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Members

  • Noelle C. Anastasio, Ph.D.

    NoelleAnastasioAssistant Professor
    Director, Cellular & Molecular Signaling Core
    T32 Participating Faculty Member
    Department: Pharmacology & Toxicology

    Email: ncanasta@utmb.edu
    Phone: 409.772.9646

    Bio & Research

Biography

My research interests lie at the interface of pharmacology, neuroscience, and psychiatry. Prevention and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders could be greatly advanced by a more comprehensive understanding of the biology of impulsivity. Our group is focused on deciphering the patterns of individual differences in behavioral disinhibition and decision-making seen with respect to the development and maintenance of chronic neuropsychiatric disorders. In particular, we focus on glutamatergic neurotransmission and disinhibition of cortical top-down output in different facets of impulsive-compulsive traits. There is evidence that glutamate neurotransmission through the ionotropic glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor plays a key role in the cognitive and/or behavioral dimensions of impulsivity and addictive behaviors, perhaps within the corticostriatal circuit, a network integral to decision-making and goal-directed behavior. An additional focus of the laboratory is to determine that neuronal serotonin and glutamate systems mechanistically converge to govern impulsivity and that rebalancing these systems may ultimately support behavioral recovery in disorders marked by impulsivity concomitant with an imbalance in the reward system and reactivity to reward conditioned cues (e.g., psychostimulant addiction, binge-eating disorder, obesity).

We employ a multi-disciplinary approach (e.g., biochemistry, gene-mediated viral delivery, behavioral models, cellular models) to elucidate the neurobiological substrates (e.g., receptor trafficking, protein:protein interactions, epigenetic modifications) within the corticostriatal circuit that drive the vulnerable vs. resistant phenotypes underlying dysregulated drug- and feeding-related behaviors as assessed in the preclinical environment.

Education
  • B.A., 2001, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
  • M.S., 2003, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas
  • Ph.D., 2009, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas