Harriet de Wit, Ph.D

Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
Biological Sciences Collegiate Division Committee on Neurobiology

5841 S. Maryland Ave., MC 3077, Rm L485
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Phone: 773-702-1537
Fax: 773-834-7698

Website: Laboratory Website: http://psychiatry.uchicago.edu/hbpl/

Education & Training

  • PhD (Experimental Psychology), Concordia University Montreal, 1981
  • Registered Psychologist, State of Illinois (No. 072-003576)

Research Interests

  • Human psychopharmacology of substance abuse
  • Stress, impulsivity and cue reactivity
  • Drug- associated conditioning and learning


  • Course Director, Perspectives in Drug Abuse, Pha 329, 1992-
  • Research mentor, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, 1998-
  • Mentor, Summer Research Program, Pritzker School of Medicine, 2004-
  • Mentor, graduate students and post doctoral fellows
  • Training Faculty, Clinical Pharmacology Fellowship program, 1993-
  • Course co-director and mentor, K-award training program, Institute of Translational Medicine, 2013-

Society Memberships

  • American College of Neuropsychopharmacology: Member 1996-; Fellow 2003-
  • American Psychological Association (Division 28): Fellow 1995-
  • Brain Research Institute, The University of Chicago, 1996-
  • Society for Neuroscience, 2002-
  • College on Problems of Drug Dependence: Fellow 2000-; Board of Directors 1997-2000
  • Research Society on Alcoholism: Board of Directors 1999-2003
  • Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco: Member 2004-

 Other Activities (non- University of Chicago)

  • Field Editor, Psychopharmacology, Alcohol and Substance Abuse in Humans; Human Cognitive Psychopharmacology, 1993 –
  • http://www.springer.com/biomed/neuroscience/journal/213
  • Scientific Advisory Board, Center for Drug Abuse Research Translation, University of Kentucky, 2004 –
  • Scientific Advisory Board, Alcohol Research Center, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland Oregon, 2007 –
  • Consultant, Center for Drug Evaluation, Food and Drug Administration, 1991 -
  • Advisory Board, Current Drug Abuse Reviews, 2006 –
  • Member, Faculty of 1000, 2004-
  • Editorial Advisory Board The Open Addiction Journal, 2008 -
  • Editorial Board, Encyclopedia of Psychopharmacology, Ed. Ian Stolerman, 2007 –
  • Editorial Board, Stress and Health, 2012 –
  • Scientific Advisory Board, Specialized Center of Research on Sex and Gender Factors Affecting Women’s Health, Medical College of South Carolina, 2012 –
  • Editorial Board, Current Addiction Reports (Ed. M. Potenza), 2013 –
  • Publications Committee, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2013 –
  • Editorial Board, Biological Psychiatry, 2016 –

 Other Activities (University of Chicago)

  • Scientific Advisory Committee, Clinical Research Center, 1989 -
  • Admissions Committee, Clinical Pharmacology Fellowship Program, 1993 -
  • University of Chicago Cancer Research Center, 2004 -
  • Mentor, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, 1996 -
  • Member, Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, 2005 -
  • Member, Faculty Advisory Committee of the Biostatistics Core Facility, 2007 –
  • Pritzker School of Medicine Summer Res Prog: Mentor, Cluster leader, Judge, 2004 –
  • Member, Faculty Advisory Committee, Biological Sciences Division 2012-2015 

  Selected Publications (2014-2016)

  • Ballard, E., D. Gallo, H. de Wit (2014) Amphetamine increases errors during episodic memory retrieval. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 34, 85-92 PMID: 24135845 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Frye, C.G., M.C. Wardle, G.J. Norman, H. de Wit (2014) MDMA decreases the effects of simulated social rejection.  Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 117, 1-6. PMC3910346
  • Weafer, J., D.Gallo, H. de Wit (2014) Amphetamine fails to alter cued recollection of emotional images: Study of encoding, retrieval, and state-dependency. Plos One. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090423
  • Kirkpatrick, M.G., S. M. Francis, R. Lee, H. de Wit, S. Jacob (2014)  Plasma oxytocin concentrations following MDMA or intranasal oxytocin in humans. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 46, 23-31. PMC4088952
  • Childs, E., H. de Wit (2014) Regular exercise is associated with emotional resilience to acute stress in healthy adults. Frontiers in Physiology 5, 161. PMC4013452
  • Wardle, M., D. Fitzgerald, M. Angstadt, C. Rabinak, H. de Wit, K.L. Phan (2014) Effects of oxycodone on brain responses to emotional images.  Psychopharmacology. PMID: 24800897  
  • Wardle, M.C., H. de Wit (2014)  MDMA alters emotional processing and facilitates social interaction.  Psychopharmacology.  PMC4194242
  • Hart, A.B., E.R. Gamazon, B. E. Engelhardt, P. Sklar, C. Hultman, Pa. F. Sullivan, B. Neale, S.V. Faraone, Psychiatric Genomics Consortium: ADHD Subgroup, H. de Wit, N. J. Cox, A.A. Palmer (2014)  Genetic variation associated with the euphorigenic effects of d-amphetamine is also associated with diminished risk for schizophrenia and ADHD. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111, 5968-73.  PMC4000861
  • Clark, D.B., H. de Wit, W. Iacono (2014) ADHD, Impulsivity and Substance Abuse: Methods, Results and Implications. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 22, 141-3. PMC4141644
  • Kirkpatrick, M., R. Lee, M. Wardle, S. Jacob, H. de Wit (2014) Effects of MDMA and intranasal oxytocin on social and emotional processing. Neuropsychopharmacology. 39, 1654-63. PMC4088952
  • Childs, E., T.L. White, H. de Wit (2014) Personality traits modulate subjective and physiological responses to stress. Behavioural Pharmacology 25, 493-502. PMC4119514
  • Kirkpatrick, M.G., M.J. Baggott, J.E. Mendelson, G.P. Galloway, M.E Liechti, C.M Hysek, H. de Wit. (2014) MDMA effects consistent across controlled laboratory settings. Psychopharmacology 231, 3899–3905.   PMC4161650
  • Weafer, J. A. Burkhardt, H. de Wit (2014) Sweet taste liking associated with impulsive behaviors in humans. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8, 228. PMC4060557
  • Weafer, J. and H. de Wit. (2014) Sex differences in impulsive action and impulsive choice.  Addictive Behaviors 39, 1573-9 PMC4012004
  • Wardle, M.C., M.G. Kirkpatrick, H. de Wit (2014) “Ecstasy” as a social drug: MDMA preferentially affects responses to emotional stimuli with social content.  Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 9, 1076-81. PMCID: PMC4127030
  • Bedi, G, G. Cecchi, D.F. Slezak, F. Carrillo, M. Sigma, H. de Wit (2014) A window into the intoxicated mind:  Speech as an index of psychoactive drug effects.  Neuropsychopharmacology, 39, 2340-8. PMCID: PMC4138742
  • Kirkpatrick, M.G. and H. de Wit (2015) MDMA: a social drug in a social context. Psychopharmacology, 232, 1155-1163. PMCID: PMC4339498
  • Clark, C.M., D.G. Frye, M.C. Wardle, G.J. Norman, H. de Wit (2015) Acute effects of MDMA on autonomic cardiac activity and their relation to subjective pro-social and stimulant effects.  Psychophysiology, 52:429-35. PMCID: PMC4634859
  • Gorka, S.M., Fitzgerald, D.A., de Wit, H., & Phan, K.L. (2014) Cannabinoid modulation of amygdala subregion functional connectivity to social signals of threat. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 28, 18. PMCID: PMC4360235
  • Gorka, S., D. Fitzgerald, M. Angstadt, H. de Wit, K.L. Phan (2014)  Opioid modulation of resting-state anterior cingulate cortex functional connectivity. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 28, 1115-24 PMID: 25237122 [PubMed - in process]
  • Weafer, J., J. DeArcangelis, H. de Wit (2015) Sex differences in behavioral impulsivity in at-risk and non-risk drinkers.  Frontiers in Neuroscience 6, 72. PMCID: PMC4429551
  • Weafer, J., S.H. Mitchell, H. de Wit  (2015) Recent translational findings on impulsivity in relation to drug abuse.  Current Addiction Reports, 1, 289-300. PMCID: PMC4323183
  • Bershad, A.K., J. H. Jaffe, E. Childs, H. de Wit (2015) Opioid partial agonist buprenorphine dampens responses to psychosocial stress in humans.  Psychoneuroendocrinology, 52, 281-8. PMCID: PMC4297554
  • Ballard, M.E., J. Weafer, D. Gallo, H. de Wit (2015)  Methamphetamine-induced enhancement of emotional memory formation in humans: Encoding vs consolidation. PlosOne, 10. PMCID: PMC4332474
  • Mayo, L., H. de Wit (2015) Acquisition of responses to a methamphetamine-associated cue in healthy humans: self-report, behavioral, and psychophysiological measures. Neuropsychopharmacology, 40, 1734-41. PMID: 25601231 [PubMed - in process].
  • Kirkpatrick, M.G., A.W. Delton, T.E. Robertson, H. de Wit (2015) Prosocial effects of MDMA:  A measure of generosity. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 29, 661-8. PMID: 25735993 [PubMed - in process].
  • Bershad, A.K., M.G. Kirkpatrick, J.A. Seiden, H. de Wit (2015) Effects of acute doses of prosocial drugs methamphetamine and alcohol on plasma oxytocin levels. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 35, 308-12. PMCID: PMC4414800
  • Baggott, M.J., M.G. Kirkpatrick, G. Bedi, H. de Wit. (2015) Intimate insight: MDMA changes how people talk about significant others.  J. Psychopharmacology, 29, 669-77. PMCID: PMC4698152
  • Yarosh, H.L., S.A. Meda, H. de Wit, A.B. Hart, G.D. Pearlson (2015) Multivariate analysis of subjective responses to d-amphetamine in healthy volunteers finds novel genetic pathway associations. Psychopharmacology, 2781-94. PMCID: PMC4504822
  • De Moor, M.H.M.,  … H. de Wit,… D.I. Boomsma (60 authors) (2015) Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for neuroticism, and the polygenic association with major depressive disorder.  JAMA Psychiatry, 72, 642-50. PMCID: PMC4667957
  • Weafer, J, D Gallo, H. de Wit (2016) Alcohol effects on encoding and consolidation of memory for emotional stimuli.  Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 77:86-94. PMCID: PMC4711324
  • Van den Berg, S.M., …H. de Wit,.. D.I. Boomsma (60 authors) (2016) Extraversion and common genetic variants: GWAS meta-analysis results from the Genetics of Personality Consortium.  Behavior Genetics. 46:170-82. doi: 10.1007/s10519-015-9735-5.  PMCID: PMC4751159
  • Miller, MA, AK Bershad, H de Wit. Drug effects on responses to emotional facial expressions: Recent findings.  Behavioural Pharmacology. 26:571-9. PMCID: PMC4905685
  • Bershad, AK, JJ Weafer, MG Kirkpatrick, MC Wardle, MA Miller, H de Wit (2016)  Oxytocin receptor gene variation predicts subjective responses to MDMA. Social Neuroscience. 17:1-8. PMID: 26787430
  • Bershad, AK, H de Wit. (2016) Effects of buprenorphine on responses to social stimuli in healthy adults.  Psychoneuroendocrinology. 63:43-9. PMCID: PMC4695221
  • Wardle, MC, AK Bershad, H de Wit (2016) Naltrexone alters the processing of social stimuli in healthy adults.  Social Neuroscience. 22:1-13. PMID: 26710657
  • Kirkpatrick MG, Goldenson NI, Kapadia N, Kahler CW, de Wit H, Swift RM, McGeary JE, Sussman S, Leventhal AM. (2016) Emotional traits predict individual differences in amphetamine-induced positive mood in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology. 233:89-97. PMCID: PMC4703469
  • Wardle, MC, BA Marcus, H de Wit (2015) A preliminary investigation of individual differences in subjective responses to d-amphetamine, alcohol, and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol using a within-subjects randomized trial. PloS One. 10:e0140501. PMCID: PMC4626040
  • Temple, JL, AM Ziegler, H de Wit, C Martin (2015) Caffeine effects on subjective responses are influenced by caffeine dose, sex, and pubertal stage. Journal of Caffeine Research. 5:167-175.
  • PMCID: PMC4663646
  • VanderBroek, L, J Acker, AA Palmer, H de Wit, J MacKillop (2016)  Interrelationships between family history of substance misuse, impulsive delay discounting, and substance use. Psychopharmacology 233:39-48. PMID: 26395990
  • Hanlon, EC, E Tasali, R Leproult, KL Stuhr, E Doncheck, H de Wit, CJ Hillard, E Van Cauter (2016) Sleep restriction enhances the daily rhythm of circulating levels of endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol. Sleep. 39(3):653-664. PMCID: PMC4763355
  • Mayo, L, H de Wit (2016) Acquisition of conditioned responses to a novel alcohol-paired cue in social drinkers. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 77, 317-26. PMID: 26997190

Publications In Press

  • Smith, CT, J Weafer, RL Cowan, RM Kessler, AA Palmer, H de Wit, DH Zald. Individual differences in timing of peak positive subjective responses to d-amphetamine: relationship to pharmacokinetics and physiology. J of Psychopharmacology.
  • Cavallo, J, N Ruiz, H de Wit  Extinction of conditioned responses to methamphetamine-associated stimuli in healthy humans. Psychopharmacology.
  • Weafer, J, D Gallo, H de Wit. Effect of alcohol on encoding and consolidation of memory for alcohol-related images.  Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
  • Childs, E, A Bershad and H de Wit.  Effects of amphetamine upon responses to acute social stress. Journal of Psychopharmacology
  • Miller, MA, A Bershad, A King, R Lee, H de Wit Intranasal oxytocin dampens cue-elicited cigarette craving in daily smokers.  Behavioural Pharmacology.
  • Shaham, Y, H de Wit (2016) Lost in translation: CRF1 receptor antagonists and addiction treatmentCommentary, Neuropsychopharmacology.