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Natividad, Luis

Luis A Natividad

Assistant Professor
College of Pharmacy


Office Location
BME 6.114A

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

Dr. Natividad is currently an Assistant Professor in the College of Pharmacy (Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology) at the University of Texas at Austin. His laboratory is interested in combining large-scale mass spectrometry analyses with behavioral neuroscience methods to elucidate mechanisms of drug and alcohol addiction.

Dr. Natividad received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at El Paso. During his training in the laboratory of Dr. Laura O’Dell, he learned about basic addiction theory and preclinical models of reinforcement and motivation to examine the rewarding and aversive effects of drugs of abuse. He also learned how to conduct in vivo microdialysis experiments and apply basic chromatographic tools to assay for small molecule neurotransmitters in the brain. His thesis work, supported by a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, applied behavioral and neurochemical assessments to study the effects of chronic nicotine exposure in the adolescent rat brain with the goal of elucidating age-related susceptibility to nicotine addiction. Dr. Natividad went on to a post-doctoral appointment at the Scripps Research Institute in the laboratory of Dr. Larry Parsons, where he learned methods to induce alcohol dependence in rodents and evaluate behavioral symptoms related to the “dark side” of addiction. He gained experience with mass spectrometry analysis and used these approaches to study the regulation of amygdala stress signaling by endogenous cannabinoids in a rodent model of comorbid anxiety and innate alcohol preference. He further developed an interest in the study of cognitive flexibility with operant behavioral tools and used these methods to profile the emergence of impulsive- and compulsive-like behaviors during protracted alcohol withdrawal. Under the auspices of the Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Dr. Natividad worked with Drs. John Yates and Marisa Roberto at Scripps to apply large-scale analyses of the brain proteome with the goal of identifying novel molecular drivers of alcohol-induced cognitive dysfunction. He now leads a research program that seeks to bridge the understanding of the neuroproteome with basic motivational, affective and cognitive processes in the brain, and potentially divulge novel molecules and pathways that can be targeted for the treatment of addiction behavior.