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Christopher Evans, PhD

Dr Christopher J. Evans is Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and holds the Stefan Hatos Chair for Neuropharmacology. He received his BSc from the Polytechnic of Central London in 1976 and his PhD from the Medical Research Council Institute and Imperial College in London. Dr Evans completed postdoctoral training at Stanford University and accepted a faculty position at UCLA, where he continued his research on the opioid system. Dr Evans was Director of the UCLA Brain Research Institute (BRI) from 2004-2017; a research, educational and outreach institute comprised of approximately 300 faculty. As director of the BRI Dr Evans developed a leadership infrastructure and programs for diversity education and mentorship as well as an undergraduate course on how the brain creates bias that he still teaches and directs at UCLA. Dr Evans is currently the Director of the Hatos Center for Neuropharmacology in the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA. His research accomplishments have included the identification and characterization of several novel endogenous opioids or endorphins/enkephalins (at Stanford University), the cloning of the first opioid receptor and formative studies demonstrating opioid agonist bias; the ability of opioid agonist drugs to stimulate opioid receptors in different modalities. Dr Evans recent research focuses on the brain circuits that sustain opioid reward-related behaviours, both in terms of brain adaptations to chronic opioid drugs and learned relief of negative affect using a combination of mouse genetics, cell biology and pharmacology. He has published over 220 peer-reviewed publications, predominantly related to opioid neurobiology, and his research has been supported by a Center for Opioid Receptors and Drugs of Abuse (CSORDA), an NIH-funded center that he directs which has been continuously funded by an NIH P50 Center of Excellence grant for the past 33 years.