Mario Alburges

Mario Alburges

Mario Alburges


Research Associate Professor



Phone: 801.581.5502
Fax: 801.585.5111



B.S. 1976, University of Zulia, Chemistry

M.S. 1979, University of Zulia, Toxicology

Ph.D. 1988, University of Utah, Pharmacology


Research Interests


Because abuse of psychostimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine has escalated in recent years, the understanding of the molecular mechanism(s) of action of these drugs on the central nervous system is essential in the development of therapies to treat drug dependence.

In our laboratory, we study the biochemical mechanisms and neurotoxicity of drugs of abuse on brain monoamine (dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine), and neuropeptides (neurotensin, substance P, enkephalins, dynorphin, neuropeptide Y) systems. We are also interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the neurotransmitter receptor mobilization (intracellular trafficking) caused by methamphetamine and related drugs.


Selected Publications


(Selected from 54 peer-reviewed publications)

M.E. Alburges
, A.J. Hoonakker, K.A. Horner, A.E. Fleckenstein and G.R. Hanson.  (2011).  Methylphenidate alters basal ganglia neurotensin systems through dopaminergic mechanisms:  a comparison with cocaine treatment.  J. Neurochemistry, 117: 470-478.

G.R. Hanson, A.J. Hoonakker, M.E. Alburges, L.M. McFadden, C.M. Robson and P.S. Frankel.  (2012).  Response of limbic neurotensin systems to methamphetamine self-administration.  Neuroscience, 203: 99-107.

G.R. Hanson, A.J. Hoonakker, C.M. Robson, L.M. McFadden, P.S. Frankel and M.E. Alburges.  (2013).  Response of neurotensin basal ganglia systems during extinction of methamphetamine self-administration in rat.  J. Pharm. Exp. Ther., 346:173-181.

M.E. Alburges, A.J. Hoonakker, N.M. Cordova, C.M. Robson, L.M. McFadden, A.I. Martin and G.R. Hanson.  (2014). Response of the rat basal ganglia neurotensin systems to low doses of methamphetamine.  Psychopharmacology, 231:2933-2940.

C.L. German, M.E. Alburges, A.J. Hoonakker, A.E. Fleckenstein and G.R. Hanson.  (2014).  Mephedrone alters basal ganglia and limbic dynorphin systems.  Synapse, 68:634-640.

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