Rich De La Garza, Ph.D.

Rich De La Garza, Ph.D.


Richard (Rich) De La Garza completed his Ph.D in neuroscience at the University of Texas Medical Branch followed by postdocs at Harvard Medical School and Yale University School of Medicine. He has held faculty positions at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Baylor College of Medicine, and University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Currently, Dr. De La Garza is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. 

Dr. De La Garza is an addiction neuropharmacologist and conducts laboratory studies in humans to investigate the safety and efficacy of novel medications for methamphetamine, cocaine, and opioid use disorders. He is also interested in cancer prevention as it relates to smoking cessation research including research on e-cigarettes. Dr. De La Garza has published more than 120 peer-reviewed scientific articles and he has been funded for more than 25 years by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Cancer Institute. He has received numerous honors including being named a Distinguished Alumnus of his alma mater, and being appointed a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. De La Garza was a member of the Board of Directors and past President of the College on the Problems of Drug Dependence – the oldest and largest scientific society dedicated to addiction research in the country.


Petzold, J., Dean, A.C., Pochon, J-B., Ghahremani, D.G., De La Garza, II, R., London, E.D. Cortical thinning and related depressive symptoms in early abstinence from chronic methamphetamine use. Addict Biol. 2022 Sep;27(5):e13205. doi: 10.1111/adb.13205. PMID: 36001419.

Morice, C., Yammine, L., Yoon, J., Lane, S.D., Schmitz, J.M., Strumph, P., Kosten, T.R., De La Garza, II, R., Verrico, C.D. Comorbid Alcohol Use and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders: Pharmacotherapy with Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 2 Inhibitors versus Current Agents. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2022 Apr 20;115:110506. PMID: 34995723. 

Valentine, A.D., Brown, J., Lacourt, T., De La Garza, II, R. Bruera, E. Frequency of anxiety and depression among cancer patients referred for psychiatric consultation in a cancer center and screening performance of the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS). Psychooncology. 2022 Feb;31(2):290- 297. PMID: 34546618. 
Longtain, RB., Graham, D.P., Harding, M.J., De La Garza, II, R. Nielsen, D.A. Methylation of the serotonin transporter gene moderates the depressive subjective effect of cocaine. Behav Brain Res. 2022 Feb 10;418:113675. PMID: 34798166. 
Yoon, J.H., Suchting, R., Cassidy, R., Bolin P.K., Omar, Y., Brown, G.S., De La Garza, II, R. Assessment of demand for methamphetamine and cigarettes among individuals with methamphetamine use disorder. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2020 Mar 23:10.1037/pha0000367. PMID: 32202813.
Wang, J.M., Zhu, L., Brown, V., De La Garza, II, R., Newton, T.F., Kings-Casas, B., Chiu, P. In cocaine dependence, neural prediction errors during loss avoidance are increased with cocaine deprivation and predict drug use. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2019 Mar;4(3):291-299, PMID: 30297162. 
De La Garza, II, R., Shuman, S., Yammine, L., Salas, R., Yoon, J.H., Holst, M. A pilot study of e-cigarette naïve cigarette smokers and the effects on craving after acute exposure to e-cigarettes in the laboratory. Am J Addict. 2019 Sep;28(5):361-366, PMID: 31066987.
Curtis K, Stewart CJ, Robinson M, Molfese DL, Gosnell SN, Kosten TR, Petrosino JF, De La Garza, II, R., Salas R Insular resting state functional connectivity and reward related activity are associated with gut microbiota diversity. Eur J Neurosci. 2018 Dec 16, PMID: 30554441.
Patel, M.M., Nielsen, D.A., Kosten, T.R., De La Garza, II, R., Newton, T.F., Verrico, C.D. FAAH variant Pro129Thr modulates subjective effects produced by cocaine administration and is associated with increased frequency and amount of substance use. Am J Addict. 2018 Oct;27(7):567-573, PMID: 30126012.
Shorter, D.I., Nielsen, D.A. Hamon, S., Nielsen, E., Kosten, T.R., Newton, T.F., De La Garza, II, R. Alpha-1 adrenergic receptor (ADRA1A) genotype influences magnitude of acute cocaine-induced subjective effects in cocaine-dependent individuals. Pharmacogenet Genomics. 2016 Sep;26(9):428-35, PMID: 27379509. 
De La Garza, II, R., Yoon, J.H., Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Haile, C.N., Eisenhofer, J.D., Newton, T.F., Mahoney, III, J.J. Treadmill exercise improves fitness and reduces craving and use of cocaine in individuals with concurrent cocaine and tobacco-use disorder. Psychiatry Res. 2016 Aug 9;245:133-140, PMID: 27541349.
De La Garza, II, R., Verrico, C.D., Newton, T.F., Mahoney, III, J.J., Thompson-Lake, D. Safety and preliminary efficacy of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor Huperzine A as a treatment for cocaine use disorder. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2016; 9(3):1-9, PMID: 26364275.
Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Cooper, K.N., Mahoney, III, J.J., Bordnick, P.S., Salas, R., Kosten, T.R., Dani, J.A., De La Garza, II, R. Virtual reality cue-induced craving and withdrawal in abstinent cigarette smokers. Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 Jul;17(7):796-802, PMID: 25475087. 93. Christodoulides, N., De La Garza, II, R., Simmons, G.W., McR
De La Garza, II, R., Bubar, M.J., Carbone, C.L., Moeller, F.G., Newton, T.F., Anastasio, N.C., Harper, T.A., Ware, D.L., Fuller, M.A., Holstein, G.J., Jayroe, J.B., Bandak, S.I., Reiman, K.Z., Neale, A.C., Pickford, L.B., Cunningham, K.A. Evaluation of the dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DβH) inhibitor nepicastat in participants who meet criteria for cocaine use disorder. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2015 Jun 3;59:40-8, PMID: 25602710.
Savjani, R.R., Velasquez, K.M., Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Eagleman, D.M., De La Garza, II, R., Salas, R. Characterizing white matter changes in cigarette smokers via diffusion tensor imaging. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 Dec 1;145:134-42, PMID: 25457737. 
Wesley MJ, Lohrenz T, Koffarnus MN, McClure SM, De La Garza R 2nd, Salas R, Thompson-Lake DG, Newton TF, Bickel WK, Montague PR. Choosing money over drugs: the neural underpinnings of difficult choice in chronic cocaine users. J Addict. 2014;2014:189853, PMID: 25197609.
Verrico, C.D., Haile, C.N., Mahoney, III, J.J., Thompson-Lake, D.G.Y., Newton, T.F., De La Garza R 2nd. Treatment with modafinil and escitalopram, alone and in combination, on cocaine-induced effects: A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled human laboratory study. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 Aug 1;141:72-8, PMID: 24928479.

De La Garza R 2nd, Galloway GP, Newton TF, Mendelson J, Haile CN, Dib E, Hawkins RY, Chen CY, Mahoney JJ 3rd, Mojsiak J, Lao G, Anderson A, Kahn R. Assessment of safety, cardiovascular and subjective effects after intravenous cocaine and lofexidine. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Apr 3;50:44-52, PMID: 24316175.
Haile CN, De La Garza R 2nd, Mahoney JJ 3rd, Newton TF. Effects of methamphetamine on the noradrenergic activity biomarker salivary alpha-amylase. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Dec 1;133(2):759- 62, PMID: 23968815.
Zorick T, Sevak RJ, Miotto K, Shoptaw S, Swanson AN, Clement C, De La Garza R 2nd, Newton TF, London ED. Pilot Safety Evaluation of Varenicline for the Treatment of Methamphetamine Dependence. J Exp Pharmacol. 2009 Dec 1;2010(2):13-18, PMID: 20689642. 
De La Garza R 2nd, Zorick T, London ED, Newton TF. Evaluation of modafinil effects on cardiovascular, subjective, and reinforcing effects of methamphetamine in methamphetamine-dependent volunteers. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2010 Jan 15;106(2-3):173-80, PMID: 19781865.
De La Garza R 2nd, Zorick T, Heinzerling KG, Nusinowitz S, London ED, Shoptaw S, Moody DE, Newton TF. The cardiovascular and subjective effects of methamphetamine combined with gamma-vinylgamma-aminobutyric acid (GVG) in non-treatment seeking methamphetamine-dependent volunteers. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2009 Nov;94(1):186-93, PMID: 19698734.
Newton TF, Roache JD, De La Garza R 2nd, Fong T, Wallace CL, Li SH, Elkashef A, Chiang N, Kahn R. Safety of intravenous methamphetamine administration during treatment with bupropion. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005 Nov;182(3):426-35, PMID: 16163531.