Chris Ford, PhD


Ford_Chris 600x750

Contact Information:

University of Colorado Denver
Department of Pharmacology
Mail Stop 8303, RC1-North
12800 East 19th Ave
Aurora CO 80045

Phone: (303) 724-4747
Fax: (303) 724-3663

curriculum vitae


Our lab examines how neuromodulators are encoded in the mesolimbic and nigrostriatal systems and how circuit dysfunctions in these areas contribute to neurological and psychiatric disorders. Dopamine, acetylcholine and serotonin play key roles in the basal ganglia and nucleus accumbens, controlling a variety of motivated behaviors including decision-making, action selection, motor skill learning, habit formation and reward processing. We use the combination of electrophysiology, 2-photon imaging, optogenetics, genetically encoded optical sensors, electrochemistry and behavioral approaches to study how synaptic transmission mediated by these neuromodulators is encoded within mesolimbic and nigrostriatal circuits. By identifying the mechanisms regulating metabotropic transmission we aim to identify the disruptions in these systems that underlie psychiatric disorders such as drug addiction and schizophrenia and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.


A current description of current research in Dr. Ford’s lab can be found here:

Chris Ford Lab

Current Lab Members


First NameLast NameMiddle InitialDegreePosition
KelseyBarcombM.PhDPostdoctoral Fellow
YuanCai MDGraduate Student
ShengGong BSGraduate Student
Elizabeth Nielsen PhDPostdoctoral Fellow
AndrewYee PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

Current members of the Ford lab can be found here:


Chris Ford Lab



Selected Publications:

View Dr. Ford’s publications on Pubmed



Pharmacology (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Research I North

12800 East 19th Avenue


Aurora, CO 80045


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