Branden J. Stansley , Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

     B.A.  Psychology, Queens University of Charlotte, 2010

     Ph.D.  Neuroscience, University of Toledo, 2015

Biosketch and Research Interests
Branden Stansley’s doctoral work was completed under the mentorship of Dr. Bryan Yamamoto at the University of Toledo, where his dissertation research focused on the amino acid L-dopa, which is a widely used drug for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Using rodent models of Parkinson’s disease, this work explored the effects of L-dopa conversion to dopamine within serotonin neurons. Results from neuroanatomical, biochemical, and behavioral techniques demonstrated that L-dopa can affect serotonin neurons and neurotransmitter content, and have implications for the negative behavioral side effects associated with chronic L-dopa use. Branden’s passion for pharmacology, combined with an interest in exploring the glutamatergic system, led him to seek a fellowship at the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, and he joined the Conn lab in May 2015.

In the Conn lab Branden is investigating metabotropic glutamate receptor biology and physiology in the context of neurodevelopmental disorders such as Rett’s Syndrome, MeCP2 Duplication Syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. Previous studies by the Conn lab and others have identified altered glutamatergic signaling in these conditions, providing rationale for studying pharmacological intervention to restore normal neuron signaling and correct the symptoms associated with autism. Current basic science efforts are focused on allosteric modulation of synaptic circuits in models of autism, with the goal of attaining a better understanding of the underlying neuropathology and providing novel pharmacological targets for a range of neuropsychiatric disorders.


Selected Publications

Stansley, B. J. and Yamamoto, B. K. (2015). “Behavioral impairments and serotonin reductions in rats after chronic L-dopa.” Psychopharmacology.

Stansley, B. J. and Yamamoto, B. K. (2015). “L-dopa and Brain Serotonin System Dysfunction.” Toxics, 3, 75-88.

Stansley, B. J. and Yamamoto, B. K. (2014). "Chronic L-dopa decreases serotonin neurons in a sub-region of the Dorsal Raphe Nucleus." Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Theraputics, 351(2):440-7.

Stansley, B. J. and Yamamoto, B. K. (2013). "L-dopa-induced dopamine synthesis and oxidative stress in serotonergic cells." Neuropharmacology 67: 243-251.

Stansley, B. J., Post, J., Hensley, K. (2012). A comparative review of cell culture systems for the study of microglial biology in Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 9:115.




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