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The Molecular Neuropharmacology and Signaling (MNPS) Study Section reviews both hypothesis-driven and discovery-based applications on neurotransmitter and receptor signal transduction with a focus on neurochemical, neuroendocrine and molecular neuropharmacological mechanisms.

This includes studies of receptor signaling, ligand-receptor interactions, biased signaling, neuromodulator and hormonal interactions, neurotransmitter uptake and metabolism, neurotransmitter and neuropeptide synthesis, and behavioral neuropharmacology. Studies may employ molecular, cellular, biochemical, pharmacological, electrophysiological, optogenetic, chemogenetic, viral, transgenic, imaging, and behavioral approaches. Emphasis is on fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms, including those relevant to the mechanisms of addiction and mental disorders.

The List of Reviewers lists all present, whether standing members or temporary, to provide the full scope of expertise present on that date. Lists are posted 30 days before the meeting and are tentative, pending any last minute changes.

Review Dates

Membership Panel

The membership panel is a list of chartered members only.


  • Pharmacological, physiological, and neurochemical studies of cell surface and intracellular receptors including G protein coupled receptors, ligand-gated ion channels, and hormone receptors; receptor activation and signal transduction cascades
  • Studies of receptor agonists, antagonists, allosteric modulators, and biased ligands; studies of receptor modulation by interacting proteins
  • Cellular, molecular, behavioral and circuit analysis of drugs of abuse, addiction, stress effects, and psychiatric disorders; cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying experimental and therapeutic approaches
  • Neurophysiology and neuropharmacology of neurotransmitter signaling; modulation of neuronal excitability, inhibition, and synaptic plasticity; ligand-gated ion channels, neurotransmitter transporters, and neuromodulator pathways.
  • Neurotransmitter and neuropeptide synthesis and regulation
  • Epigenetic regulation of gene expression relevant to addiction and psychiatric disorders
  • Modulators of synaptic function, including growth factors, neurotrophins, neuropeptides, and neurosteroids

Shared Interests and Overlaps

Pathophysiological Basis of Mental Disorders and Addictions (PMDA): There are shared interests with PMDA in the area of cellular and molecular biology of addiction and psychiatric disorders. PMDA reviews the broad spectrum of issues related to addiction and mental disorders while MNPS reviews only those applications involving mechanisms of addiction and psychiatric disorders primarily at the cellular and molecular level – including “-omics” data analysis.

Molecular and Integrative Signal Transduction study section (MIST): There are shared interests with MIST in cellular signaling mechanisms, including G protein coupled receptors, kinases, phosphatases and calcium regulatory mechanisms. MNPS reviews applications with a neuroscience focus.

Neurotransporters, Receptors, Channels and Calcium Signaling (NTRC): There are shared interests with NTRC in the modulation of ion channels, transporters and receptors. NTRC reviews applications addressing the basic cellular neurophysiological effects of modulating ion channels, receptors, and transporters. MNPS reviews applications addressing the pharmacological properties and modulation of ion channels, transporters, and receptors.

Synapses, Cytoskeleton and Trafficking (SYN): MNPS and SYN share interest in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. Applications focusing on neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in the context of neurodegenerative diseases and autism would typically be reviewed in SYN. Applications with a significant emphasis on neurotransmission and plasticity in the context of addiction and mood disorders would typically be reviewed in MNPS.

Biophysics of Neural Systems Study Section [BPNS]: MNPS and BPNS share interest in neuronal receptors and G proteins. BPNS reviews applications focusing on the structure and function of receptors and G-proteins at the molecular and atomic structural level. MNPS reviews applications that emphasize the molecular neuropharmacology of receptors and G-proteins at more of a cellular or systems level.

Molecular and Cellular Substrates of Complex Brain Disorders Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1 MDCN-P 57): There are shared interests with applications involving the molecular mechanisms of complex brain disorders. Applications involving the molecular mechanisms of such disorders, particularly autism and schizophrenia, may be assigned to either MNPS or ZRG1 MDCN-P(57), with the more discovery based applications being reviewed in P57.

Neurobiology of Motivated Behavior (NMB): MNPS and NMB share interest in the neurobiological actions of psychoactive and psychotherapeutic agents. NMB reviews applications focused more on the action of such agents on behavior and at the system level. MNPS reviews applications focused primarily on basic molecular and cellular mechanisms of such agents.

Neuroendocrinology, Neuroimmunology, Rhythms and Sleep Study Section [NNRS]: MNPS and NNRS share interest in neuroendocrinology. NNRS reviews applications involving the neurobiological basis of behavior with a focus on neuroendocrines. MNPS reviews applications focused more on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of endocrines.

Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology Study Section [BRLE]: There are shared interests in molecular and pharmacological effects on normal and disordered processes, particularly in the area of addiction and abuse. Applications focused on the behavioral aspect may be reviewed in BRLE whereas applications focused on the underlying cellular or molecular mechanisms of addiction or abuse, such as behavioral pharmacology, neurotransmission, or receptor activity in relation to abuse and addiction, are reviewed in MNPS.