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Mark Smith


Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.A. Lenoir-Rhyne College


My primary line of research focuses on the behavioral effects of opioids and cocaine, and identifying the variables contributing to differences in drug sensitivity across individuals. My research has shown that these variables can be biological (characteristics of the user), pharmacological (characteristics of the drug), and/or environmental (characteristics of the setting and situation in which the drug is administered). In my laboratory, students use animal models to examine potential behavioral and pharmacological interventions that may serve to reduce drug self-administration.

In addition to my research and teaching, I am active in several professional organizations. I am currently president of the International Study Group Investigating Drugs as Reinforcers (ISGIDAR) and president-elect of Division 28 of the American Psychological Association. I also serve on the board of directors of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, and I am a standing member of the NIH study section, Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology.

My research is funded primarily through the National Institute on Drug Abuse and I have authored and co-authored multiple research publications, including some with Davidson College students. View my list of publications.


PSY 101 General Psychology
PSY 282 Learning
PSY 284 Drugs and Behavior
PSY 302 Psychological Research: Behavioral Pharmacology
PSY 361 Clinical Psychopharmacology

Professional Affiliations

American Psychological Association
Society for Neuroscience
College on the Problems of Drug Dependence
American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics