Scott Swartzwelder, Ph.D.

Photo of Scott Swartzwelder

Phone: 919-971-0964

Building 16
VA Medical Center
Durham, N.C. 27705

Email: hss AT duke DOT edu


Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine

DIBS Faculty

Research Description

Our lab is focused on understanding the neuropsychology, neuropharmacology, and neurophysiology of substance abuse. We are particularly interested in adolescence as a developmental period of significance, both neurologically and psycho-socially with respect to the initiation of, and sensitivity to, drug use. We use single-cell neurophysiology, network neurophysiology, animal behavior, and human studies to address these issues.


Residency, Durham VA Medical Center, Clinical Psychology, 1989-1990

Clinical Psychology Training, Duke University, 1987-1989

Postdoctoral Fellow, UNC School of Medicine, Pharmacology, 1980-1982

Ph.D., The American University, Biopsychology, 1980

M.A., Loyola College, Psychology, 1977

B.S., Towson State University, Psychology and Philosophy, 1976

Recent Publications

Yan, H., Li, Q., Madison, R., Wilson, W.A. and Swartzwelder, H.S. Differential sensitivity of hippocampal interneurons to ethanol in adolescent and adult rats. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 335(1): 51-60, 2010.

Moore, N.L.T., Greenleaf, A.L.R., Acheson, S.K., Wilson, W.A., Swartzwelder, H.S. and Kuhn, C.M. Role of CB1 desensitization in greater tetrahydroxannabinol impairment of memory in adolescent rats. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 335(2): 294-301, 2010.

Fleming, R., Acheson, S., Moore, S., Wilson, W. and Swartzwelder, H.S. GABA Transport Modulates the Ethanol Sensitivity of Tonic Inhibition in the Rat Dentate Gyrus. Alcohol 45(6): 577-583, 2011.

Fleming, R.L., Acheson, S.K., Moore, S.D., Wilson, W.A. and Swartzwelder, H.S. In the Rat, Chronic Intermittent Ethanol Exposure During Adolescence Alters the Ethanol Sensitivity of Tonic Inhibition in Adulthood. Alcoholism: Clin. Exp. Res. 36 (2): 279-285, 2012.

Swartzwelder, N.A., Risher, M.L., Abdelwahab, S.H., D’Abo, A., Rezvani, A.H., Levin, E.D., Wilson, W.A., Swartzwelder, H.S. and Acheson, S.K. Effects of ethanol, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or their combination on object recognition memory and object preference in adolescent and adult rats. Neuroscience Letters 527 (1): 11–15, 2012.

Research Areas

Research Topics

  • Cellular Neurophysiology
  • Neural Mechanisms of Drug Effects and Addiction
  • Neural Mechanisms of Learning and Memory