Directory - Employee

Brian J. Piper, Ph.D., M.S.

Brian J. Piper

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy


Dr. Piper joined Husson University in August, 2012. He earned a B.S. and M.S. from Northern Michigan University and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience with a focus in neurotoxicology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. From 2007-2011, Brian completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oregon; and Oregon Health and Science University in the area of developmental neurotoxicology. He has authored over 30 peer-reviewed manuscripts in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Neuropsychopharmacology, and the American Journal of Pharmacy Education. His research on developmental exposure to recreational drugs has been generously supported by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

In addition to reading (e.g. neurotoxicology, epidemiology), Brian enjoys hiking, swimming, and biking.

Personal Statement

I believe that learning is a life-long process that occurs in many environments. The classroom can provide a key foundation and opportunity to integrate, reflect, and build upon student’s diverse experiences.



There are currently two complementary lines of behavioral neuroscience studies that are actively being pursued. The first is to characterize the neurobehavioral consequences of developmental exposure to recreational drugs and to develop and evaluate the utility of different interventions (pharmacological or psychoeducational) to ameliorate any abnormalities in brain function. Several commonly misused drugs have been examined including substituted amphetamines (MDMA, better known as "ecstasy" and methamphetamine or "ice"), cocaine, alcohol, and nicotine. The dynamic neurodevelopmental processes that occur prenatally and in adolescence, as well as drug use during these intervals, have prompted substantial interest in these key periods.

Secondly, I am very interested in developing new neurobehavioral research tools that would be of wide use to psychopharmacologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, epidemiologists, developmental neuropsychologists, gerontologists, and behavioral geneticists. This includes open-source versions of classic tests of attention, learning, memory, and executive function with the Psychology Experiment Building Language software. A particular focus is on measures that assess well-characterized neurophysiological and neurochemical networks.

Selected Publications

Piper, BJ, Henderson, CH, Meyer JS. Adolescent MDMA exposure diminishes the physiological and neurotoxic consequences of an MDMA binge in female rats. Developmental Psychobiology 2014; 56:924-934

Piper BJ, Gray HM, Raber J, Birkett MB. Reliability and validity of the Brief Problem Monitor: an abbreviated form of the Child Behavior Checklist. Psychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences 2014; 68:759-767

Piper BJ, Corbett SM, Gray SM, Birkett MA, Raber J. Executive function and mental health in adopted children with a history of recreational drug exposures. PLoS One 2014; 9:e110459.

Mueller ST, Piper BJ. The Psychology Experiment Building Language (PEBL) and PEBL test battery. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 2014; 222:250-259.

Fox CJ, Mueller ST, Gray HM, Raber J, Piper BJ. Evaluation of a short form of the Berg Card Sorting Test. PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e63885.

Biezonski DK, Piper BJ, Shinday NM, Kim PJ, Ali SF, Meyer JS. Effects of a short-course MDMA binge on dopamine transporter binding and on levels of dopamine and its metabolites in adult male rats. European Journal of Pharmacology 2013; 701:176-180.

Piper BJ, Corbett SM. Executive function profile in the offspring of women that smoked during pregnancy. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2012; 14(2):191-199.

Piper BJ, Gray HM, Birkett MA. Maternal smoking cessation and reduced academic and behavioral problems in offspring. Drug & Alcohol Dependence 2012; 121:62-67.

Piper BJ, Li V, Eiwaz MA, Kobel YV, Benice TS, Chu AM, et al. Executive function on the Psychology Experiment Building Language tests. Behavior Research Methods 2012; 44(1):110-123.

Piper BJ, Acevedo SF, Kolchugina GK, Butler RW, Corbett SM, Honeycutt EB, Craytor MJ, Raber J. Abnormalities in parentally rated executive function methamphetamine/polysubsance exposed children. Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior 2011; 98(3): 432-439.

Piper BJ. Age, handedness, and sex contribute to fine motor behavior in children. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 2011; 195(1):88-91.

Meyer, J. & Piper, B. (2011) Developmental neurotoxicity of abused drugs. In Reproductive & Developmental Toxicology (Edited by Ramesh C. Gupta), Elsevier: Amsterdam, 341-353.

Piper BJ, Yasen AL, Miller JK. Examination of sexually dimorphic behavior on the Novel-Image Novel-Location recognition memory test. Journal of Behavioral & Brain Science 2011, 1:134-139.

Piper BJ, Fraiman JB, Owens CB, Ali SF, Meyer JS. Dissociation of the neurochemical and behavioral toxicology of MDMA ('Ecstasy) by citalopram. Neuropsychopharmacology 2008; 33(5):1192-1205.

Piper BJ. A developmental comparison of the neurobehavioral effects of ecstasy (MDMA). Neurotoxicology & Teratology 2007; 29(2):288-300.

Piper BJ, Vu HL, Safain MG, Oliver AJ, Meyer JS. Repeated adolescent 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetmaine (MDMA) exposure attenuates the effects of a subsequent challenge with MDMA or a 5-hydroxytryptamine (1A) receptor agonist. Journal of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics 2006; 317(2):838-849.