Joyce Colussi Mas


MSc, PharmD, PhD (Lyon)

Research interests

Neurochemistry and drug addiction

My research interests focus on the neurobiology of drug addiction. My current work combines behavioural and neurochemical approaches to determine the cerebral mechanisms and brain structures involved in the effects of MDMA (ecstasy). I am particularly interested in the interindividual variability in the vulnerability to drugs, and the mechanisms underlying the transition from drug use to drug addiction.


2010 Early Career Investigator Award, College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD)

Selected publications

Colussi-Mas J., Wise R.J., Howard A., Schenk S. (in press) Drug seeking in response to a priming injection of MDMA in rats: relationship to initial sensitivity to self-administered MDMA and dorsal striatal dopamine. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. doi:10.1017/S1461145710000283

Jones K., Brennan K.A., Colussi-Mas J., Schenk S. (in press) Tolerance to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine is associated with impaired serotonin release. Addiction Biology. doi: 10.1111/j.1369-1600.2010.00217.x

Brennan K.A., Colussi-Mas J., Carati C., Lea R.A., Fitzmaurice P.S., Schenk S. (2010) Methamphetamine self-administration and the effect of contingency on monoamine and metabolite tissue levels in the rat. Brain Research, 1317, 137-146.

Colussi-Mas J., Schenk S. (2008) Acute and sensitized response to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in rat: different behavioral profiles reflected in different patterns of Fos expression. European Journal of Neuroscience, 28, 1895-1910.

Brennan K.A., Lake B., Hely L.S., Jones K., Gittings G., Colussi-Mas J., Fitzmaurice P.S., Lea R.A., Schenk S. (2007) N-benzylpiperazine (BZP) has characteristics of a drug of abuse. Behavioural Pharmacology, 18, 785-790.

Colussi-Mas J., Geisler S., Zimmer L., Zahm D.S., Bérod A. (2007) Activation of afferents to the ventral tegmental area in response to acute amphetamine: a double-labelling study. European Journal of Neuroscience, 26, 1011-1025.

Colussi-Mas J., Panayi F., Scarna H., Renaud B., Bérod A., Lambás-Señas L. (2005) Blockade of beta-adrenergic receptors prevents amphetamine-induced behavioural sensitization in rats: a putative role of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 8, 569-581.

Panayi F., Colussi-Mas J., Lambás-Señas L., Renaud B., Scarna H., Bérod A. (2005) Endogenous neurotensin in the ventral tegmental area contributes to amphetamine behavioral sensitization. Neuropsychopharmacology, 30, 871-879.

Parrot S., Bert L., Mouly-Badina L., Sauvinet V., Colussi-Mas J., Lambas-Senas L., Robert F., Bouilloux J.P., Suaud-Chagny M.F., Denoroy L., Renaud B. (2003) Microdialysis monitoring of catecholamines and excitatory amino acids in the rat and mouse brain: recent developments based on capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence detection - a mini-review. Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, 23, 793-804.

Colussi-Mas J., Bellemin B., Bernard N., Descotes J. (2003) Le crack : une forme fumable de cocaine – Crack: a smokable form of cocaine. La Lettre du Pharmacologue, 17, 169-171.