Irwin Lucki, PhD

Irwin Lucki, Ph.D. is Chair of the Department of Pharmacology & Molecular Therapeutics at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). Dr. Lucki received his Ph.D. (Biopsychology) from the University of Iowa in 1979. He conducted postdoctoral research in psychopharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1979-1982 before joining the faculty in 1984 as a researcher, an educator and Program Director of an NIMH predoctoral and postdoctoral training grant. He joined USUHS in 2016 as Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry.

The major focus of Dr. Lucki’s research is the investigation of neural mechanisms underlying the behavioral effects of psychiatric medications and translation to clinical development. His laboratory develops new therapeutic approaches for treating depression and anxiety disorders based on studies involving relevant animal models and neurochemistry. Dr. Lucki started his career by studying the behavioral and physiological functions of different serotonin receptors and their relationship to the effects of SSRIs, eventually directing an NIMH Program Project Grant. Dr. Lucki also directed an NIMH Center grant on drug discovery in collaboration with industry partners. His research led to the development of vilazodone as an FDA-approved clinical antidepressant. He is currently investigating opioid receptor antagonists and ketamine and its metabolites for the rapid treatment of depression and other disorders. He has also conducted clinical pharmacology research studies with psychiatric patients and normal volunteers. Dr. Lucki is author of over 180 peer-reviewed publications and 40 reviews. Among awards for his research, he received the Young Psychopharmacologist Award from the American Psychological Association (1984) and the Distinguished Investigator Award from NARSAD (2005). Dr. Lucki is a Principal Editor for Psychopharmacology, and on the Editorial Boards for Neuropsychopharmacology, Journal of Psychopharmacology and Neurobiology of Stress. Dr. Lucki is a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) and the American Psychological Association (APA).