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.
The physiological basis of neuronal toxicity caused by various insults including excitatory amino acids, oxidative stress and cerebral ischemia is being studied using quantitative imaging techniques, confocal microscopy, genetic approaches in model organisms, and molecular approaches in cultured cell lines, cultured primary neurons and in intact animals. These studies aim to develop an understanding of the mechanisms of neuronal injury in acute and chronic disorders. The regulation of the expression of voltage-gated ion channels in cell lines and primary cultures is being studied by molecular and patchclamping techniques. In addition, molecular genetic, electrophysiological and cell biological approaches are being used to explore the relationships between neurotransmitter transporter structure, substrate transport, inhibitor binding and ion permeation. New quantitative imaging approaches are being used to study the basic processes of neuropeptide secretion. Investigators in the Molecular Pharmacology program are also examining the mechanisms of autonomic regulation and synaptic transmission of the urogenital system. These studies include neuroanatomical and neurophysiological research aimed towards the development of agents to modulate neuronal control of the urinary bladder, colon, and sex organs. Targeted disruption of GABA receptors is being used as a tool to investigate the function of these receptors and their specific components in transgenic mice. The mechanism of action of anesthetics is being studied in genetic model organisms and using techniques of magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Graduate faculty who study Neuropharmacology (Click to see their detailed research profile)

Elias Aizenman - Cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuronal cell death
Hülya Bayir - Dr. Hülya Bayir’s research focuses on the primary themes of mitochondrial injury and oxidative signaling. She has organized a multidisciplinary team of investigators to study novel approaches to the treatment of mitochondrial dysfunction by targeting lipid oxidation. Her laboratory integrates the work of clinical and basic science researchers.
Lori Birder - Study a number of ion channel/receptor targets within the bladder epithelium and the possible role of the urothelium in urinary bladder function.
William de Groat - Study of the autonomic mechanisms involved in the control of urogenital function. Study of visceral pain mechanisms.
Donald DeFranco - Glucocorticoids and Neurodevelopment. Prostate cancer.
J. Timothy Greenamyre
Gregg Homanics - Application of transgenic technologies to investigate the molecular targets of ethanol and general anesthetics; production of animal models of human disease
John Horn - Synaptic integration in sympathetic ganglia and in midbrain dopamine neurons; neurotransmitter signaling through G-protein coupled receptors
Edwin Jackson - The physiology and pharmacology of endogenous modulators of growth, structure and function of cells in the heart, blood vessels and kidneys, with particular focus on adenosine, the renin-angiotensin soystem and estradiol metabolites.
Tija Jacob
Anthony Kanai - Roles of the urothelium, interstitial cells and afferent nerves in urinary incontinence--studied using optical mapping. Nitric oxide in radiation cystitis and the mitochondrial targeting of radioprotectants.
Edwin Levitan - Neurotransmission, channels and signaling.
Michael Palladino - Combined molecular and genetic approach to identify key proteins required for neural maintenance with age and understand the role of these gene products in human disease conditions.
Pei Tang - Structural biology/computational biology/protein drug interactions/molecular mechanism of general anesthesia.
Yan Xu - Gene and stem cell therapy in brain ischemia membrane protein structure by NMR; biological basis of unconsciousness; molecular mechanisms of general anesthesia.

Program Achievements

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


Time to dissertation Defense
, last five graduating classes:  4.6 years, Completion Rate: 86.49%

First Author Publications (All students, past 5 year mean):  2.03;   Total Publications: 5.10

F-series Grants (F30/F31) (All Students, past 5 year mean):  12/34 (35%) 

Ranked #9 in National of Institute of Health funding of departments of Pharmacology

Ranked in the top 15 in funding for twenty-four consecutive years

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