Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

Irwin Lucki, PhD

Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry and Pharmacology 
Department of Psychiatry Faculty Bio 

Dr. Lucki is Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania. After receiving his PhD in Biopsychology from the University of Iowa he completed postdoctoral training in psychopharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently Director of the Behavioral Psychopharmacology Program in the Department of Psychiatry, and Director of the Training Program in Neuropsychopharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Lucki has authored more than 150 publications and received research and teaching awards. He is Principal Editor for Psychopharmacology and is on the editorial boards for Neuropsychopharmacology and the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Research Interests

Dr. Lucki's ongoing research focuses on the neural mechanisms associated with anxiety and mood disorders and the behavioral effects of antidepressants and antianxiety drugs, as well as the development of new therapeutic approaches leading to improved psychiatric medications for treatment of behavioral disorders. He has conducted clinical pharmacologic research studies and receives research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), private foundations, and the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Lucki is Director of a NIH grant conducting studies on the role of neurogenesis in mood and affective disorders with other investigators at the University of Pennsylvania. His research methods have included the use of animal models for depression and anxiety, genetically altered mice to study models with specific serotonin receptor deficiencies or synthetic enzymes for monoamine transmitters and the use of behavioral genetics to identify traits associated with abnormal behaviors or pharmacogenetic predisposition for antidepressant drugs.

Educational Interests

Dr. Lucki is Director of the Training Program in Neuropsychopharmacology, a training program composed of over 35 faculty focused on translational research in Psychiatry supported by the NIH for over 30 years ( He is a member of the Graduate Groups in Pharmacological Sciences, Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. He has mentored over 30 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. He is Course Director for Advanced Topics in Neuropsychopharmacology.

Areas of Investigation

  • Aging
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Behavioral Genetics
  • Behavioral Psychopharmacology
  • Depression
  • Learning and Behavior
  • Learning and Memory
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurogenesis
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Social Neuroscience

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