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Panos Zanos, PhD

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:


Secondary Appointment(s):

Physiology, Pharmacology


MSTF 934-E

Education and Training

  • BSc Biochemistry, University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K., 2010
  • Ph.D. Neuropharmacology, University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K., 2013
  • Postdoctoral training, Neuropsychopharmacology, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, U.S.A., 2013-2018


I'm currenlty an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, investigating the neurobiological mechanisms underlying comorbid substance use and neuropsychiatric disorders using behavioral pharmacology, electrophysiology and cellular/molecular techniques. Our research will focus on understanding the mechanisms underlying the emergence of affective behaviors (including depression, anxiety and social avoidance) following long-term from opioid and psychostimulant use. In parallel, my research interests include the understanding of the mechanisms underpinning ketamine's rapid and sustained antidepressant actions.

My interest in the study of addiction/mood disorder comorbidities began during my Ph.D. training, where I studied the neurobiology of behavioral changes associated with drug abstinence, with an emphasis on the emotional deficits, which serve as the motivational trigger of relapse in patients that have abstained from drug taking for many months or even years. Moreover, during my post-doctoral training I have assessed the role of ketamine metabolites in mediating ketamine’s antidepressant actions. Through this project I have made paradigm-shifting discoveries, including that the sustained antidepressant effects of ketamine require the production of a distinct metabolite, which is sufficient to exert NMDA receptor inhibition-independent antidepressant actions. My pre-clinical findings have led to the initiation and/or preparation of clinical trials assessing the effects of ketamine metabolites in treatment-refractory MDD patients. 

Research/Clinical Keywords

rapid-acting antidepressants, ketamine, hydroxynorketamine, depression, comorbid substance use and mood disorders, addiction

Highlighted Publications

  • Zanos, P., Moaddel, R., Morris, P., Georgiou, P., Fischell, J., Elmer, G., Alkondon, M., Yuan, P., Pribut, H., Singh, N., Dossou, K., Fang, Y., Huang, XP., Mayo, C., Albuquerque, E., Thompson, S., Thomas, C., Zarate Jr, C., Gould, T.D. BCA: Effects of a ketamine metabolite on synaptic NMDAR function. Nature, 2017; 546, E4-E5.
  • Zanos, P., Moaddel, R., Morris, P.J., Georgiou, P., Fischell, J., Elmer, G., Alkondon, M., Yuan, P., Pribut, H., Singh, N., Dossou, K., Fang, Y., Huang, XP., Mayo, C., Wainer, I., Albuquerque, E., Thompson, S.M., Thomas, C., Zarate Jr, C., Gould, T.D. 2016. NMDAR inhibition-independent antidepressant actions of ketamine metabolites. Nature, 2016; 533, 481-486.
  • Zanos, P., Highland, J.N., Georgiou, P., Jenne, C.E., Morris, P.J., Moaddel, R., Xye, J.K., Zarate Jr, C., Gould, T.D. (2R,6R)-hydroxynorketamine exerts mGlu2 receptor-dependent antidepressant actions. PNAS, 2019; 116,6441-6450.
  • Zanos, P., Georgiou, P., Wright, R.S., Kitchen, I., Winsky-Sommerer, R., Bailey, A. The oxytocin analogue carbetocin attenuates emotional impairment and blocks stress-induced reinstatement of morphine-seeking in morphine abstinent mice. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2014; 39, 855-65.
  • Wright, R.S.*, Zanos, P.*, Yoo, J.H., Winsky-Sommerer, R., Hourani, S., Kitchen, I., Bailey, A. A critical role of striatal A2AR-mGlu5R interactions in modulating the psychomotor and drug-seeking effects of methamphetamine. Addiction Biology, 2015; 4, 811-825. *Equal contribution.

Additional Publication Citations

Awards and Affiliations


Travel awardee, 2018 ACNP Annual Meeting, Florida, U.S.A.


Travel awardee, 2018 ACNP Annual Meeting, Florida, U.S.A.


Best Postdoctoral Scholar awardee, University of Maryland, School of Medicine


Society of Biological Psychiatry Travel Fellowship Award to attend the SOBP 2017 meeting in San Diego, CA, U.S.A.


University of Maryland, Baltimore, Postdoctoral Travel Award (based on outstanding research achievements) to attend the Society for Neuroscience, SfN meeting in San Diego, CA, U.S.A.


Best mentor award (Program in Neuroscience, University of Maryland, Baltimore; selected by students, peers and faculty)


Best Poster Presentation award (Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland, Baltimore)


Award for best inter-faculty Ph.D. student of the University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K.


Ruth Humphrey Fund to attend World Congress of Neurohypophysial Hormones (Bristol, U.K.)


Best poster presentation prize, European opioid conference, Guildford, U.K.


Best Oral Communication (FHMS festival of Research – University of Surrey, Guildford)



Scholarship to attend Neuroscience School of Advanced Studies (Siena, Italy)



Travel award to attend European Opioid Conference (Krakow, Poland)



University of Surrey Award – BSc Biochemistry award for academic excellence



Scholarship for academic excellence – University of Surrey, U.K.