Steven Mennerick

Professor of Psychiatry

Additional Titles & Roles


  • Vice Chair for Research, Psychiatry
  • Scientific Director, Taylor Family Institute for Innovative Psychiatric Research
  • Co-Chair, DBBS Curriculum Task Force
  • WUSM Teaching Support Task Force

Education & Training


  • Postdoctoral Training: State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY, 1999
  • PhD: Neurosciences: Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 1995

Major Awards


  • Klingenstein Award in the Neurosciences, 1999
  • NARSAD Young Investigator Award, 1999
  • Graduate Student Mentorship Award, 2005

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 underlying dysfunction and neurotoxicity on the other. In one project we are exploring the cellular and synaptic responses to powerful neuromodulators that affect inhibition and excitation. These molecules may modulate normal and abnormal brain function endogenously but also represent targets for novel therapeutic approaches. Another project investigates the effect that astrocytes, a class of glial cell, have on neuronal development and function. Finally, we have been engineering a biosensor for the neurotransmitter dopamine, allowing us a unique perspective on the control of dopamine release. For our studies we use electrophysiological, molecular, and imaging techniques applied to simple culture preparations, to heterologous expression systems, and to intact brain slices.

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Key Publications


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Funded Research Projects


NIMH(Key Personnel):Oxysterols and NMDAR Function
Sage Therapeutics(PI):In Vitro for NMDA Receptor Encephalitis
NIDA(Key Personnel):Biomedical Research Training in Drug Abuse
NIMH(PI):Neurosteroids and Anxiety Related Network Function
NIMH(PI):Control of Synaptic Glutamate Release