87. Behavioral pharmacology – a multidisciplinary field of science focused on understanding drug-behavior interaction

87. Behavioral pharmacology – a multidisciplinary field of science focused on understanding drug-behavior interaction

Anna Wojas – Clinical Data Science Team, Sano Centre for Computational Medicine, Krakow, PL


Behavioral pharmacology explores the change in behavior (mainly in animals) in response to the administration of a drug or chemical substance. There are three general strategies in this approach: 1) the drug is used as a stimulant, 2) the drug is used to induce dysfunction, 3) the use of a specific behavioral or physiological effect induced by the administration of a particular compound (Branch, 2006). Behavioral research (in vivo tests) is also an important stage of preclinical studies, enabling the compound to be admitted to the clinical trials. In the most causes the time needed for clinical trial of a single molecule takes at least 4-15 years, which is a long-term and expensive approach. To speed up and streamline the process of searching for an effective therapy for diseases, the approach of drug repurposing/repositioning is used by administration the drug off-label. On this approach behavioral pharmacology provides confirmation of desired mode of action of drug in new therapeutic field. In this talk, I will present how behavioral pharmacology research looks like, how it is carried out and a few words about the future of in vivo research.

Branch, M.N., 2006. How Research in Behavioral Pharmacology Informs Behavioral Science. J. Exp. Anal. Behav. 85, 407–423. https://doi.org/10.1901/jeab.2006.130-04

About the author

Anna graduated from Jagiellonian University Medical College in 2016 with a Master of Science in Pharmacy and currently (November 2022) defended doctoral degree in Department of Pharmacology at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Jagiellonian University. Her doctoral project involved the use of computer tools in behavioral research, thus enabling the improvement of the experimenter’s work, the elimination of errors, the unification of expertise as well as the reduction of the number of animals used for behavioral research. She is interested in the use of computer methods in medicine and pharmacy, expanding knowledge, streamlining the process of conducting research at the preclinical stage as well as setting new, engaging goals on her scientific path. Anna joined Sano Centre in September 2022, and at present she is postdoc at Sano.