Neuropharmacology and Behavior

Several laboratories in this area are working on the fundamental mechanisms by which neurotransmitter binding to receptors is transduced into the molecular events that determine the cell response. These labs provides students with a broad range of research choices from the most specific molecular approaches to the most integrated systems measuring the effects of drugs on animal behavior.



Arun Anantharam, Assistant Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: sympathetic stress response, exocytosis, synaptic transmission, neuropeptide sorting and secretion, vesicle biogenesis, TIRF microscopy, super-resolution microscopy, electrophysiology, endocytosis.

William Birdsong, Assistant Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Opioid signaling, pain, electrophysiology


Carrie Ferrario, Assistant Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Striaum; glutamatergic plasticity; receptor trafficking; behavioral pharmacology; addiction; obesity.



Margaret E. Gnegy, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Mechanism of action of amphetamine at the dopamine transporter; substrate and protein kinase effects on transporter trafficking; drugs to stop effects of amphetamine.



Ronald W. Holz, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: exocytosis, catecholamines, advanced imaging techniques.



Lori Isom, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Mechanisms of epileptic encephalopathy and cardiac arrhythmias linked to mutations in voltage-gated sodium channel genes; mechanisms of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP); ion channel structure and function; transgenic mouse models of neurological and cardiac disease; patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell neurons and cardiac myocytes.


Paul Jenkins, Assistant Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Cellular and molecular neuroscience, Neuropsychiatric disease mechanisms, Bipolar disorder, Protein trafficking, Palmitoylation, Epithelial cell biology,Membrane structure, Mouse models, Electrophysiology.



Kevin Jones, Assistant Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Schizophrenia; Depression, Glutamate signaling, GABAergic interneurons, Fast-Spiking Interneurons, Patch-Clamp Electrophysiology, Behavior, NMDA receptors.

Emily Jutkiewicz, Assistant Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Opioids; Psychiatric Disease; Depression; Substance Abuse.

Manojkumar Puthenveedu, Associate Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: GPCR trafficking and signaling; opioid, drug addiction.

Les Satin (Diabetes Center), Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Cellular and molecular basis of Type 2 diabetes; ER stress and protein folding diseases; metabolic regulation of ion channel activity; optical methods; drug discovery in diabetes; synaptic transmission and metabolic health of neurons after brain trauma, models of cell function and signaling.

John Traynor, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Mechanisms of action of addictive drugs. To provide medications for pain relief and the treatment of addictions.