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Sara Jane Ward, PhD


Sara Jane Ward, PhD


Research Assistant Professor, Center for Substance Abuse Research

Telephone:  215-707-1006

Email: sara.ward@temple.edu


Center for Substance Abuse Research


Educational Background:


BA, Psychology (cum laude), University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, 1997


PhD, Neuroscience, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, 2004

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Research Interests:


My research focuses on the behavioral pharmacological effects of the cannabinoid, serotonin, and opioid receptor systems on neuropathic pain and neuroprotection, learning and memory, and addiction.  This research makes use of rodent models of peripheral and central nerve injury, substance abuse, and cognition to explore the pharmacotherapeutic potential of cannabinoid, serotonergic, and opiodergic compounds alone and in combination on these behavioral endpoints.


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Ward, SJ. In vivo models and assessment of pharmacotherapeutics.  In Chemotherapy Induced Neuropathic Pain.  Taylor and Francis/CRC Press 2012.


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Recent Medically Related Publications, Obtained from PubMed (Click on PubMed ID to view abstract)

26237319. Neelakantan H, Ward SJ, Walker EA, Discriminative stimulus effects of morphine and oxycodone in the absence and presence of acetic acid in male and female C57Bl/6 mice. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 23:4(217-27)2015 Aug

26115790. Enman NM, Arthur K, Ward SJ, Perrine SA, Unterwald EM, Anhedonia, Reduced Cocaine Reward, and Dopamine Dysfunction in a Rat Model of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Biol Psychiatry 78:12(871-9)2015 Dec 15

26032254. Ronca RD, Myers AM, Ganea D, Tuma RF, Walker EA, Ward SJ, A selective cannabinoid CB2 agonist attenuates damage and improves memory retention following stroke in mice. Life Sci 138:(72-7)2015 Oct 1

25485642. Neelakantan H, Tallarida RJ, Reichenbach ZW, Tuma RF, Ward SJ, Walker EA, Distinct interactions of cannabidiol and morphine in three nociceptive behavioral models in mice. Behav Pharmacol 26:3(304-14)2015 Apr

24117398. Ward SJ, McAllister SD, Kawamura R, Murase R, Neelakantan H, Walker EA, Cannabidiol inhibits paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain through 5-HT(1A) receptors without diminishing nervous system function or chemotherapy efficacy. Br J Pharmacol 171:3(636-45)2014 Feb

24095031. Ward SJ, Cancer, chemotherapy and cognition. Life Sci 93:17(579-80)2013 Oct 17

21740450. Raffa RB, Ward SJ, CB1-independent mechanisms of ??-THCV, AM251 and SR141716 (rimonabant). J Clin Pharm Ther 37:3(260-5)2012 Jun

21737705. Ward SJ, Ramirez MD, Neelakantan H, Walker EA, Cannabidiol prevents the development of cold and mechanical allodynia in paclitaxel-treated female C57Bl6 mice. Anesth Analg 113:4(947-50)2011 Oct

21543969. Ward SJ, Rasmussen BA, Corley G, Henry C, Kim JK, Walker EA, Rawls SM, Beta-lactam antibiotic decreases acquisition of and motivation to respond for cocaine, but not sweet food, in C57Bl/6 mice. Behav Pharmacol 22:4(370-3)2011 Aug

21475141. Ward SJ, Raffa RB, Rimonabant redux and strategies to improve the future outlook of CB1 receptor neutral-antagonist/inverse-agonist therapies. Obesity (Silver Spring) 19:7(1325-34)2011 Jul

19745722. Ward SJ, Walker EA, Sex and cannabinoid CB1 genotype differentiate palatable food and cocaine self-administration behaviors in mice. Behav Pharmacol 20:7(605-13)2009 Oct

19679410. Ward SJ, Rosenberg M, Dykstra LA, Walker EA, The CB1 antagonist rimonabant (SR141716) blocks cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking and other context and extinction phenomena predictive of relapse. Drug Alcohol Depend 105:3(248-55)2009 Dec 1

19575185. Ward SJ, Lefever TW, Rawls SM, Whiteside GT, Walker EA, Age-dependent effects of the cannabinoid CB1 antagonist SR141716A on food intake, body weight change, and pruritus in rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 206:1(155-65)2009 Sep

18256173. Ward SJ, Lefever TW, Jackson C, Tallarida RJ, Walker EA, Effects of a Cannabinoid1 receptor antagonist and Serotonin2C receptor agonist alone and in combination on motivation for palatable food: a dose-addition analysis study in mice. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 325:2(567-76)2008 May

17904623. Smith MA, Ward SJ, Roberts DC, Lesions of the dorsomedial frontal cortex block sensitization to the positive-reinforcing effects of cocaine. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 88:3(238-46)2008 Jan

17572514. Ward SJ, Roberts DC, Microinjection of the delta-opioid receptor selective antagonist naltrindole 5'-isothiocyanate site specifically affects cocaine self-administration in rats responding under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement. Behav Brain Res 182:1(140-4)2007 Aug 22

17489873. Xie S, Furjanic MA, Ferrara JJ, McAndrew NR, Ardino EL, Ngondara A, Bernstein Y, Thomas KJ, Kim E, Walker JM, Nagar S, Ward SJ, Raffa RB, The endocannabinoid system and rimonabant: a new drug with a novel mechanism of action involving cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonism--or inverse agonism--as potential obesity treatment and other therapeutic use. J Clin Pharm Ther 32:3(209-31)2007 Jun

17392737. Ward SJ, Walker EA, Dykstra LA, Effect of cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716A and CB1 receptor knockout on cue-induced reinstatement of Ensure and corn-oil seeking in mice. Neuropsychopharmacology 32:12(2592-600)2007 Dec

15578009. Ward SJ, Morgan D, Roberts DC, Comparison of the reinforcing effects of cocaine and cocaine/heroin combinations under progressive ratio and choice schedules in rats. Neuropsychopharmacology 30:2(286-95)2005 Feb

12873620. Ward SJ, Martin TJ, Roberts DC, Beta-funaltrexamine affects cocaine self-administration in rats responding on a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 75:2(301-7)2003 May

9802826. Aberman JE, Ward SJ, Salamone JD, Effects of dopamine antagonists and accumbens dopamine depletions on time-constrained progressive-ratio performance. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 61:4(341-8)1998 Dec

8081716. Deadwyler SA, Hampson RE, Bennett BA, Edwards TA, Mu J, Pacheco MA, Ward SJ, Childers SR, Cannabinoids modulate potassium current in cultured hippocampal neurons. Receptors Channels 1:2(121-34)1993

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