Professor  |  Full Member

Tony George

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Research Interests
Mental Health & Behavioral Conditions, Psychiatric Disorders, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Clinical Trials, Radiology & Imaging
Research Themes
Neuroscience, Brain Health

Research Synopsis

Dr. George's research program focuses on understanding the biobehavioral links between major psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders, and the integration of mental health and addiction treatment. The majority of his work to date has focused on nicotine dependence in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. To this end, Dr. George's laboratory, first at Yale University (1996-2007) and now at CAMH (2007-present) has examined the effects of nicotine, nicotinic agents and cigarette smoking on neurocognitive deficits in schizophrenia, in studied funded by NIDA/NIH and NARSAD. He has shown that nicotinic receptor stimulation selectively alters cognitive dysfunction associated with schizophrenia, as opposed to controls and patients with other psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder and depression. Dr. George's group has also conducted several NIH-funded pharmacotherapy trials for nicotine depenence in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, as well as general medications development studies using nicotinic agents, dopaminergic agents and cannabinoid antagonists. His group has also more recently studied the effects of cannabis smoking on neurocognitive function in people with schizophrenia, and a CIHR-funded study of the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on tobacco craving, withdrawal and cognition in psychotic disorders. An additional line of investigation involves pharmacogenetic studies of nicotine addiction treatment in collaboration with colleagues at UofT and the University of Pennsylvania, funded by NIDA/NIH.