Professor of Nursing
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine

A neuropharmacologist and director of the Laboratory of Neuropsychopharmacology , Dr. Heath D. Schmidt approaches research on drugs of abuse in several ways: to understand drug addiction as a disease of the brain, to develop new pharmacotherapies to treat addiction, and to better understand how the brain works. 

Dr. Schmidt also explores how food, especially the Western diet consisting of foods high in sugar and fat, changes the brain to produce aberrant food-seeking behaviors that can lead to obesity. 

Our research investigates how drugs of abuse like cocaine, prescription opioids, and nicotine change the brain to produce addiction-like behaviors.”


  • PhD, Boston University School of Medicine , 2007
  • BS, George Washington University, 1999