Focus on Mentoring

Noelle AnastasioNoelle Anastasio, PhD
March 2021

Dr. Noelle Anastasio received her bachelor’s degree in biology from The University of Texas at Austin. She then joined the Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Program at the UTMB Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) and earned her PhD degree under the mentorship of Dr. Kenneth Johnson. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the UTMB Center for Addiction Research under the direction of Dr. Kathryn Cunningham, Dr. Anastasio joined the UTMB Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology faculty in 2014. She is currently a tenure-track assistant professor and also serves as the Director of the Cellular and Molecular Signaling Core in the Center for Addiction Research.

Dr. Anastasio’s research focuses on the neurobiology of the patterns of individual differences in impulsivity and decision-making with respect to the development and maintenance of chronic health maladies associated with reward imbalance. Her work investigates neuronal serotonin and glutamate systems in relation to impulsivity and if 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., addiction, binge eating disorder, and obesity). Her research has the potential to lead to tailored treatments and/or diagnoses for individuals, along with new insights into how these systems can affect development or treatment. Her research is funded through multiple grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the Peter F. McManus Charitable Trust Foundation. Her work has been published in 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and other publications, and she has served as a reviewer for over 20 scientific journals.

Since joining the UTMB faculty, Dr. Anastasio has been actively engaged with teaching, mentoring, and administration. She is a member of the Pharmacology and Toxicology, Neuroscience, and Human Pathophysiology and Translational Medicine graduate programs, and has served as a facilitator in the School of Medicine and as a lecturer and course director for multiple courses in the GSBS on addiction, impulsivity, and other topics. In the past five years, she has directly supervised seven postdoctoral fellows, graduate or undergraduate students and has served as the chair or member of nine thesis or dissertation supervisory committees. She is actively involved in interviewing and recruitment efforts for various graduate programs and was appointed the Pharmacology and Toxicology Student Organization Faculty Advisor. She is a member of multiple institutional, national and international committees including the UTMB Faculty Senate, the International Society for Research on Impulsivity, and the International Society for Serotonin Research.

Dr. Anastasio’s service as an educator and mentor has been recognized with several honors including the UTMB Center for Addiction Research People’s Choice Mentor of the Year Award and the UTMB Center for Addiction Research Distinguished Educator Award. Please join the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in celebrating Dr. Anastasio as the March 2021 GSBS Focus on Mentoring designee.

Mentors: Past Highlights