About Us : Faculty : Evans
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Christopher J. Evans, Ph.D.
Stefan Hatos Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
Director, Shirley and Stefan Hatos Center for Neuropharmacology in the NPI
Director, NIDA Center for Opioid Resceptors and Drugs of Abuse (CSORDA)
Associate Director for Research of the BRI
Senior Research Scientist, Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute

Research interests

One major research objective of Dr. Evans' laboratory is to gain insights into the mechanism of action of opioid drugs and their receptors, with the ultimate goal of discerning molecular processes that contribute to the effects of opiate drugs on pain, the immune system, memory processes, and reward.

The laboratory investigates the signaling and regulation of receptors both in vitro and in vivo utilizing cell biology and molecular methodologies. A second, more recent line of research is the analysis of neuroimmune and apoptotic mechanisms using a zebrafish model.

Current research projects

Current on-going projects in the laboratory include:

  • investigations of the differential signaling abilities of opioid drugs,
  • the role of receptor trafficking in the regulation of opioid receptors
  • he development of methodologies to detect plasticity processes following opioid receptor modulation.
  • The development of transgenic models in zebrafish to study neuroimmune processes

Recent publications (since 2000)

Evans, C. J. (2000). "Agonist selective mu-opioid receptor trafficking in rat central nervous system." Mol Psychiatry5(2): 121.

Melone, M., N. C. Brecha, C. Sternini, C. Evans and F. Conti (2000). "Etorphine increases the number of mu-opioid receptor-positive cells in the cerebral cortex." Neuroscience100(3): 439-43.

Piros, E. T., R. C. Charles, L. Song, C. J. Evans and T. G. Hales (2000). "Cloned delta-opioid receptors in GH(3) cells inhibit spontaneous Ca(2+) oscillations and prolactin release through K(IR) channel activation." J Neurophysiol83(5): 2691-8.

Rabizadeh, S., X. Ye, S. Sperandio, J. J. Wang, H. M. Ellerby, L. M. Ellerby, C. Giza, R. L. Andrusiak, H. Frankowski, Y. Yaron, N. N. Moayeri, G. Rovelli, C. J. Evans, L. L. Butcher, G. P. Nolan, N. Assa-Munt and D. E. Bredesen (2000). "Neurotrophin dependence domain: a domain required for the mediation of apoptosis by the p75 neurotrophin receptor." J Mol Neurosci15(3): 215-29.

Zaki, P. A., D. E. Keith, Jr., G. A. Brine, F. I. Carroll and C. J. Evans (2000). "Ligand-induced changes in surface mu-opioid receptor number: relationship to G protein activation?" J Pharmacol Exp Ther292(3): 1127-34.

Arjomand, J. and C. J. Evans (2001). "Differential splicing of transcripts encoding the orphanin FQ/nociceptin precursor." J Neurochem77(3): 720-9.

Ishiyama, A., G. Ishiyama, R. W. Baloh and C. J. Evans (2001). "Heroin-induced reversible profound deafness and vestibular dysfunction." Addiction96(9): 1363-4.

Zaki, P. A., D. E. Keith, Jr., J. B. Thomas, F. I. Carroll and C. J. Evans (2001). "Agonist-, antagonist-, and inverse agonist-regulated trafficking of the delta-opioid receptor correlates with, but does not require, G protein activation." J Pharmacol Exp Ther298(3): 1015-20.

Arjomand, J., S. Cole and C. J. Evans (2002). "Novel orphanin FQ/nociceptin transcripts are expressed in human immune cells." J Neuroimmunol130(1-2): 100-8.

Charles, A. C., N. Mostovskaya, K. Asas, C. J. Evans, M. L. Dankovich and T. G. Hales (2003). "Coexpression of delta-opioid receptors with micro receptors in GH3 cells changes the functional response to micro agonists from inhibitory to excitatory." Mol Pharmacol63(1): 89-95.

Eitan, S., C. D. Bryant, N. Saliminejad, Y. C. Yang, E. Vojdani, D. Keith, Jr., R. Polakiewicz and C. J. Evans (2003). "Brain region-specific mechanisms for acute morphine-induced mitogen-activated protein kinase modulation and distinct patterns of activation during analgesic tolerance and locomotor sensitization." J Neurosci23(23): 8360-9.

Li, Y., S. Eitan, J. Wu, C. J. Evans, B. Kieffer, X. Sun and R. D. Polakiewicz (2003). "Morphine induces desensitization of insulin receptor signaling." Mol Cell Biol 23(17): 6255-66.

Lutfy, K., S. Eitan, C. D. Bryant, Y. C. Yang, N. Saliminejad, W. Walwyn, B. L. Kieffer, H. Takeshima, F. I. Carroll, N. T. Maidment and C. J. Evans (2003). "Buprenorphine-induced antinociception is mediated by mu-opioid receptors and compromised by concomitant activation of opioid receptor-like receptors." J Neurosci 23(32): 10331-7.

Reeve, J. R., Jr., D. A. Keire, T. Coskun, G. M. Green, C. Evans, F. J. Ho, T. D. Lee, M. T. Davis, J. E. Shively and T. E. Solomon (2003). "Synthesis of biologically active canine CCK-58." Regul Pept 113(1-3): 71-7.

Walwyn, W. M., D. E. Keith, Jr., W. Wei, A. M. Tan, C. W. Xie, C. J. Evans, B. L. Kieffer and N. T. Maidment (2004). "Functional coupling, desensitization and internalization of virally expressed mu opioid receptors in cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons from mu opioid receptor knockout mice." Neuroscience 123(1): 111-21.


Evans, C. J., G. Monteillet-Agius, N. Saliminejad and P. A. Zaki (2000). "Opiate drugs: 'guilt by association'." Mol Psychiatry5(2): 122-3.

Kieffer, B. L. and C. J. Evans (2002). "Opioid tolerance-in search of the holy grail." Cell 108(5): 587-90.

Lacoste, A. and C. J. Evans (2003). Cloning of Delta Opioid Receptors., Marcel Dekker.

von Zastrow, M., A. Svingos, H. Haberstock-Debic and C. Evans (2003). "Regulated endocytosis of opioid receptors: cellular mechanisms and proposed roles in physiological adaptation to opiate drugs." Curr Opin Neurobiol 13(3): 348-53.

Evans, C. J. (2004). "Secrets of The Opium Poppy Revealed." Neuropharmacology in press.

Christopher J. Evans, Ph.D.
Shirley and Stefan Hatos Center for Neuropharmacology
UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
Box 951759
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1759
On-campus mail: NPI Box 77 175919
Tel: (310) 206-7884
Fax: (310) 825-7067
Web: http://hatos.ucla.edu/Hatoscenter.htm