NEUROPHARMACOLOGY

Sketch of a brain with light breaking through
Faculty within the Pharmacology department working in the area of neuroscience and neuropharmacology focus their research in characterizing the cellular and molecular mechanisms which underlie neuronal function and survival. Because neuroscience/neuropharmacology is an increasingly integrative discipline, research at UCD utilizes many different core facilities and crosses departmental boundaries. One of the strengths of our faculty lies in the fact that they have experience in a number of different scientific disciplines.

Specific areas of neuropharmacology research at UCD includes the study of molecular memory and synaptic plasticity, neuronal survival and apoptosis, neuronal signal transduction, and neuropharmacology. In addition the pharmacology faculty has a particularly strong interest in the neuropharmacology of drugs of abuse.

 

Associated Faculty

Aoto, Jason
Assistant Professor
PhD, 2009, Univ. of California, Berkley
We are interested in dissecting the distinct functions of synaptic cell-adhesion molecules implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders and addiction in the context of disease-relevant brain circuits. Using cutting-edge multidisciplinary techniques, we are able to interrogate these molecules with cell-type and synapse-specific resolution.

Bankston, John
Assistant Professor
PhD, 2009, Columbia University
Molecular Mechanisms of ion channel function. Examining structural and regulatory mechanisms of the Acid-sensing ion channels using electrophysiology, fluorescence, spectroscopy, and structural biology.

Bayer, K. Ulrich
Professor
PhD, 1996, Heinrich-Pette-Institute
Molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. Strategies for restoring normal synaptic plasticity in neurological disorders.

Benke, Timothy A.
Associate Professor
MD/PhD, 1995, Baylor College of Medicine
Mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and impacts of development and epilepsy.

Dabertrand, Fabrice
Associate Professor
PhD, University of Bordeaux Segalen, France
The control of cerebral blood flow by ion channels and calcium signaling in the pericytes, endothelial cells, and smooth muscle cells that constitute the brain microcirculation. We use this information to combat brain diseases with a vascular component.

Dell'Acqua, Mark L.
Professor and Vice Chairman
PhD, 1995, Harvard Univ.
Organization of signaling complexes by protein kinase and phosphatase anchoring proteins; mechanisms regulating neuronal second messenger signaling in synaptic plasticity.

Ford, Christopher
Associate Professor
PhD, 2003, Univ. of Alberta
We study the synaptic mechanisms by which neuromodulators like dopamine and acetylcholine are encoded in mesolimbic and nigrostriatal circuits through their G-protein coupled receptors and the alterations that occur in these systems in neurological and psychiatric diseases. 

Freed, Curt R.
Professor
MD, 1969, Harvard Univ.
The dynamic role of dopamine in movement; neural transplantation for Parkinson’s disease.

Hoffman, Paula L.
Professor
PhD, 1974, City Univ. of New York
Neuropharmacology; mechanisms of alcohol tolerance, dependence, and craving; genetic aspects of alcohol dependence and affective disorders; biochemical/molecular biological/genetic analysis of CNS receptors and signal transduction systems.

Kennedy, Matthew J.
Assistant Professor
PhD, 2003, Univ. of Washington
Molecular mechanisms of activity-triggered synaptic remodeling.

Kutateladze, Tatiana G.
Professor
PhD, 1988, Moscow State Univ.
Epigenetics, phosphoinositide signaling, structural biology, NMR and crystal structures of proteins implicated in cancer, structure based drug design.

Sather, William A.
Associate Professor
PhD, 1988, Univ. of Washington
Signaling through calcium channels in neurons.

Serkova, Natalie J.
Associate Professor
PhD, 1996, Univ. of Bremen
Animal Imaging (MRI, PET, CT); Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) based metabonomics; Cancer Metabolism and Physiology; Anti-Cancer Drugs; Ischemia/Reperfusion in Organs.

Sikela, James M.
Professor
PhD, 1983, Case Western Reserve Univ.
Neurogenomics; disease gene discovery; human genome evolution and variation.