Hugo Arias, PhD

Clinical Professor of Pharmacology

  • 2879 Citations
  • 28 h-Index
1987 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Personal profile

Hugo Arias obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1999 from National Southern University, Argentina. After his Thesis, Dr. Arias obtained a post-doc position at University of California, Riverside (1992-94), supported by a CONICET (National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Argentina) fellowship. When he returned to Argentina in 1994, Dr. Arias was appointed Assistant Investigator at CONICET, and subsequently promoted to Associate Investigator in 1999. During 1999-02, he was a senior post-doc at Texas Teach University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock. In 2002, he obtained a Research Faculty position at University of Florida, Gainesville, and soon after he was appointed Assistant Professor at Western University Health Science, Pomona, CA. In 2007, Dr. Arias was promoted to Associate Professor at Midwestern University, Glendale, AZ. In 2012, he was promoted to Founding Professor of Pharmacology and Biochemistry, and in 2014 appointed Assistant Dean of Research at California Northstate University, Elk Grove, where he actively participated in the process of accreditation of the College of Medicine. In 2019, he was appointed Founding Professor of the School of Pharmacy, American University of Health Sciences, Signal Hill, CA, where he actively participated in the process of accreditation of this School.

Research interests

Dr. Arias started working on structural, functional, and neuropharmacological aspects of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) in 1983. He has amassed an impressive number of publications (>130), including peer reviewed papers, reviews, and book chapters, on this topic. His current focus is centered on neuropsychiatric and neurological diseases of high socioeconomic impact, including drug (and nicotine) addiction, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and cognitive dysfunctions. More particularly, he is interested in elucidating the role of different AChR subtypes in the underlying mechanisms of these conditions to further design novel ligands with high receptor selectivity for therapeutic translational opportunities. During the development of these projects, he had the opportunity of mentoring >100 undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students from different programs as well as to advise students in their Master Theses, emphasizing his commitment with mentoring students in research. His collaborative mind opened the door for scientific collaborations with laboratories around the world, including laboratories from Italy, France, Poland, Australia, Argentina, and USA.

 Research Opportunities with Dr. Arias

Research Area: Neuropharmacology

Project Title: Nicotinic receptors: Role on pain and depression/anxiety comorbidies
Project Description: In recent years we have obtained promising preclinical data suggesting that α7-PAMs [positive allosteric modulators with high selectivity for α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs)] exert potent anti-nociceptive, anti-inflammatory, and anti-neuropathic pain activity as well as antidepressant and anxiolytic activity in mice without neuropathic pain. Thus, the overall objective of this project is to advance the therapeutic potential of α7-PAMs for neuropathic pain and anxiety/depression comorbidities. More precisely, we will determine the extent to which these ligands alleviate neuropathic pain and comorbidities in wild-type (WT) and α7 knockout (α7-KO) mice from both sexes, using two different preclinical models of neuropathic pain: (a) chronic constriction injury (CCI)-induced neuropathic pain, which has an important inflammatory component, and (b) oxaliplatin (OXA)-induced neuropathic pain, which resembles chronic chemotherapy in humans, without inducing inflammation. By using this approach, we will be able to elucidate (1) the role of α7 nAChRs in modulating neuropathic pain and comorbidities, (2) the molecular cascade of events between α7-PAM-induced α7 nAChR potentiation, triggered intracellular pathways, and decreased pro-inflammatory factors, and (3) sex-dependence of these effects.

Currently Seeking Students: Yes

Time Commitment: Summer

Possible Coauthorship: Yes

Compensation: We are seeking support for students

Location: OSU-CHS

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Research Output

Activation of alpha7 nicotinic and NMDA receptors is necessary for performance in a working memory task

Phenis, D., Vunck, S. A., Valentini, V., Arias, H., Schwarcz, R. & Bruno, J. P., 1 Jun 2020, In : Psychopharmacology. 237, 6, p. 1723-1735 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 3 Scopus citations

    Coronaridine congeners decrease neuropathic pain in mice and inhibit α9α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and CaV2.2 channels

    Arias, H. R., Tae, H. S., Micheli, L., Yousuf, A., Ghelardini, C., Adams, D. J. & Di Cesare Mannelli, L., 15 Sep 2020, In : Neuropharmacology. 175, 108194.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Coronaridine congeners potentiate GABAA receptors and induce sedative activity in mice in a benzodiazepine-insensitive manner

    Arias, H. R., Do Rego, J. L., Do Rego, J. C., Chen, Z., Anouar, Y., Scholze, P., Gonzales, E. B., Huang, R. & Chagraoui, A., 13 Jul 2020, In : Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. 101, 109930.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Scopus citations
    Open Access
  • Desformylflustrabromine, a positive allosteric modulator of α4β2-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, enhances cognition in rats

    Nikiforuk, A., Litwa, E., Krawczyk, M., Popik, P. & Arias, H., 1 Jun 2020, In : Pharmacological Reports. 72, 3, p. 589-599 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Press / Media


    Ratnakar Deole & Hugo Arias


    1 item of Media coverage