poe, M.M., Li, G., Kodali, R., Arnold, L.A., Cook, J.M. Pharmacological and antihyperalgesic properties of the novel α2/3 preferring GABAA receptor ligand MP-III-024. Brain Research Bulletin 2017; 131:62-69.

Fischer, B.D. GABAA receptors as targets for the management of pain-related disorders. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets 2017; 16:658-663.

Kroll, C., Fischer, B.D. Response rate decreasing effects of naloxone during chronic sucrose availability. Behavioural Pharmacology 2017; 28:401-404.

Fischer, B.D., Bottaro, A., Kuzin, I., Ho, C., O’Leary, M.E. Chronic exposure to tumor necrosis factor in vivo induces hyperalgesia, upregulates sodium channel gene expression and alters the cellular electrophysiology of dorsal root ganglion neurons. Neuroscience Letters 2017; 653:195-201.

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