Antonello Bonci, M.D.

Antonello Bonci,  M.D.
Antonello Bonci, M.D.


Global Institutes on Addiction

Scientific Council Member (Joined 2017)

Dr. Bonci joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2010 as Scientific Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). My laboratory was the first to demonstrate that drugs of abuse such as cocaine produce long-lasting modifications on the strength of the connections between neurons. This form of cellular memory is called long-term potentiation (LTP.) This finding cast a new light on the phenomenon of drug addiction, which may represent a process of maladaptive learning and memory at the cellular level. In turn, this information helped explain why drug taking can often become such a long-lasting phenomenon. Subsequently, my work has used a combination of electrophysiology, optogenetic, molecular and behavioral procedures to keep on studying the basic cellular mechanisms and circuits underlying stress, reward and substance use disorders. Finally, we are currently developing an optogenetic-based treatment against cocaine use disorders, by using a non-invasive technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Learn More About the Foundation

We Are

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is a global nonprofit organization focused on improving the understanding, prevention and treatment of psychiatric and mental illnesses.

Read more


Beginning in 1987, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation was providing seed money to neuroscientists to invest in “out of the box” research that the government and other sources were unwilling to fund. Today, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is still the leading, private philanthropy in the world in this space.

Read more


Meet the people who make up the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Our staff of experts, passionate Board of Directors, and Scientific Council which includes Nobel prize winners and chairs of psychiatric departments around the world.

Read More

Annual Report
& Financials

We take our responsibility to our donors seriously and believe that our financial operations must be transparent. We're proud to say that 100% of your contribution for research is invested directly in research grants.

Read more


Frequently Asked Questions about the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

Read more


The latest news on brain and behavior research and issues that matter most to you.

Read more