PAUL GASSER, PH.D.
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Paul Gasser received his Ph.D. in Biology from Arizona State University in 2005. He was then awarded a National Science Foundation International Research Fellowship to conduct his postdoctoral studies in the United Kingdom, at the University of Bristol’s Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Integrative Neuroscience and Endocrinology. In 2007, Dr. Gasser joined the faculty at Marquette University in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. Work in his laboratory is focused on elucidating the signaling pathways by which stress hormones and monoamine neurotransmitters alter the structure and function of neuronal and glial cells with the hope of learning how these signaling pathways contribute to successful adaptation to stress, and how dysregulation of these pathways contributes to neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. In addition to his research activities, Dr. Gasser teaches courses in biochemistry and neuroscience to undergraduate and graduate students.
We study the signaling pathways by which monoamines and stress hormones alter the structure and function of neuronal and glial cells, with the hope of learning how these signaling pathways contribute to successful adaptation to stress, and how dysregulation of these pathways contributes to neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders.
Corticosteroid hormones are released from the adrenal glands in response to stress. Together with a wide variety of neurotransmitters, corticosteroids play important roles in generating appropriate responses to stress by altering the structure and function of neuronal and glial cells in the brain. While corticosteroids are necessary for normal adaptation to stress, chronic elevation of corticosteroids increases the risk for neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. The primary goals of my research are to identify the mechanisms by which corticosteroids interact with neurotransmitters to alter cellular function; and to understand how these mechanisms may contribute to the detrimental effects of chronic stress. The hope is that this research will increase our understanding of the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders, and that it will lead to the development of novel, effective treatments for these disorders.
Graduate students: Kelsey Benton, Jenree Maglasang
Undergraduates: Sean Hergenrother, Michael Szymanski, Danielle Barrett, Sebastian La Rosa, Brendan Fosgitt
Subcellular localization of monoamine transporters and adrenergic receptors in neuronal and glial cells
Regulation of astrocyte gene expression and physiology by nuclear adrenergic receptors