Pia Steensland

Pia Steensland, BPharm, PhD (2002 at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Uppsala University) Associate Professor at Karolinska Institutet, is a leading expert on behavioral pharmacology in alcohol research. Pia was a successful postdoc scholar of the Swedish Brain Foundation (2006-2008) at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center, University of California San Francisco, USA, where she identified the smoking cessation agent varenicline as a novel potential treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD) (Steensland et al, PNAS 2007). Her findings led to the initiation of several clinical studies world-wide evaluating the effects of varenicline in a clinical population. In 2010, Pia was awarded a four-year Junior Research Position from the Swedish Research Council and the following year she became associate professor in neuropharmacology at Karolinska Institutet. Pia is currently leading the preclinical Experimental Addiction Research Programme and coordinating human laboratory models in alcohol dependent patients in Professor Johan Franck’s research group at the department of Clinical Neuroscience. Pia recently identified the dopamine stabilizer (-)-OSU6162 (developed by Dr Arvid Carlsson) as a potential novel treatment of AUD (Steensland et al, Biological Psychiatry, 2012) and are currently conducting a proof-of-concept human laboratory study evaluating the effects of (-)-OSU6162 on alcohol craving in AUD patients.