Elise M. Weerts, Ph.D.

Headshot of Elise M. Weerts
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences



  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • Ph.D.; Tufts University (Massachusetts) (1993)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

My professional interests include preclinical and clinical research on the behavioral and neurobiological mechanisms associated with substance use disorders and application of this knowledge towards the development of pharmacotherapeutics.  Current studies are focused on cannabis/cannabinoids, alcohol and opioids.  Methodological approaches include human laboratory drug administration, drug PK/PD, psychological assessments, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging.

Preclinical studies also include vapor exposure models, drug self-administration, schedule-controlled behavior, behavioral observation, and physical dependence assessments as well as drug pharmacokinetics.

Technology Expertise Keywords

Human Laboratory Studies; Behavioral Pharmacology; Clinical Trials; PET Imaging; Substance Use Disorders, Abuse Liability Assessment; Cannabis/Cannabinoids; Opioids; Alcohol; Nicotine

Clinical Trial Keywords

alcoholism; oxytocin; substance-related disorders; alcohol withdrawal

Clinical Trials

NCT02407340 - Laboratory Studies on Oxytocin for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Moore CF, Stiltner J, Davis CM, Weerts EM. Translational models of cannabinoid vapor exposure in laboratory animals. Special Issue on ‘The Behavioural Pharmacology of Cannabinoids’. Behav Pharmacol. 2020; (In press);. doi: 10.1097/FBP.0000000000000592. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 33136615; NIHMSID:NIHMS1623332

Moore CF, Davis CM, Taffe M, Weerts EM. Appetitive, antinociceptive, and hypothermic effects of vaped and injected Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in rats: exposure and dose-effect comparisons by strain and sex. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 2021, 02:173116. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2021.173116. PMID: 33493547; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7878393

Spindle TR, Cone EJ, Goffi E, Weerts EM, Mitchell JM, Winecker RE, Bigelow GE, Flegel R and Vandrey R. Pharmacodynamic Effects of Vaporized and Oral Cannabidiol (CBD) and Vaporized CBD-Dominant Cannabis in Male and Female Infrequent Cannabis Users. Drug and Alcohol Dependence (2020) volume 211, doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.107937. PMCID: PMC7414803

Sholler DJ, Strickland JC, Spindle TR, Weerts EM, Vandrey R. Sex differences in the acute subjective effects of oral and vaporized cannabis in infrequent cannabis users. Addiction Biology (2020) DOI: 10.1111/adb.12968 [Epub ahead of print] 

Spindle TR, Kuwabara H, Eversole A, Nandi A, Vandrey R, Antoine DG, Umbricht A, Guarda AS, Wong DF, Weerts EM. Brain Imaging of Cannabinoid Type I (CB1) Receptors in Women with Cannabis Use Disorder and Male and Female Healthy Controls. Addiction Biology (2021) Open Access; e13061 doi.org/10.1111/adb.13061

Contact for Research Inquiries

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Campus
Behavioral Biology Research Center
5510 Nathan Shock Drive
Baltimore, MD 21224 map

The Johns Hopkins Hospital
550 Building
550 North Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205 map

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