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Lars Terenius, PhD

Professor Adjunct
Department of Neuroscience
California Campus
Scripps VIVO Scientific Profile
(858) 784-7151

Research Focus

We are focusing on the opioid systems (receptors and endogenous ligands) which are part of the defense system of the brain and spinal cord. The mu-opioid (= morphine) receptor is the target for narcotic analgesics, and apparently indirectly, alcohol. Studies at the Karolinska Institute of molecular dynamics of the interactions with the receptor in the alive cell with high temporal and absolute (single molecule) resolution, at Scripps laboratories, X-ray structures of receptors, electrophysiological analysis of receptor function at the single cell level, and experiments in animal models, advance the fundamental understanding of drug/alcohol dependence.


B.S., Chemistry, Microbiology and Biochemistry, University of Uppsala, Sweden, 1962
Ph.D., Medical Pharmacology, University of Uppsala, Sweden, 1969

Professional Experience

2011-2016 Professor of MCN, Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience (MCN), The Scripps Research Institute
2006-2011 Professor Adjunct, Molecular and Integrative Neurosciences (MIND), The Scripps Research Institute

Awards & Professional Activities

1969-1976 Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Uppsal; 1976-1977 Associate Research Professor, Swedish Medical Research Council; 1976 Hilda and Alfred Erikssons Prize (Stockholm) Award; 1977 Pacesetter Award (Washington, D.C.) Award; 1977-1988 Professor and Chairman, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Uppsala; 1978 Gairdner Award (Toronto) Award - 1980 Jahre Award (Oslo) Award; 1981 Honorary Doctorate Uppsala University, Sweden; 1983 Honorary Doctorate University of Trondheim, Norway; 1984 Björkéns Prize (Uppsala) Award; 1988-1995 Member of the Board of the Swedish Medical Research Council; 1988 to date  Professor, Experimental Alcohol and Drug Addiction Research, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm; 1988-1989 Fogarty Scholar-in-Residence, National Institutes of Health, Washington, D.C.; 1991 Visiting Professor, Rockefeller University, New York; 1994-2008 Founding and Acting Director, Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM)  Karolinska Hospital; 1992-1997 Head of Karolinska Center for PET (positron emission tomography) studies; 1996-2004 Chairman, Committee on Research Integrity and Policy, the Karolinska Institute; 1998 Vallee Visiting Professor, Harvard University, Boston; 1998-2001 Head of MR-Center, Karolinska University Hospital; 1999 Olof Rudbeck Prize (Uppsala) Award; 2000 Ipsen Award (Paris) Award; 2000-2010 Director, Wallenberg Consortium North for Functional Genomics; 2002 R.B. Woodward Visiting Professor, Harvard University, Boston; 2004 Lecturer at Collège de France, Paris; 2004-2011 Visiting Full Professor, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA.; 2005 University of Sofia, Bulgaria; 2011 Professor, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA. Member of learned societies: Royal Society of Sciences (Uppsala), Royal Academy of Sciences (Stockholm), Academia Europaea (Cambridge), Nobel Assembly on Physiology or Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Boston)..

Selected References

All Publications

Sole-Domenech, S., Sjovall, P., Vukojevic, V., Fernando, R., Codita, A., Salve, S., Bogdanovic, N., Mohammed, A. H., Hammarstrom, P., Nilsson, K. P. R., LaFerla, F. M., Jacob, S., et al. Localization of cholesterol, amyloid and glia in alzheimer's disease transgenic mouse brain tissue using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (tof-sims) and immunofluorescence imaging. (2013). Acta Neuropathologica, 125(1), 145-157.

Carlstrom, E. L., Saetre, P., Rosengren, A., Thygesen, J. H., Djurovic, S., Melle, I., Andreassen, O. A., Werge, T., Agartz, I., Hall, H., Terenius, L., Jonsson, E. G. Association between a genetic variant in the serotonin transporter gene (slc6a4) and suicidal behavior in patients with schizophrenia. (2012). Behavioral and Brain Functions, 8, 24. PMCID: PMC3527134.

Andreou, D., Saetre, P., Werge, T., Andreassen, O. A., Agartz, I., Sedvall, G. C., Hall, H., Terenius, L. & Jonsson, E. G. D-amino acid oxidase activator gene (daoa) variation affects cerebrospinal fluid homovanillic acid concentrations in healthy caucasians. (2012). European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 262(7), 549-556. PMCID: PMC3464385.

Gruol, D. L., Nelson, T. E., Hao, C., Michael, S., Vukojevic, V., Ming, Y. & Terenius, L. Ethanol alters opioid regulation of Ca2+influx through L-type Ca2+channels in PC12 cells. (2012). Alcoholism-Clinical and Experimental Research, 36(3), 443-456. PMCID: PMC3266970.

Holtze, M., Saetre, P., Engberg, G., Schwieler, L., Werge, T., Andreassen, O. A., Hall, H., Terenius, L., Agartz, I., Jonsson, E. G., Schalling, M., Erhardt, S. Kynurenine 3-monooxygenase polymorphisms: Relevance for kynurenic acid synthesis in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. (2012). Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 37(1), 53-57. PMCID: PMC3244499.

Saetre, P., Grove, J., Borglum, A. D., Mors, O., Werge, T., Andreassen, O. A., Vares, M., Agartz, I., Terenius, L. & Jonsson, E. G. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (mthfr) c677t polymorphism and age at onset of schizophrenia: No consistent evidence for an association in the nordic population. (2012). American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B-Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 159B(8), 981-986. PMCID: PMC3739001.

Steinberg, S., de Jong, S., Andreassen, O. A., Werge, T., Borglum, A. D., Mors, O., Mortensen, P. B., Gustafsson, O., Costas, J., Pietilainen, O. P. H., Demontis, D., Papiol, S., et al. Common variants at VRK(2) and TCF(4) conferring risk of schizophrenia. (2011). Human Molecular Genetics, 20(20), 4076-4081. PMCID: PMC3298077.

Andreou, D., Saetre, P., Kahler, A. K., Werge, T., Andreassen, O. A., Agartz, I., Sedvall, G. C., Hall, H., Terenius, L. & Jonsson, E. G. Dystrobrevin-binding protein 1 gene (dtnbp1) variants associated with cerebrospinal fluid homovanillic acid and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid concentrations in healthy volunteers. (2011). European Neuropsychopharmacology, 21(9), 700-704.

D'Addario, C., Johansson, S., Candeletti, S., Romualdi, P., Ogren, S. O., Terenius, L. & Ekstrom, T. J. Ethanol and acetaldehyde exposure induces specific epigenetic modifications in the prodynorphin gene promoter in a human neuroblastoma cell line. (2011). FASEB Journal, 25(3), 1069-1075.

Steinberg, S., Mors, O., Borglum, A. D., Gustafsson, O., Werge, T., Mortensen, P. B., Andreassen, O. A., Sigurdsson, E., Thorgeirsson, T. E., Bottcher, Y., Olason, P., Ophoff, R. A., et al. Expanding the range of ZNF804A variants conferring risk of psychosis. (2011). Molecular Psychiatry, 16(1), 59-66. PMCID: PMC3242031.