Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Physiology and Biophysics

First Advisor

Dr Jose Miguel Eltit

Second Advisor

Dr Sydney Stevens Negus

Third Advisor

Dr Ramzi Okaili


Drugs of abuse have a long history in humanity. Currently however, a subject of great interest is the phenylalkylamine family of drugs. Not only is the abuse liability of interest but also the potential therapeutic expansion of the capabilities of this family of drugs by utilizing the unique stereospecific effects of the newly discovered hybrid compounds. Based upon prior data of N-Alkyl 4-MA the enantiomers of N-Methyl, N-Ethyl, and N-Propyl were analyzed in hDAT, hNET, and hSERT. It was found that there was a negative correlation between chain length and potency and dopaminergic component. In agreement with the currently established paradigm it was also found that in almost all cases the S(+) enantiomer was the more potent.


First and foremost I thank Dr. José-Miguel Eltit for being a patient and communicative mentor and for helping expand my knowledge of cellular neurology. I want to thank Dr. Eltit for also being a mentor in things not immediately related to lab work and helping to guide me to fulfill my goals. I thank Dr. Steve Negus for helping me to keep things framed in the larger perspective of neuroscience and behavioral pharmacology. I thank Dr. Ramzi Ockaili for providing an unbiased and supportive analysis of my work and for helping me expand my experience beyond the lab to the academic setting. I want to thank Iwona Ruchala for being a friendly and informative voice, answering my continual questions about calcium imaging and lab techniques. I want to thank Tyler Steele for donating oocytes for me to experiment with, as well as for instructing me in the art that is two-electrode voltage clamp experimentation. I also want to thank Alan Harris for passing the torch and helping me get a head start. I want to thank Dr. Richard Glennon and Dr. Umberto Battisti for synthesizing the compounds analyzed in the research presented in this paper. And finally I want to thank Dr. DeFelice for reigniting my passion for research and helping to set me on a path that has made me a better scientist and person. His continual contributions to the scientific community will be sorely missed, and greatly cherished.


© Ramsey Sitta

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VCU University Archives

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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Friday, July 29, 2022