Skip Navigation

Phone Service Update

We are experiencing extremely high call volume related to COVID-19 vaccine interest. Please understand that our phone lines must be clear for people with urgent and acute medical care needs. Unfortunately, this means we are unable to accept phone calls to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations at this time. When this changes, we will update this web site. Read more COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Patient Care Options | Visitor Guidelines | Coronavirus Information | Self-Checker | Get Email Alerts

Find a Doctor

Find a Researcher


Nancy A. Ator, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Nancy A. Ator, Ph.D.
  • Director, Division of Behavioral Biology
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Research Interests

Behavioral pharmacology and drug abuse; Preclinical characterization of anxiolytics, hypnotics; In vivo characterization of selective GABAergic compounds to determine behavioral relevance of novel in-vitro activity with respect to drug abuse; Study of interoceptive stimulus functions of psychoactive drugs more



  • Director, Division of Behavioral Biology
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Departments / Divisions


Additional Training

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, 1978

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

Ator NA, Weerts EM, Kaminski, BJ, Kautz MA, Griffiths RR. Zaleplon and triazolam physical dependence assessed across increasing doses under a once-daily dosing regimen in baboons. Drug and Alcohol Dependence:61:69-84. (2000)

Ator NA, Kautz MA. Differentiating benzodiazepine and barbituate-like discriminative stimulus effects of lorazepam, diazepam, pentobarbital, imidazenil, and zaleplon in two versus three lever procedures. Behavioural Pharmacology:11:1-14. (2000)

Ator NA. Zaleplon and triazolam: Drug discrimination, plasma levels, and self-administration in baboons. Drug and Alcohol Dependence: 61:69-84. (2000)

Ator NA. Relation between discriminative and reinforcing effects of midazolam, pentobarbital, chlordiazepoxide, zolpidem, and imidazenil in baboons. Psychopharmacology: 163:477-487. (2002)

Ator NA, Griffiths RR. Principles of drug abuse liability assessment in laboratory animals. Drug and Alcohol Dependence: 70: S55-S72. (2003)

Ator NA. Contributions of GABAa receptor subtype selectivity to abuse liability and dependence potential of pharmacological treatments for anxiety and sleep disorders. CNS Spectrums:10: 31-39. (2005)

Ator, N. A., Atack, J. R., Hargreaves, R. J., Burns, H. D., and Dawson, G. R. (2010) Reducing abuse liability of GABAA/benzodiazepine ligands via selective partial-agonist efficacy at α1 and α2/3 subtypes. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 332: 4-16. (Published online September 29, 2009; doi:10.1124/jpet.109.158303)

Contact for Research Inquiries

Baltimore, MD 21224 map
Phone: 410-550-2773
Fax: 410-550-2780

Email me

Is this you? Edit Profile
back to top button