Samuel A. Deadwyler, PhD
Samuel A. Deadwyler, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Deadwyler is a Neuroscientist who has been at WFSM for 28 years in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. He served as Vice Chair of that Department from 1999-2005. He has been actively involved in every aspect of the institution's missions in research and teaching over that period of time and has mentored several successful researchers in his field. He has been Co-Director of the NIDA Center on the Neurobiological Basis of Drug Abuse within the Department and has held an NIH Senior Scientist Career Award for 20 years. He has served on several NIH grant review and policy making panels and has been both president and board member of major societal organizations in the Neuroscience Area. In 2003 he received the WFSM Senior Investigator Basic Science Award.
SYNOPSIS OF AREA OF INTEREST: Dr. Deadwyler has active research interests in several areas of Neuroscience including: behavioral, systemic and cellular correlates of neuroplasticity, leaning and memory and substance abuse.
DETAILED AREA OF INTEREST: The laboratory of Dr. Deadwyler and his long time collaborator, Dr Robert Hampson (Assoc. Professor) has been funded to perform research in the Neurosciences for over 30 years with 3 major thrusts including cellular/molecular, behavioral and cognitive investigations of the neurobiological bases of learning and memory. Research is carried out continuously at all three of these investigative levels. These include electrophysiological patch clamp recording and assessment intracellular calcium dynamics in single isolated neurons in vitro, recording of populations of neurons in behaving animals and application of imaging techniques to human and nonhuman primates engaged in cognition and problem solving. Each of these technologies is geared toward the general goal of understanding the neural basis of leaning and memory as is expressed in various experimental contexts. Over the years these investigation have included characterization of the role of the hippocampus in cognitive function in rodent models and more recently an extension of those investigations to nonhuman primates and other brain regions such as prefrontal cortex and striatum. In addition several studies have described the effects of cannabinoids, and other types of societal abused substances on these processes. In so doing much of the basic research involving how cannabinoids act in hippocampal neurons was extrapolated to their role in memory and learning, an area of investigation that continuous today. Much of this work involved understanding the molecular and genetic basis of potassium channel operations and their modulation by cannabinoids and other cellular agents, with a current interest in neuroprotection and how pathways activated by neurotransmitter systems regulate and influence release of intracellular calcium. This has involved assessments of NMDA receptor neurotoxicity and its control by agents that suppress release of intracellular calcium.