Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh
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 biochemical and electrical signaling that controls neuronal and cardiac function with live cell imaging, electrophysiology and molecular biology.  Current projects include in vivo imaging of green fluorescent protein (GFP) constructs in transgenic Drosophila nerve cells and serotonin in mammalian brain slices to determine how patterned electrical activity and synapses control transmitter release.  We are also studying remodeling of rhythmic electrical activity in the heart and midbrain dopamine neurons by therapeutically important hormones and drugs. Most recently, multiphoton microscopy is being used to image vesicular accumulation and release of a psychiatric drug in the brain.


Important Publications
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.
Zhou C, SL Cavolo and ES Levitan.  Delayed endosome-dependent CamKII and p38 kinase signaling in cardiomyocytes destabilizes Kv4.3 mRNA.  JMCC 52:971-977, 2012.
Colgan LA, SL Cavolo, KG Commons and ES Levitan.  Action potential-independent and pharmacologically unique vesicular serotonin release from dendrites.  J Neurosci 32:15737-15746, 2012.
Tucker KR, MA Huertas, JP Horn, CC Canavier and ES Levitan.  Pacemaker rate and depolarization block in nigral dopamine neurons:  A somatic sodium channel balancing act.  J Neurosci 32:14519-14531, 2012.

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