Wheeler Center Members

Mark von Zastrow

Members & Research Interests

"The Wheeler Center is exciting because of its multidisciplinary approach to understanding the biology underlying drug addiction. By bringing experts in diverse areas together around this important goal, the Center provides a unique and powerful vehicle for making fundamental advances in addiction biology."

Mark von Zastrow
Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
Cornell University, BS (Biochemistry), 1980
Yale University, MPhil (Cell Biology), 1985; MD, 1987; PhD (Cell Biology), 1987
E: zastrow@itsa.ucsf.edu
Mark von Zastrow Photo

von Zastrow Lab Home Page

My laboratory studies mechanisms that regulate neurotransmitter receptors. Our studies have revealed distinct effects of certain highly addictive opiate drugs, such as morphine, on opioid receptor regulation both in vivo and in cultured cells. Our studies of ionotropic glutamate receptors and G protein- coupled dopamine receptors have revealed that several neurotransmitter receptors, including those which play a key role in circuitry mediating the rewarding effects of addictive drugs, are regulated by a highly conserved set of membrane trafficking mechanisms. Our current focus is on defining this machinery in molecular detail and in examining its physiological function. We believe that understanding these mechanisms will provide new insight to neural adaptation to addictive drugs, as well as certain natural rewards. Our ultimate goal is to identify important new targets for therapeutic intervention in addictive disorders.



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