Dr. Pietro Cottone Speaks at The Royal Society’s “Of Mice and Mental Health: Facilitating Dialogue Between Basic and Clinical Neuroscientists”

June 21st, 2017 in Faculty Spotlight

Pietro Cottone, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry, made a presentation on the “Neurobiology of Compulsive Eating” at The Royal Society’s “Of Mice and Mental Health: Facilitating Dialogue Between Basic and Clinical Neuroscientists” in London on April 24-25, 2017. Based upon his current research, Dr. Cottone and his research group in the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders tested the hypothesis that “one of the underlying mechanisms of compulsive eating involves the negative reinforcing properties palatable food . . .”  According to their studies, rats who were deprived of regular access to highly palatable food demonstrated “spontaneous emotional signs of palatable food withdrawal, including anxiety- and depressive-like behavior,”  that was “accompanied by increased corticotropin-releasing factor expression (CRF),” and that “administration of a selective CRF1 receptor antagonist . . . was able to block both the overeating . . . and negative emotional state.” These results are important in ultimately discovering novel therapeutics to combat compulsive eating.  The manuscript with details of this research will be published in The Royal Society’s journal, “Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.”


Ryan Quinton Receives Predoctoral Fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health

May 26th, 2017 in Student Spotlight

Congratulations to Ryan Quinton on receiving a predoctoral Fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health. This award is the equivalent of an F30 predoctoral fellowship in the United States and will provide $35,000 per year for three years to cover his expenses.

Ryan is an MD/PhD currently pursuing his PhD graduate research in the Laboratory of Cancer Biology under the mentorship of Neil J. Ganem, Ph.D. Ryan joined the BU NIGMS sponsored Biomolecular Pharmacology training program in fall 2015. His research focuses on identifying YAP/TAZ dependence and synthetic lethality across cohort of breast cancer cell lines.

Kudos, Ryan!

1 May 2017 BU Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics – Pfizer Symposium: Emerging Technologies In Therapeutics

April 7th, 2017 in Recent News

The BU Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics – Pfizer Symposium: Emerging Technologies in Therapeutics was held on Monday, 1 May 2017 in the Boston University Trustees Ballroom, 1 Silber Way, 9th Floor, on the Boston University Charles River Campus. This event, which is the result of a long-term training partnership between the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics and Pfizer.

Kendra Kobrin and Jonathan Freedman Receive the 2017 Joseph Cochin Award in Pharmacology and Medical Ethics Award

March 17th, 2017 in Student Spotlight

At the Student Award Ceremony on Match Day, March 17th, Kendra Kobrin and Jonathan Freedman were awarded the 2017 Joseph Cochin Award in Pharmacology and Medical Ethics. This award honors the memory of Joseph Cochin, MD, PhD, who served as Professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at BUSM for many years. Dr. Cochin was an internationally recognized expert on opioid analgesia, pain control and medical ethics.

Kendra Kobrin
Kendra, a student in the Biomolecular Pharmacology Training Program from 2011-2015, received this award in recognition of her high achievement in pharmacology and accomplishments in research under the mentorship of Gary B. Kaplan, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics.


Jonathan Freedman
Jonathan Freedman, also a student in the Biomolecular Pharmacology Training Program from 2011-2015, was rewarded for his high achievement in pharmacology and research accomplishments under the mentorship of Mark W. Grinstaff, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Translational Research, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, and Medicine.


Kendra and Jonathan will receive their MD and PhD degrees at the BUSM May Graduation Ceremony.

Congratulations to Kendra and Jonathan!

Brandon Maziuk Selected by the BU BEST Program as BU Representative to the AAAS CASE Workshop in Washington, DC

February 28th, 2017 in Student Spotlight

Brandon Maziuk, a Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology PhD graduate student, has been selected as one of two students by the Boston University Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) program to represent Boston University at the AAAS Catalyzing Advocacy for Science and Engineering (CASE) Workshop in Washington, DC, April 2-5, 2017. Brandon was chosen from a pool of BEST applicants.

Now in the 3rd year of his pre-doctoral training, Brandon is conducting his thesis research in the Laboratory of Neurodegeneration under the mentorship of Benjamin Wolozin, MD, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology. His research projects focus on the role of RNA binding proteins in neurodegenerative disorders with emphasis on tauopathy and Alzheimer’s disease. Using a variety of molecular techniques with mouse models, cell culture systems and human tissues he investigates how RNA binding protein aggregation drives early neurodegeneration.

The CASE workshop provides an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students in science, mathematics, and engineering, to learn about science policy and advocacy. At the workshop, Brandon will have the opportunity to learn about effective science communication and meet with elected Members of Congress as a science advocate. As a BEST program representative, Boston University will cover transportation, lodging and registration costs to attend the CASE workshop.

Congratulations to Brandon on being selected for this honor.

Dr. Benjamin Wolozin Receives AAAS and 2017 Jack Spivack Excellence in Neurosciences Honors

February 9th, 2017 in Faculty Spotlight

Benjamin Wolozin, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He was elected for his contributions to molecular and translational neuroscience, particularly discovery of the role of cholesterol in Alzheimer’s disease.

On January 26, 2017, Dr. Karen Antman, BUSM Dean and BUMC Provost announced that Dr. Wolozin is the recipient of the Jack Spivack Excellence in Neurosciences Award for 2017. His discovery of the essential role of RNA Binding proteins in the pathology of tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease, represents a paradigm shift in our understanding of these diseases. With this discovery comes dramatic new opportunities for therapeutic interventions for Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies, based on targeting important members of the translational stress response, such as TIA1.

Congratulations to Ben!

Dr. Annina Deleo Receives Alzheimers Association Research Grant

December 13th, 2016 in Recent News

Annina Leo, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Molecular NeuroTherapeutics under the mentorship of Tsuneya Ikezu, M.D., Ph.D., was selected as one of two Boston University School of Medicine recipients  of the 2016 Alzheimer’s Association Grant Award.  Dr. Deleo’s research application on “Characterization of Human AD Brain-Derived Exosomes on Tau Propagation” focus on the question, “How do cellular transport pathways contribute to the movement of abnormal tau protein throughout the brain in Alzheimer’s disease.” Dr. Deleo will receive $175, 000 over 3 years to support her postdoctoral research.

Congratulations, Annina!



Dr. David Farb Speaks at Science on Film Presentation of “Embrace of the Serpent”

November 8th, 2016 in Recent News

Dr. David Farb was the featured speaker at a sold-out Science on Screen presentation of “Embrace of the Serpent” at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline. This stunning film is based on the real-life journals of Theodor Koch-Grünberg and Richard Evans Schultes and their quest through the Columbian Amazon for the sacred and rare Yakruna plant. The film focuses on their encounter with Karamakate, a shaman and the last survivor of his people, with whom they forge a profound friendship over 40 years and learn ancient lessons in the sacred and medicinal powers of plants.
As a neuropharmacologist, Dr. Farb’s presentation focused on the use of plants, particularly hallucinogens, by shaman throughout history and how these “entheogens” were subsequently studied and at times even exploited following their discovery by western scientists in the 20th century.

Please click here to see a video of Dr. Farb’s talk.

Science on Screen is supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation with additional support from Gesmer Updegrove LLP, Rubin Anders Scientific, and Ken Loveday and Ellen Hoffman, Brookline, and co-presented by the Museum of Science.


Dr. Tsuneya Ikezu Honored for Excellence in Alzheimer’s Research

October 11th, 2016 in Recent News

Tsuneya Ikezu, M.D, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology, received the Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for Alzheimer’s Research at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Toronto, Ontario, July 24-28, 2016 and is one of two Boston University faculty members to receive a grant from the BrightFocus Foundation. Dr. Ikezu, whose research focuses on molecular therapeutic intervention of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, gave a plenary lecture at the conference.

The Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for Alzheimer’s Research recognizes the senior author of the most impactful study on the biology of Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions published during the two calendar years preceding AAIC. The selected paper is “Depletion of microglia and inhibition of exosome synthesis halt tau propagation,” (Nature Neuroscience 2015 Nov;18(11):1584-93).

Dr. Inge Grundke-Iqbal, an internationally renowned neuroscientist, made a milestone discovery in the 1980’s: that abnormal hyperphosphorylation microtubule-associated protein tau is the building block in paired helical filaments (PHFs)/neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the Alzheimer’s brain. This seminal discovery has contributed greatly to our overall understanding of neurodegeneration and led to major advances in Alzheimer’s research.

The BrightFocus Foundation has awarded Dr. Ikezu $300,000 for his research on the TREM2 molecule to develop novel therapeutics for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The BrightFocus grant award and Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award both attest to the fact that Dr. Ikezu’s stellar work is pushing the boundaries of Alzheimer’s research.

We congratulate Dr. Ikezu on being selected for the prestigious Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for Alzheimer’s Research and the BrightFocus grant award.

The Laboratory of Addictive Disorders Identifies New Approach to Block Binge Eating

October 7th, 2016 in Recent News

A new article published in Neuropsychopharmacology announces the discovery of a new therapeutic target to block binge eating by researchers in the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders (LAD). The research of Drs. Pietro Cottone and Valentina Sabino, directors and co-principal investigators of the LAD, is focused on unraveling the neurobiological mechanisms of motivated behaviors, such as drug addiction, stress-related disorders, and depression. The study provides new hope to approximately 15 million people who suffer from binge eating, obesity, and other eating disorders.