Dr. Philip Vieira

College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Psychology

Associate Professor

(310) 243-3271




Ph.D.University of California, Riverside
M.A.University of California, Riverside
B.A.California State University, Fresno


Behavioral Neurosciences, neuroplasticity, addiction, pharmacokinetics.

Human behavior ultimately derives from changes within the brain.  The broader scope of my research is to understand how neurobiology supports these changes. I currently study the role drugs of abuse play in exploiting the brain’s adaptive framework to produce maladaptive (addiction) behavior. I am also interested in the individual differences that interact with the environment to create the conditions that support drug addiction. These include epigenetics, endocrinology and drug metabolism. To that end, I am also involved in work that has developed next generation biosensors to detect real-time changes in individual drug kinetics and dynamics.

Any students interested in becoming a research assistant in the lab can fill out an application here (


Vieira, P.A., Shin, C., Arroyo-Currás, N., Ortega, G., Li, W., Keller, A.A., Plaxco, K.W. & Kippin, T. E. (2019). Ultra-high-precision, in-vivo pharmacokinetic measurements highlight the need for and a route towards more highly personalized medicine. Frontiers in molecular biosciences6, 69.

Ploense, K. L., Vieira, P. A., Bubalo, L., Olivarria, G., Carr, A. E., Szumlinski, K. K., & Kippin, T. E. (2018). Contributions of prolonged contingent and non-contingent cocaine exposure to escalation of cocaine intake and glutamatergic gene expression. Psychopharmacology235(5), 1347-1359.

Arroyo-Currás, N., Somerson, J., Vieira, P. A., Ploense, K. L., Kippin, T. E., & Plaxco, K. W. (2017). Real-time measurement of small molecules directly in awake, ambulatory animals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences114(4), 645-650.

Miller, B.W., Wroten, M.G., Sacramento, A.D., Silva, H.E., Ben-Shahar, O., Shin, C.,   Vieira, P.A., Kippin, T.E., & Szumlinski, K.K. (2016). Incubation of cocaine-craving requires PKCε priming within vmPFC.   Addiction Biology, doi: 10.1111/adb.12354

Vieira, P.A., & Korzus, E. (2015). CBP-dependent memory consolidation in the prefrontal cortex supports hippocampus-dependent spatial recognition learning.   Hippocampus, 25, 1532-1540

Lovelace, J.W.,   Vieira, P.A., Corches, A., & Korzus, E. (2015). Adolescent cannabis abuse leads to impaired discrimination memory and prefrontal plasticity.   Neuropsychopharmacology, 99, 242-255   


PSY 305: History and Systems
PSY 320 Psychopharmacology
PSY 490 Senior Seminar: The Addicted Brain
PSY 520 Graduate Seminar in Psychopharmacology 
PSY 535: Advanced Research Methods
UNV 101 Sex, Drugs, Rock-n-Roll: The Neuroscience of Hedonism