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Anthony Riley Professor Department of Neuroscience

PhD, Psychology, University of Washington

Dr. Riley received his undergraduate training at the University of North Carolina and obtained his PhD from the University of Washington. He did a post-doctoral fellowship in pharmacology at Dalhousie University in Canada. He joined the faculty at American University in 1976. Dr. Riley is a member of a number of organizations, including Society for Neurosciences, Behavioral Pharmacology Society, College on the Problems of Drug Dependence, Behavioral Toxicology Society and the Society for the Stimulus Properties of Drugs and has been on the editorial board of a number of toxicology and neuroscience journals. Dr. Riley’s research interests include animal models of drug abuse, drug interactions, opioid receptor pharmacology, behavioral toxicology, immunology, chronic drug administration and the effects of prenatal cocaine exposure.


Spring 2022

  • NEUR-688 Sem in Behav, Cognitn & Neuro: The Science of Science

  • PSYC-497 Topics in Psychology: Neuropharmacol: Biochem of Beh

Fall 2022

  • NEUR-497 Honors Capstone I

  • NEUR-898 Doctoral Continuing Enrollment

  • PSYC-240 Drugs and Behavior

Partnerships & Affiliations

  • Veterans Administration (Washington)
    1982 - Present

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
    1985 - Present

  • Johns Hopkins University
    2002 - Present

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Animal models of drug abuse, drug interactions, opioid receptor pharmacology, behavioral toxicology, immunology, chronic drug administration and the effects of prenatal cocaine exposure.


Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • University Award for Outstanding Teaching (1981)
  • Scholar/Teacher of the Year (2000)
  • D.C. Professor of the Year (2000)
  • Presidential Research Fellow in 2007

Professional Services

  • Editorial Board – Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
  • President elect – Society for the Stimulus Properties of Drugs

Selected Publications

  • See attached vita.

Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Mediation of cocaine-induced taste aversions: Transgenic analysis with homozygous and heterozygous knock-out mice. (Contract: National Institutes on Drug Abuse IRP, NIH/DHHS, Molecular Neurobiology Branch)
  • Effects of norBNI on cocaine withdrawal and alcohol intake: Assessments of kappa opioid mediation. (Contract: Drug Design and Synthesis Section, Chemical Biology Research Branch, National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)
  • Cocaine escalation under chronic access conditions: A comparison of F344 and LEW rat strains. (Contract: Walter Reed Army Institute of Research)

Professional Presentations

See attached vita.

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

Animal models of drug abuse; biology of reward; conditioned taste aversion learning

Additional Information

 Anthony Riley has been involved in the teaching of a variety of classes, including Psychology as a Natural Science, Drugs and Behavior, Neuropharmacology, and Evolution of Behavior. Riley also teaches Neuroscience Seminar, in which upper-level undergraduate and graduate students focus on current issues in the neurosciences; e.g., viral and bacterial infections and biochemical bases of therapeutics. For the past 35 years, he has been involved in scholarly research, focusing primarily on animal models of drug addiction. Riley has published more than 170 journal articles and book chapters and presented more than 325 papers at national and international research conferences. His laboratory has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the MacArthur Foundation.

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

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