Courtney Andersen studies the role of estrogen receptor-alpha in ovarian cancer.
Chris Barnes investigates the structural details by which transcription factor activity regulates RNA Polymerase II during the universal process of eukaryotic gene expression.
Soma Jobaggy studies nitrated fatty acid pharmacology and the antioxidant response in hypertensive end-organ damage.
Allison Nagle studies growth factor receptor signaling in breast cancer.
Edwin S. Levitan, PhD
Professor & Vice Chair, Research
E 1351 Thomas E. Starzl Biomedical Science Tower
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Phone: 412-648-9486

Fax: 412-648-1945


BA (Biochemistry), Cornell University, 1980
PhD (Biochemistry), Brandeis University, 1986.
Postdoctoral Fellow, MRC Molecular Neurobiology Unit, 1987-1988.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University, 1988-1990

Research Areas
Signal Transduction
Photo of Edwin S. Levitan, PhD

The Levitan lab studies the cell biology of neurons with a focus on neuropeptides and dopamine. Cutting edge fluorescence imaging in vivo and ex vivo (e.g. in Drosophila and rodent brain slices) with confocal and two-photon microscopes is combined with genetics, electrophysiology and electrochemistry.  Current projects include determining how signaling and injury control vesicle traffic and exocytosis in synapses, the role of vesicular antipsychotic drugs in regulating dopamine transmission and recently discovered redox communication between neuronal organelles.


Important Publications
Wong MY, SL Cavolo and ES Levitan. Synaptic neuropeptide release by dynamin-dependent partial release from circulating vesicles. Mol Biol Cell 26:2466-2474, 2015.
Cavolo SL, C Zhou, SA Ketcham, MM Suzuki, K Ukalovic, MA Silverman, TA Schroer and ES Levitan. Mycalolide B dissociates dynactin and abolishes retrograde axonal transport of dense-core vesicles. Mol Biol Cell 26:2664-2672, 2015.
Tucker KR, ER Block and ES Levitan. Action potentials and amphetamine release antipsychotic drug from dopamine neuron synaptic VMAT vesicles. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112:E4485-4494, 2015.
Bulgari D, C Zhou, RS Hewes, DL Deitcher and ES Levitan. Vesicle capture, not delivery, scales up neuropeptide storage in neuroendocrine terminals. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:3597-3601, 2014.
Wong MY, C Zhou, D Shakiryanova, TE Lloyd, DL Deitcher and ES Levitan.  Neuropeptide delivery to synapses by long-range vesicle circulation and sporadic capture.  Cell 148:1029-1038, 2012.


3/29/2018 12:00 PM Pharmacology & Chemical Biology Seminar Series
Yuanyuan Chen, Ph.D.

4/3/2018 12:00 PM Pharmacology & Chemical Biology Special Seminar
Craig J. Burd, Ph.D.

4/6/2018 10:00 AM Doctoral Dissertation Defense
Vera Procaccia

Pharmacology and Chemical Biology Event Calendar

Program Achievements

Molecular Pharmacology Graduate Program Ranked #2 in National Research Council Rankings

Outcomes:  Time to disseration, last five graduating clasess:  4.5 years, Completion Rate: 84.8%

Ranked #12 in National of Institute of Health funding of departments of Pharmacology

Ranked in the top 15 in funding for twenty two consecutive years

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