Research Interests

The misuse of prescription opioids can evolve into opioid use disorder; a disturbing chronic health problem marked by relapse and repeated attempts at abstinence. My long-term goal is to drive new therapeutic discoveries by defining novel neurocircuitry and neurotransmitter signaling involved in relapse to opioid use disorder during recovery. To accomplish this goal, we create and employ new viral tools to determine the neurocircuitry involved in behavioral models of opioid use disorder. These studies are supported by viral tracing, immunohistochemistry, and PCR to identify drug targets for development of novel pharmacotherapeutics to treat opioid use disorder.


Ph.D., 2012 University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

Selected Publications (from 161 peer-reviewed articles, 7483 Google Scholar citations, h-index-47, i10 index-144)

  1. Sampson, C.M.#, Kasper, J.M.#, Felsing, D.E., Raval, S.R., Ye, N., Wang, P., Patrikeev, I., Rytting, E., Zhou, J., Allen, J.A., and Hommel, J.D. Small-Molecule Neuromedin U Receptor 2 Agonists Suppress Food Intake and Decrease Visceral Fat in Animal Models. Pharmacology Research & Perspectives. 2018; 6(5):e00425. PMC6106167ry, and PCR to identify drug targets for development of novel pharmacotherapeutics to treat opioid use disorder.
  2. Kasper, J.M., Milton, A.J., Smith, A.E., Laezza, F., Taglialatela, G., Hommel, J.D., & Abate, N. Cognitive deficits associated with a high-fat diet and insulin resistance are potentiated by overexpression of ecto-nucleotide pyrophosphatase phosphodiesterase-1. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience. 2018; 64:48-53. PMC5893149 
  3. Kasper, J.M., McCue, D.L., Milton, A.J., Szwed, A., Sampson, C.M., Huang, M., Carlton, S., Meltzer, H.Y., Cunningham, K.A., & Hommel, J.D. Gamma-aminobutyric acidergic projections from the dorsal raphe to the nucleus accumbens are regulated by neuromedin U. Biological Psychiatry. 2016; 80(11):878-887. PMC5016225
  4. Kasper, J.M., Booth, R.G., & Peris, J. Serotonin-2C receptor agonists decrease potassium-stimulated GABA release in the nucleus accumbens. Synapse. 2015; 69(2):78-85. PMC4275350 
  5. Kasper, J.M., Tikamdas, R., Kim, M.S., MacFayden, K., Aramini, R., Ladd, J., Bisceglia, S., Vincek, A.S., Booth, R.G., & Peris, J. The Serotonin-2 Receptor Modulator, (-)-trans-PAT, Decreases Ethanol Consumption and Prevents The Alcohol Deprivation Effect in Rats. European Journal of Pharmacology. 2013; 718(1-3):98-104. PMC3833445