Shelley J. Russek, PhD

Professor, Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics

Shelley Russek
(617) 638-4319
72 E. Concord St Building A

Biography

Research Interests of the Russek Laboratory: Dysregulated Plasticity of the Nervous System

The plasticity of a neuron’s receptor systems at the membrane is a key feature of the brain that enables its development as well as its function throughout life, creating and responding to an ever-changing external and internal world. A glorious biological feature of existence, however, also contributes to mankind’s most devastating disorders. Dysregulated plasticity takes multiple forms, from the unrelenting seizures of an infant that later emerges with brain damage, to the manifestation of autism and schizophrenia, all begging for curative therapies. Our chief interests in the laboratory surround a desire to understand the genetic and epigenetic basis of neurotransmitter and neurotrophin receptor regulation. We believe that such an understanding will enable us to contribute to the future development of therapeutics that can tackle these complex human problems where plasticity has lost its balance in controlling brain inhibition and excitation.

We employ a variety of proteomic and transcriptomic techniques, including confocal fluorescence immunohistochemistry, western blot, proximity ligation assays, siRNA silencing, RNA and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) high density sequencing, methylation genome analysis, proximity ligation analysis, primary neuronal cultures, and in vivo models (rodent and zebrafish) to test hypotheses of disease etiology and potential strategies for novel molecular therapeutics using novel chemical libraries and re-purposed therapeutics.

Other Positions

  • Director, Graduate Program for Neuroscience, Boston University
  • Mentor for Graduate Medical Students, Boston University School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences

Education

  • Boston University, PhD
  • State University of New York at Stony Brook, MS
  • University of California, San Diego, BA

Publications

  • Published on 3/30/2016

    Thomas AX, Cruz Del Angel Y, Gonzalez MI, Carrel AJ, Carlsen J, Lam PM, Hempstead BL, Russek SJ, Brooks-Kayal AR. Rapid Increases in proBDNF after Pilocarpine-Induced Status Epilepticus in Mice Are Associated with Reduced proBDNF Cleavage Machinery. eNeuro. 2016 Jan-Feb; 3(1). PMID: 27057559.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/2/2015

    Huang S, Hokenson K, Bandyopadhyay S, Russek SJ, Kirkwood A. Brief Dark Exposure Reduces Tonic Inhibition in Visual Cortex. J Neurosci. 2015 Dec 2; 35(48):15916-20. PMID: 26631472.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/11/2015

    Raible DJ, Frey LC, Del Angel YC, Carlsen J, Hund D, Russek SJ, Smith B, Brooks-Kayal AR. JAK/STAT pathway regulation of GABAA receptor expression after differing severities of experimental TBI. Exp Neurol. 2015 Sep; 271:445-56. PMID: 26172316.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/15/2014

    Grabenstatter HL, Cogswell M, Cruz Del Angel Y, Carlsen J, Gonzalez MI, Raol YH, Russek SJ, Brooks-Kayal AR. Effect of spontaneous seizures on GABAA receptor a4 subunit expression in an animal model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2014 Nov; 55(11):1826-33. PMID: 25223733.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/23/2014

    Smith CC, Martin SC, Sugunan K, Russek SJ, Gibbs TT, Farb DH. A role for picomolar concentrations of pregnenolone sulfate in synaptic activity-dependent Ca2+ signaling and CREB activation. Mol Pharmacol. 2014 Oct; 86(4):390-8. PMID: 25057049.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/7/2014

    Grabenstatter HL, Carlsen J, Raol YH, Yang T, Hund D, Cruz Del Angel Y, White AM, Gonzalez MI, Longo FM, Russek SJ, Brooks-Kayal AR. Acute administration of the small-molecule p75(NTR) ligand does not prevent hippocampal neuron loss or development of spontaneous seizures after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus. J Neurosci Res. 2014 Oct; 92(10):1307-18. PMID: 24801281.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/16/2013

    Grabenstatter HL, Del Angel YC, Carlsen J, Wempe MF, White AM, Cogswell M, Russek SJ, Brooks-Kayal AR. The effect of STAT3 inhibition on status epilepticus and subsequent spontaneous seizures in the pilocarpine model of acquired epilepsy. Neurobiol Dis. 2014 Feb; 62:73-85. PMID: 24051278.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/23/2013

    Saha S, Hu Y, Martin SC, Bandyopadhyay S, Russek SJ, Farb DH. Polycomblike protein PHF1b: a transcriptional sensor for GABA receptor activity. BMC Pharmacol Toxicol. 2013; 14:37. PMID: 23879974.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/28/2013

    Kostakis E, Smith C, Jang MK, Martin SC, Richards KG, Russek SJ, Gibbs TT, Farb DH. The neuroactive steroid pregnenolone sulfate stimulates trafficking of functional N-methyl D-aspartate receptors to the cell surface via a noncanonical, G protein, and Ca2+-dependent mechanism. Mol Pharmacol. 2013 Aug; 84(2):261-74. PMID: 23716622.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/1/2012

    Grabenstatter HL, Russek SJ, Brooks-Kayal AR. Molecular pathways controlling inhibitory receptor expression. Epilepsia. 2012 Dec; 53 Suppl 9:71-8. PMID: 23216580.

    Read at: PubMed

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