Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Rui Tao received his Ph. D degree in neurophysiology and neurobiology from Rutgers University, New Jersey and joined in Florida Atlantic University in 2004. Research in Dr. Tao’s laboratory focuses on understanding synthetic drug abuse, therapeutic effects of antipsychotic drugs on psychotic symptoms and hallucinatory pathways. Synthetic drugs, also referred to as designer or club drugs, are synthetic cathinones that are created to be cheaper using man-made chemicals rather than natural ingredients, and are sold under the disguised name such as bath salts, in legal retail outlets. Repeated use of these drugs is associated with a paranoid hallucinatory delirium and even provoking aggressive behaviors. Using animal models, Dr. Tao has demonstrated preclinical effects of antipsychotic drugs on the drug-elicited electroencephalogram activity and other hallucinatory behaviors. Current efforts are directed towards investigating dopamine receptor mechanisms in hallucinatory circuits involving synthetic drugs.