Charles D. Nichols, PhD

Professor of Pharmacology


Lab Web Page


1901 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112 Phone: (504) 568-2957



BS Biology/Biochemistry - 1989
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

PhD Biological Sciences - 1997
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Pharmacology Postdoctoral Fellow - 1997-2002
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Research Interests

The neuropharmacology of serotonin 5-HT2A receptor agonists in mammalian and Drosophila systems, and the study of 5-HT2A receptor agonists to prevent inflammation.



Flanagan, T.W., Sebastian, M.N., Battaglia, D.M., Foster, T.P., Maillet, E.L., and Nichols, C.D. (2019). Activation of 5-HT2 Receptors Reduces Inflammation in Vascular Tissue and Cholesterol Levels in High-Fat Diet-Fed Apolipoprotein e Knockout Mice. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 1–10.

Kuypers KP, Ng L, Erritzoe D, Knudsen GM, Nichols CD, Nichols DE, Pani L, Soula A, Nutt D. (2019). Microdosing psychedelics: More questions than answers? An overview and suggestions for future research. J Psychopharmacol. Jul 14:269881119857204. PMID31303095.

Flanagan, T.W., and Nichols C.D. (2018). Psychedlics as anti-inflammatory agents. IntRevPsychiatry, (13) 1-13.

Martin, D.A., and Nichols, C.D. (2018). The effects of hallucinogens on gene expression. Behavioral Neurobiology of Hallucinogens, Entactogens, and Psychomimetics / Current topics in Behavioral Neurosciences. (Vol. 20, pp. 92–22). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Kayzar, E.J., Nichols C.D., Gainetdinov, R.R., Nichols, D.E., and Kalueff, A.V. (2017) Psychedelic Drugs in Biomedicine. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. in press.

Martin, D., Xu, J., Porretta, C., & Nichols, C. D. (2017). Neurocytometry: Flow Cytometric Sorting of Specific Neuronal Populations from Human and Rodent Brain. ACS Chemical Neuroscience, 8(2), 356–367. 

Nichols, D.E., Johnson, M.W., and Nichols, C.D. (2017) Psychedelics as Emerging Medicines: An Emerging new paradigm. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 101(2), 209–219. 

Martin, D.A., and Nichols, C.D. (2016) Psychedelics recruit multiple cellular types and produce complex transcriptional responses within the brain. EBioMedicine (a new journal from a collaboration between Cell and Lancet) 11, 262–277. 

Nau, F.J., Miller, J. Saravia, J., Ahlert, T., Yu, B., Happel, K, Cormier, S.A. and Nichols, C.D. (2015). Serotonin 5-HT2 receptor activation prevents allergic asthma in mouse model.  Am J Physol Lung Cell Mol Physiol.  Jan 15;308(2):L191-8. PMCID: PMC4338938

Martin D.A., Marona-Lewicka D., Nichols D.E., and Nichols CD (2014). Chronic LSD alters gene expression profiles in the mPFC relevant to schizophrenia. Neuropharmacology doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2014.03.013.

Majeed, Z.R., Nichols, C.D., and Cooper, R.L. (2013). 5-HT stimulation of heart rate in Drosophila does not act through cAMP as revealed by pharmacogenetics. Journal of Applied Physiology. 115 (11):1656-65. PMCID: PMC3882742.

Nau*, F.J., Yu*, B., , Martin, D., and Nichols, C.D. (2013) Serotonin 5-HT2A Receptor Activation Blocks TNF-α Mediated Inflammation in vivo. PLoS One. 8 (10):e75426. PMCID: PMC3788795.

Becnel, J., Johnson, O., Tran, Majeed, Z., V., Yu, B., Roth, B.L., Cooper, R.L., and C.D. Nichols (2013). A pharmacogenetic approach for robustly controlling behavior, neuronal signaling, and physiology in Drosophila. Cell Reports. 4(5): 1049-1059. PMCID: PMC3889141.

Daigle, J.G., Lanson, Jr, N.A.,  Smith, R., Casci, I., Maltare, A., Monaghan, J., Nichols , C.D., Kryndushkin, D., Shewmaker, F., and Pandey, U.B. (2013). RNA binding ability of FUS regulates neurodegeneration, cytoplasmic mislocalization and incorporation into stress granules associated with FUS carrying ALS-linked mutations. Hum. Mol. Genet 22(6):1193-205.

Dong, C., Nichols, C.D., Guo, J., Huang, W., Lambert, N.A., and Wu, G. (2012). A triple arg motif mediates α(2B)-adrenergic receptor interaction with Sec24C/D and export. Traffic13, 857–868

Dong, C., C.D. Nichols, Guo, J., Huang, W., Lambert, N.A., and G. Wu (2012). A Triple Arg Motif Mediates ?2B-Adrenergic Receptor Interaction with Sec24C/D and Export. Traffic. In Press.

Nichols, C.D., and U.B.Pandey (2012). Methods to assay Drosophila behavior. JoVE. Mar 7; (61).

Luo, J., Becnel, J., Nichols, C.D., Nässel, D.R. (2012) Insulin producing cells in the brain of adult Drosophila are regulated by the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor during stress. Cell and Molecular Life Sciences. 2012 Feb;69(3):471-84.

Johnson, O, J. Becnel, and C.D. Nichols (2011). Serotonin receptor activity is required for normal learning and memory in Drosophila melanogaster. Neuroscience.

Becnel, J., O. Johnson, J. Luo, D. Nässel, and C.D. Nichols (2011). The serotonin
5-HT7Dro receptor is expressed in the brain of Drosophila, and is essential for normal courtship and mating. PLoS One. 6(6): e20800.

Pandey, U.B., and C.D. Nichols (2011). Human disease models in Drosophila melanogaster,  and the role of the fly in therapeutic drug discovery. Pharm Rev. 63(2):411-436.

Maronica-Lewica, D., C.D. Nichols, and D.E. Nichols (2011). An animal model of schizophrenia based on chronic LSD administration: Old idea, new results. Neuropharmacology. 61:503-512.

Nichols C.D. (2009). Serotonin 5-HT2A receptor function as an underlying factor contributing to both cardiovascular and psychiatric disease. Cardiovasc Psychiatry Neurol. 2009:475108

Nichols C.D. and B.L. Roth (2009). Engineered G-protein coupled receptors as a tool to investigate biological processes. Front Mol Neurosci. 2:16

Johnson, O. J. Becnel, and C.D. Nichols (2009). Serotonin 5-HT1A and 5-HT2 receptors modulate different aspects of aggressive behaviors in Drosophila. Neuroscience. 4:1292-1300. 

Duvernay M.T., Dong C., Zhang X., Zhou F., Nichols C.D., G. Wu (2009). Anterograde trafficking of G protein-coupled receptors: function of the C-terminal F(X)6LL motif in export from the endoplasmic reticulum. Molecular Pharmacology. 75:751-61.

Yu, B.,  J. Becnel, M. Zerfaoui, R. Rohatgi, H. Boulares, C. D. Nichols (2008) Serotonin 5-HT2A receptor activation suppresses TNF-a-induced inflammation with extraordinary potency. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 327(2):316-23. *Featured article with commentary*

Nichols, D.E. and C.D. Nichols (2008). Serotonin Receptors. Chemical Reviews. 108(5):1614-1641.

Zerfaoui, M., Y. Suzuki, A.S. Naura, C.P.Hans, C.D. Nichols, A.H. Boulares (2008). Nuclear translocation of p65 NF-kB is sufficient for VCAM-1, but not ICAM-1, expression in TNF-stimulated smooth muscle cells: Differential requirement for PARP-1 expression and interaction. Cellular Signaling, 20:186-194.

Nichols, C.D. (2007). 5HT2 receptors in Drosophila are expressed in the brain and modulate aspects of circadian behaviors. Developmental Neurobiology. 67:752-763.
Marvanova, M, and C.D. Nichols. (2007). Identification of neuroprotective compounds of C. elegans dopaminergic neurons against 6-OHDA. Journal of Molecular Neurobiology. 31:131-141.

Johnson, O, J. Becnel, and C.D. Nichols (2011). Serotonin receptor activity is required for normal learning and memory in Drosophila melanogaster. Neuroscience

Nichols, C.D. (2006). Drosophila melanogaster neurobiology, neuropharmacology, and how the fly can inform CNS drug discovery. 2006. Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 112(3):677-700.

Behan, K.J., Fair, J., Sing, S., Bogwitz, M., Perry, T., Grubor, V., Cunningham, F., Nichols, C.D., Cheung, T., Batterham, P., and J.A. Pollock. (2005). Alternative splicing removes an Ets interaction domain from Lozenge during Drosophila eye development. Development Genes and Evolution. 215(8):423-35.

Nichols, C.D., and E. Sanders-Bush (2004). Molecular genetic responses to lysergic acid diethylamide include transcriptional activation of MAP Kinase Phosphatase-1, C/EBP-, and ILAD-1, a novel gene with homology to arrestins. Journal of Neurochemistry, Aug;90(3):576-84.

Nichols, C.D., E.E. Garcia, and E. Sanders-Bush (2003). Dynamic changes in prefrontal cortex gene expression following lysergic acid diethylamide administration. Molecular Brain Research, 111: 182-188.

Nichols, C.D., J. Ronesi, W. Pratt, and E. Sanders-Bush (2002). Hallucinogens and Drosophila: Linking serotonin receptor activation to behavior. Neuroscience, 115: 979-984.

Nichols, C.D. and E. Sanders-Bush 2002). A single dose of lysergic acid diethylamide influences gene expression patterns within the mammalian brain. Neuropsychopharmacology, 26(5): 634-42.

Behan, K. J., C.D. Nichols, T. Cheung,  J. Fair, B. Hogan, P. Batterham,  and J. A. Pollock (2002). Yan regulates Lozenge through an eye specific enhancer in Drosophila. Development Genes and Evolution, 212:267–276.

É. L. S Loreto, A. Zaha, C. Nichols, J. A. Pollock, and V. L. S. Valente (1998). Characterization of a hypermutable strain of Drosophila simulans.CMLS, Cell and Molecular Life Sciences. 54: pp 1283-1290.

Pollock, J.A., A. Assaf, A. Peretz, C.D. Nichols, M.H. Mojet, R.C. Hardie, and B. Minke (1995).  TRP, a Protein Essential for Inositide-Mediated Ca2+ Influx Is Localized Adjacent to the Calcium Stores in Drosophila Photoreceptors. Journal of Neuroscience, 15(5):3747-3760.