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Steven Mennerick, PhD

Current Position
Professor of Psychiatry<br>Taylor Family Institute for Innovative Psyciatric Research

University Roles
Ph.D. teaching
T32 Training Directors group

Education and Training
PhD, Neurosciences, Washington University
postdoctoral, SUNY Stony Brook

Major Awards
Klingenstein Award in the Neurosciences
NARSAD Young Investigator Award
Graduate Student Mentorship Award


Areas of Research Interests
The broad aim of my research is to understand control of neuronal excitation and inhibition by neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. This is an important goal because neurotransmitter actions can be double-edged, underlying normal neurotransmission on the one hand and neurotoxicity on the other. In one project we are exploring the cellular and synaptic homeostatic response to physiological and pathophysiological depolarization. We find that the nervous system limits glutamate functioning but permits continued GABA functioning during and following excessive depolarization. These mechanisms may help limit excitotoxicity during seizures or ischemia. We are also interested in the function and modulation of NMDA receptors in disease and for clinical benefit. Finally, we are involved in collaborative efforts to understand the mechanisms by which endogenous neuroactive steroids modulate GABA and glutamate receptor function. For all of these studies we use electrophysiological, molecular, and imaging techniques applied to simple in vitro systems of neurons in culture and to intact brain slices, as well as to heterologous expression systems.

More articles and abstracts at the National Library of Medicine

Key Publications
Eisenman LN, Shu HJ, Akk G, Wang C, Manion BD, Kress GJ, Evers AS, Steinbach JH, Covey DF, Zorumski CF, Mennerick S (2007 Apr). Anticonvulsant and anesthetic effects of a fluorescent neurosteroid analog activated by visible light. Nat Neurosci. 10(4): 523-30.  Full Article ->

Chisari M, Eisenman LN, Covey DF, Mennerick S, Zorumski CF (2010 Apr 19). The sticky issue of neurosteroids and GABA(A) receptors. Trends Neurosci.   Full Article ->

Wroge CM, Hogins J, Eisenman L, Mennerick S (2012 May 9). Synaptic NMDA receptors mediate hypoxic excitotoxic death. J Neurosci. 32(19): 6732-42.  Full Article ->

Hogins J, Crawford DC, Jiang X, Mennerick S (2011 Aug). Presynaptic silencing is an endogenous neuroprotectant during excitotoxic insults. Neurobiol Dis. 43(2): 516-25.  Full Article ->

Crawford DC, Chang CY, Hyrc KL, Mennerick S (2011 Jan 19). Calcium-independent inhibitory G-protein signaling induces persistent presynaptic muting of hippocampal synapses. J Neurosci. 31(3): 979-91.  Full Article ->

Mennerick S, Chisari M, Shu HJ, Taylor A, Vasek M, Eisenman LN, Zorumski CF (2010 Feb 24). Diverse voltage-sensitive dyes modulate GABAA receptor function. J Neurosci. 30(8): 2871-9.  Full Article ->

Funded Research Projects
NIMH(PI):Control of Synaptic Glutamate Release
NIMH(Key Personnel):Modulation of Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity
NIDA (PI): Nicotinic modulation of dopamine release studied with a channel-based biosensor
NIMH (PI): Receptor populations underlying tonic GABA currents in inhibition