Azizi Ray, Ph.D., Pharm.D.

RayProfessional Certifications and Education

RPH033111 State of Georgia, Georgia Board of Pharmacy, Atlanta, GA, 2021

Ph.D., Mercer University College of Pharmacy, Atlanta, GA, 2021

Pharm.D., Mercer University College of Pharmacy, Atlanta, GA, 2021

M.Ed., University of Rochester Warner School of Education, Rochester, NY, 1993

B.S., University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, 1992

Research Experience

Presently, I am a post-doctoral fellow supported by the NIDA T32 program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. My preclinical experiences are varied and span pharmacology, neurobiology, and treatments for substance abuse disorders with an emphasis on overdose deaths, neurotoxicity, and the abuse liability of traditional stimulants of abuse and synthetic cathinones. As a behavioral pharmacologist my research focuses on the development and implementation of interventions to improve management of opioid use disorder (OUD) among African American, justice-involved patients. Given my research interests, I am mentored by a multi-disciplinary team that includes Drs. Curran, Jones, Mancino, and Zaller.

I am currently engaged in a randomized, pragmatic non-blinded study that aims to 1) assess strategies to improve retention in treatment with medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), 2) improve outcomes for patients who achieve stable remission and choose to discontinue MOUD, and 3) develop models to predict discontinuation of MOUD without relapse among patients initiating treatment for OUD. In tandem, I am involved in a mixed-methods study designed to clarify the relationship between nicotine risk perceptions and use of nicotine-containing quit methods including nicotine replacement therapy and e-cigarettes among African-American and white cigarette smokers aged 18-34. This study seeks to identify contributors to tobacco-related disparities and opportunities to encourage smoking cessation and harm reduction among African American smokers.

Research Interests

Broadly, my research interests are to implement pharmacists-led interventions to mitigate overdose deaths in African American justice-involved populations with OUD and reduce racial/ethnic disparities in mental health care. My primary goal is to increase access to MOUD to vulnerable populations most at risk for overdose by expanding the practice of pharmacists who are often under-utilized as healthcare providers.

Recent Publications

Chitre NM, Wood BJ, Ray A, Moniri NH, Murnane KS. “Docosahexaenoic acid protects motor function and increases dopamine synthesis in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease via mechanisms associated with increased protein kinase activity in the striatum.” Neuropharmacology. 2020 May 1,167:107976.

Jiang Y, Ray A, Junaid MSA, Bhattaccharjee SA, Kelley K, Banga AK, Blough BE, Murnane KS. “The pharmacokinetics of 3-fluoroamphetamine following delivery using clinically relevant routes of administration.” Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2020 Feb, 10(1):271-281. October 2019

Ray A, Chitre NM, Daphney CM, Blough BE, Canal CE, Murnane KS. “Effects of the second-generation ‘bath salt’ cathinone alpha-pyrrolidinopropiophenone (α-PPP) on behavior and monoamine neurochemistry in male mice.” Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2019 Mar, 236(3):1107-1117

Ray A, Canal CE, Ehlen JC, and Rice KC, Murnane KS. “M100907 and BD 1047 attenuate the acute toxic effects of methamphetamine.” Neurotoxicology. 2019 Sep, 74:91-99