Nicholas Vito Cozzi, PhD is an internationally recognized scientist and educator at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health where he teaches pharmacology. He earned his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in pharmacology from the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy in 1988 and 1994, respectively.
Dr. Cozzi’s research centers on the design, synthesis, and pharmacological testing of substances that have effects on the central nervous system. He’s interested in how substances work in the brain to improve cognition, enhance mood, and increase awareness. His ultimate research aim is to understand their clinical value in treating anxiety, addiction, post-traumatic fear, depression, and other mental health conditions. Apart from UW-Madison, Dr. Cozzi is a consultant for clients in law, government, and the pharmaceutical industry. He is also a visiting professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
In his 1994 doctoral thesis, Cozzi dedicates the work in part to Alexander Shulgin “…for inspiration, encouragement, and enthusiasm.” 1 His thesis examined the mechanism of action of three classes of psychoactive drugs (entactogens, hallucinogens, and anorectics) at the molecular, cellular and behavioral level.
Over the years, Dr. Cozzi has published several highly cited studies on new compounds he synthesized and their effects on receptors and behavior.2–10 He has worked with other noted researchers in the field of psychedelic drugs. In 2018, he worked with UW-Madison’s Paul Hutson on two studies which tested high-doses of psilocybin on healthy volunteers. 11,12 Also, he worked with the “grandfather of psychedelics” Alexander Shulgin in a 1999 study on membrane transporters involved in the effects brought about by ketoamphetamines.6
Dr. Cozzi’s most recent work is examining the pharmacology of tryptamine hallucinogens and was published in February 2018 in Neuropharmacology.13 The study results support previous work on the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor in mice and the action tryptamine hallucinogens have on the 5-HT1A receptor.
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