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Richard De La Garza, II, PhD

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Professor and Director of Research, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Professor, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), Houston, TX

Bio Statement

Dr. Richard De La Garza completed his Ph.D in neuroscience at the University of Texas Medical Branch followed by postdocs at Harvard Medical School and Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. De La Garza is Director of Research and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Behavioral Sciences. He is also Professor with tenure at the Baylor College of Medicine in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Pharmacology. He is interested in cancer prevention as it relates to smoking cessation research, including testing of electronic cigarettes. He also conducts laboratory studies in humans to investigate the safety and efficacy of novel medications for nicotine, cocaine and methamphetamine use disorders,  and is conducting a study for alcoholism among veterans with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. He has published >80 peer-reviewed articles, several book chapters, he has several active NIDA grants as Principal Investigator and as Co-Investigator, and has received numerous honors including most recently being named a Distinguished Alumnus of his alma mater, and being appointed a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences. He was an appointed member of the NIH study section MESH (Biobehavioral Mechanisms of Emotion, Stress and Health), past-president of the College on the Problems of Drug Dependence, and is a current member of the National Steering Committee for the National Hispanic Science Network.

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1996 University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, PHD, Neuroscience
1989 University of North Texas, Denton, TX, MS, Biology
1985 Texas A&M University-Commerce, Commerce, TX, BS, Biology

Postgraduate Training

1999-2000 Post-Doctoral Fellow, Neuroscience, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
1996-1999 Post-Doctoral Fellow, Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Experience/Service

Academic Appointments

Professor, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC), Houston, TX, 2013-present
Adjunct Professor, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, 2013-present
Adjunct Professor, University of Houston, Houston, TX, 2013-present

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Zernig G, Grasing K, De La Garza II R. Acetylcholine and drug reward: Apparent discrepancies, unifying hypotheses, and translational aspects. Behavioural Pharmacology. In Press.
2. Shorter, D.I., Nielsen, D.A. Hamon, S., Nielsen, E., Kosten, T.R., Newton, T.F., De La Garza, II, R. Alpha-1 adrenergic receptor (ADRA1A) genotype influences magnitude of acute cocaine-induced subjective effects in cocaine-dependent individuals. Pharmacogenetics and Genomics. In Press.
3. Verrico, C.D., Mahoney, III, J.J., Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Newton, T.F., De La Garza, II, R. Effects of modafinil, escitalopram, and modafinil combined with escitalopram on the acute subjective effects of cocaine: a double-blind, placebo-controlled drug interaction study. Drug Alcohol Depend. In Press.
4. De La Garza, II, R., Verrico, C.D., Newton, T.F., Mahoney, III, J.J., Thompson-Lake, D. Safety and preliminary efficacy of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor Huperzine A as a treatment for cocaine use disorder. Int. J. Neuropsychopharm. In Press. PMID: 26364275.
5. Verrico, C.D., Haile, C.N., De La Garza, II, R., Grasing, K., Kosten, T.R., Newton, T.F. Subjective and cardiovascular effects of intravenous methamphetamine during perindopril maintenance: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human laboratory study. Int. J. Neuropsychopharm. In Press.
6. Ormachea, P.A., Savjani, R., De La Garza, II, R., Eagleman, D. The role of neuroscience in drug policy: Promises and prospects. The Journal of Science & Law, 2. In Press.
7. Beza-Loya, S., Velasquez, K.M., Molfese, D.L., Viswanath, H., Curtis, K.N., Thompson-Lake, D., Baldwin, P.R., Ellmore, T.M., De La Garza, II, R., Salas, R. Anterior cingulum white matter is altered in tobacco smokers. Am J Addict 25(3):210-4, 4/2016. PMID: 27001211.
8. Newton, T.F., Haile, C.N., Mahoney, III, J.J., Shah, R., Verrico, C.D., De La Garza, II, R., Kosten, T.R. Dopamine D3 receptor-preferring agonist enhances the subjective effects of cocaine in humans. Psychiatry Research 30;230(1):44-9, 11/2015. PMID: 26239766.
9. Christodoulides N, De La Garza, II, R., Simmons GW, McRae MP, Wong J, Newton TF, Kosten TR, Haque A, McDevitt JT. Next generation programmable bio-nano-chip system for on-site detection in oral fluids. J Drug Abuse 23;1(1):1-6, 11/2015. PMID: 26925466.
10. Christodoulides, N., De La Garza, II, R., Simmons, G.W., McRae, M.P., Wong, J., Newton, T.F., Smith, R., Mahoney, III, J.J., Hohenstein, J., Gomez, S., Floriano, P.N., Talavera, H., Sloan, D.J., Moody, D.E., Andrenyak, D.M., Kosten, T.R., Haque, A., McDevitt, J.T. Application of programmable bio-nano-chip system for the quantitative detection of drugs of abuse in oral fluids. Drug Alcohol Depend 1(153):306-13, 8/2015. PMID: 26048639.
11. Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Cooper, K.N., Mahoney, III, J.J., Bordnick, P.S., Salas, R., Kosten, T.R., Dani, J.A., De La Garza, II, R. Virtual reality cue-induced craving and withdrawal in abstinent cigarette smokers. Nicotine Tob Res 17(7):796-802, 7/2015. PMID: 25475087.
12. De La Garza, II, R., Bubar, M.J., Carbone, C.L., Moeller, F.G., Newton, T.F., Anastasio, N.C., Harper, T.A., Ware, D.L., Fuller, M.A., Holstein, G.J., Jayroe, J.B., Bandak, S.I., Reiman, K.Z., Neale, A.C., Pickford, L.B., Cunningham, K.A. Evaluation of the dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DβH) inhibitor nepicastat in participants who meet criteria for cocaine use disorder. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 3(59):40-8, 6/2015. PMID: 25602710.
13. Brewer, A.J., III, Nielsen, D.A., Spellicy, C.J., Hamon, S.C., Gingrich, J., Nielsen, E.M., Mahoney, III, J.J., Kosten, T.R., Newton, T.F., De La Garza, II, R. Genetic variants of the dopamine transporter (DAT1) influence the acute subjective responses to cocaine in cocaine-dependent volunteers. Pharmacogenet Genomics 25(6):296-304, 6/2015. PMID: 25850966.
14. Viswanath, H., Velasquez, K.M., Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Savjani, R., Carter, A.Q., Eagleman, D.M., Baldwin, P.R., De La Garza, II, R., Salas, R. Alterations in interhemispheric functional and anatomical connectivity are associated with tobacco smoking in humans. Front Hum Neurosci 9(9):116, 3/2015. PMID: 25805986.
15. Mahoney, III, J.J., Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Cooper, K., Verrico, C.D., Newton, T.F., De La Garza, II, R. A comparison of impulsivity, depressive symptoms, lifetime stress and sensation seeking in healthy controls versus participants with cocaine or methamphetamine use disorders. J Psychopharmacol 29(1):50-6, 1/2015. PMID: 25424624.
16. Savjani, R.R., Velasquez, K.M., Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Eagleman, D.M., De La Garza, II, R., Salas, R. Characterizing white matter changes in cigarette smokers via diffusion tensor imaging. Drug Alcohol Depend 1(145):134-42, 12/2014. PMID: 25457737.
17. Spellicy, C., Harding, M., Hamon, S., Mahoney, III, J., Reyes, J., Kosten, T., Newton, T., De La Garza, II, R. Nielsen, D. A variant in ANKK1 modulates acute subjective effects of cocaine: a preliminary study. Genes Brain Behavior 13(6):559-64, 7/2014. PMID: 24528631.
18. Yoon, J.H., Shah, R.S., Arnoudse, N.M., De La Garza, II, R. Remote physiological monitoring of acute cocaine exposure. Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology 38(5):244-50, 7/2014.
19. Mahoney, III, J.J., De La Garza, II, R., Jackson, B.J., Verrico, C.D., Ho, A., Iqbal, T., Newton, T.F. The relationship between sleep and drug use characteristics in participants with cocaine or methamphetamine use disorders. Psychiatry Research, 5/2014.
20. Viswanath, H., Velasquez, K.M., Thompson-Lake, D., Savjani, R., Carter, A.Q., Eagleman, D., Baldwin, P.R., De La Garza, II, R., Salas, R. Alterations in interhemispheric functional and anatomical connectivity are associated with tobacco smoking in humans. Brain Connectivity (in revision). 2014.
21. De La Garza, II, R., Galloway, G., Newton, T.F., Mendelson, J., Haile, C.N., Hawkins, R.Y., Mahoney, III, J.J., Mojsiak, J., Lao, G., Anderson, A. Assessment of safety and subjective effects after intravenous cocaine and lofexidine in cocaine-dependent volunteers. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 50:44-52, 2014.
22. Wesley MJ, Lohrenz T, Koffarnus MN, McClure SM, De La Garza R 2nd, Salas R, Thompson-Lake DG, Newton TF, Bickel WK, Montague PR. Choosing money over drugs: the neural underpinnings of difficult choice in chronic cocaine users. J Addict 2014:189853, 2014. PMID: 25197609.
23. Baeza-Loya, S., Viswanath, H., Carter, A., Molfese, D.L., Velasquez, K.M., Baldwin, P.R., Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Sharp, C., Fowler, J.C., De La Garza, II, R., Salas, R. Perceptions about e-cigarette safety may lead into e-smoking during pregnancy. The Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic 78(3):243-52, 2014. PMID: 25247743.
24. Haile, C.N., Murrough, J.W., Iosifescu, D.V., Chang, L.C., Al Jurdi, R.K., Foulkes, A., Iqbal, S., Mahoney, III, J.J., De La Garza, II, R., Charney, D.S., Newton, T.F., Mathew, S.J. Plasma brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and response to ketamine in treatment-resistant depression. Intl. J. Neuropsychopharmacol 17:331-6, 2014.
25. Asnis, G.M., Mujeed, K., Henderson, M.A., Sylvester, C., Thomas, M., De La Garza, II, R. Tinnitus co-morbid with insomnia: a significant relationship and implications. Comprehensive Psychiatry (under review). 2014.
26. Verrico, C.D., Mahoney, III, J.J., Bennett, R.S., Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Newton, T.F., De La Garza, II, R. Varenicline attenuates methamphetamine-induced subjective effects in methamphetamine-dependent volunteers. Intl. J. Neuropsychopharmacology 17:223-33, 2014.
27. Yoon, J.H., De La Garza, II, R., Newton, T.F., Weaver, M.T., Brown, G.S., Omar, Y., Suchting, R. A comparison of Mazur's k and area under the curve for describing delay discounting data. Behavioural Processes. Submitted.
28. Eisenhofer, J.D., Makanjuola, T., Martinez, V., Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Newton, T.F., Rodgman, C., DeBrule, D.S., Graham, D.P., De La Garza, II, R. A pilot study of the effects of electronic cigarettes versus nicotine patch on cigarette use and tobacco withdrawal and craving in military veterans. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. Submitted.
29. Patriquin, M.A., Nielsen, E.M., Hamon, S.C., Harding, M.J., Newton, T.F., De La Garza, II, R., Nielsen, D.A. Genetic moderation of cocaine subjective effects by variation in the TPH1, TPH2, and SLC6A3 serotonin genes. Genes Brain Behavior. Submitted.
30. Saraykar, S., De La Garza, II, R., Rashid, A. Psychiatric consults from an oncology perspective - medical students' psychiatry clerkship experience at a comprehensive cancer center. Academic Psychiatry. Submitted.
31. Yoon, J.H., Shah, R.S., Arnoudse, N.M., De La Garza, II, R. Remote physiological monitoring of acute cigarette smoking in the natural environment. Journal of Psychiatric Research. Submitted.
32. De La Garza, II, R., Yoon, J.H., Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Haile, C.N., Eisenhofer, J.D., Newton, T.F., Mahoney, III, J.J. Treadmill exercise improves fitness and reduces craving and use of cocaine in individuals with concurrent cocaine and tobacco-use disorder. Psychiatry Research. Submitted.

Abstracts

1. Ignatius, J., De La Garza, II, R. Does age matter for psychiatry symptoms in cancer patients in an outpatient setting?. Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of APM, Austin, TX, 11/2016.
2. Rashid, A., De La Garza, II, R. Race and ethnicity influence magnitude of psychiatry symptoms in cancer patients. Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of IPOS, Dublin, Ireland, 10/2016.
3. Hughes, M., De La Garza, II, R. Suicidal thoughts in cancer patients predict increasing anxiety and depression scores. Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of the International Psychosocial Oncology Society (IPOS), Dublin, Ireland, 10/2016.
4. Rashid, A., Makanjuola, T.B., Saryakar, S., Valentine, A.D., De La Garza, II, R. Sleep disturbances predict higher levels of depression, anxiety and fatigue in cancer patients. Paper presented at the annual meeting of APOS, San Diego, CA, 3/2016.
5. Ignatius, J., De La Garza, II, R. Spiritual distress in cancer: revisited a cohort at MDACC. Paper presented at the annual meeting of APOS, San Diego, CA, 3/2016.
6. De La Garza, II, R., Ignatius, J., Gonzalez, R., Lynn, R., Rashid, A., Tan, D., Bell, M., Valentine, A. The importance of race and ethnicity in depression, anxiety and distress in cancer patients. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS), San Diego, CA, 3/2016.
7. Mahoney, III, J.J., Kalechstein, A.D., Salas, R., Thompson-Lake, D., De La Garza, II, R. Cognitive functioning in cigarette-deprived smokers. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Boston, MA, 2/2016.
8. Mahoney, III, J.J., Kalechstein, A.D., Newton, T.F., De La Garza, II, R. The impact of co-morbid drug use and cocaine use patterns on cognitive functioning in individuals with cocaine use disorders. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Boston, MA, 2/2016.
9. Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Cooper, K.N., Mahoney, III, J.J., Bordnick, P.S., Salas, R., Kosten, T.R., Dani, J.A., De La Garza, II, R. Using virtual reality to elicit craving during cigarette deprivation. Paper presented at The International Symposium on Addiction, South Korea, 1/2016.
10. De La Garza, II, R., DeBrule, D.S., Graham, D.P. Effects of electronic cigarettes versus nicotine patch on withdrawal, craving and cigarette use in military veterans. Paper presented at the VII International Symposium on Brain Death and Disorders of Consciousness, Havana, Cuba, 12/2015.
11. Ignatius, J., De La Garza, II, R. Spiritual distress in cancer: outpatient cohort at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine (APM), New Orleans, LA, 11/2015.
12. Mahoney, III, J.J., Kalechstein, A.D., De Marco, A., Bajo, S., Newton, T.F., De La Garza, II, R. The impact of co-morbid drug use and cocaine use patterns on cognitive functioning in individuals with cocaine use disorders. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, Austin, TX, 11/2015.
13. Hughes, M.K., De La Garza, II, R., Valentine, A.D. Sexuality: an important quality of life issue. Paper presented at the annual Palliative Care conference - Palliative Care Across the Lifespan, Portland, OR, 10/2015.
14. De La Garza, II, R., Thekdi, S., Rashid, A., Lynn, R., Ignatius, J., Gonzalez, R., Tan, D., Rickman, K., Hughes, M., Joseph, N., Onyemeh Sea, A., Smith, C., Bell, M., Valentine, A. Characterization of demographics and psychiatric symptoms in 500 patients enrolled in the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center psychiatry patient registry protocol. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the World Congress of Psycho-Oncology, 7/2015.
15. Rashid, A., De La Garza, II, R., Joseph, N., Onyemeh Sea, A., Valentine, A. Correlations of high edmonton symptom assessment scale scores to demographic and other variables. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the World Congress of Psycho-Oncology, 7/2015.
16. Ignatius, J., Bell, M., Rashid, A., Thekdi, S., De La Garza, R., Nichols, D., Valentine, A. PsychCare database: Development and implementation. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the World Congress of Psycho-Oncology, 7/2015.
17. Lynn, R., De La Garza, II, R., Joseph, N., Onyemeh Sea, A., Valentine, A. Use of the NCCN distress thermometer and emotional problem list in predicting psychiatric symptoms. Oral presentation given at the annual meeting of the World Congress of Psycho-Oncology, 7/2015.
18. Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Hernandez, S., Holst, M., Mahoney, III, J.J., Haile, C.N., Newton, T.F., De La Garza, II, R. An in-depth analysis of cocaine-induced negative subjective effects in humans. Paper presented at the annual meeting of CPDD, Phoenix, AZ, 6/2015.
19. Eisenhofer, J.D., Makanjuola, T., Martinez, V.M., Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Rodgman, C., DeBrule, D.S., Graham, D.P., De La Garza, II, R. Efficacy of electronic cigarettes (E-cigs) for smoking cessation in veterans. Paper presented at the annual meeting of CPDD, Phoenix, AZ, 6/2015.
20. Nielsen, D.A., Hamon, S.C., Harding, M.H., Nielsen, E.M., Kosten, T.R., Newton, T.F., De La Garza, II, R. Subjective responses to acute cocaine are moderated by variants of the serotonergic system. Oral presentation given at the annual meeting of CPDD, Phoenix, AZ, 6/2015.
21. Haile, C.N., Verrico, C.D., Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Mahoney, III, J.J., Kosten, T.R., De La Garza, II, R., Newton, T.F. The angiotensin receptor blocker candesartan attenuates the subjective effects of methamphetamine in humans. Oral presentation given at the annual meeting of CPDD, Phoenix, AZ, 6/2015.
22. De La Garza, II, R., Eisenhofer, J.D., Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., DeBrule, D.S., Makanjuola, T., Rodgman, C., Newton, T.F., Yoon, J.H. A preliminary study of the effects of an exercise regimen on craving and use of cigarettes in individuals with concurrent cocaine- and tobacco-use disorder. Paper presented at the annual meeting of SRNT, Philadelphia, PA, 2/2015.
23. Savjani, R.R., Cai, M., Niakan, L., Thompson, D.G., De La Garza, R., Eagleman, D.M. Modulating craving states in cocaine addiction via real-time fMRI feedback. Paper presented at the Real-time Functional Imaging and Neurofeedback conference, Gainesville, FL, 2/2015.
24. Rodgman, C., Haile, C.N., Hawkins, R., Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Mahoney, J.J., De La Garza, II, R., Newton, T.F. Novel antiepileptic carisbamate alters the subjective effects of alcohol in human subjects. Paper presented at the annual meeting of ACNP, Phoenix, AZ, 12/2014.

Book Chapters

1. T.R. Kosten, C.N. Haile, S.P. Woods, T.F. Newton, R. De La Garza, II. Neuropsychiatry of Alcohol and Other Substance Use Disorders. In: Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences. American Psychiatric Publishing, 2015.
2. T.R. Kosten, T.F. Newton, R. De La Garza, II, C.N. Haile. Substance Use and Addictive Diseases. In: Sixth Edition of the American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry, 2014.
3. Eds. Kosten, Newton, De La Garza, Haile. Pharmacotherapy. In: In Cocaine and Methamphetamine Dependence – Advances in Treatment. APA, 2012.
4. Eds. Kosten, Newton, De La Garza, Haile. Polydrug Abuse. In: In Cocaine and Methamphetamine Dependence – Advances in Treatment. APA, 2012.

Books (edited and written)

1. T.R. Kosten, T.F. Newton, R. De La Garza, II, C.N. Haile. Cocaine and Methamphetamine Dependence – Advances in Treatment., 2012.

Last updated: 6/29/2016