David H. Farb, PhD
Chair of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics

PhD, Brandeis University

David H. Farb was appointed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine in 1990. Dr. Farb is also Director of the university-wide NIGMS training program in Biomolecular Pharmacology. He has also served as a member of the Drug Development Work Group of Mass Insight, co-author of the Massachusetts Technology Road Map for Drug Discovery, and a consultant for a number of small to large pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and patent litigation companies. He is regularly interviewed by local, national and international media.

As head of the Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, he focuses on the identification of pharmacological treatments for mental disorders of learning and memory. His research integrates existing electrophysiological, behavioral, pharmacological, and molecular genetic technologies in a novel systems-level platform for assessing the impact of cognitive enhancers such as neuroactive steroids upon fundamental hippocampal systems for pattern separation (encoding), and pattern completion (retrieval) that are believed to be essential for cognition in all mammals, including man. Deficits in aspects of episodic memory dependent on hippocampal function are evident in a variety of mental disorders, including schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer’s Disease, and normal aging. Existing pharmacotherapies are limited and carry substantial risk of adverse effects. In search of new approaches for discovery, high-density electrophysiological recordings in awake behaving rats are being used to identify deficits in hippocampal function that underlie cognitive deficits exhibited by aged animals and animals reared in social isolation, the latter being a model for environmental stress during development. Drug delivery via nanoparticles encapsulating hydrophilic or hydrophobic molecules are being engineered for delivery across the blood brain barrier. Nanoparticle composition is being tailored to better deliver drug to specific target sites. Neuroactive drugs and proteins, biomarkers for novel diagnostics, sensitive dyes for neural mapping, and many other applications are envisioned. The major advantage of this technique is the noninvasive delivery of molecules to the CNS via a peripheral injection.

A multidisciplinary approach that includes the techniques of neurophysiology, molecular biology, patch-clamp electrophysiology, cell biology, and molecular neuroanatomy are combined to elucidate the mechanisms and modalities of cognitive enhancers and the discovery of therapeutic treatments for disorders or diseases of the nervous system.

Boston University School of Medicine
Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

2014 NIH/NIGMS Institutional Predoctoral Training, CSR: Special Emphasis Panel and Site Visitor
2013 NIH, CSR: Emerging Technologies and Training in Neuroscience, Special Emphasis Panel
2013-2013 NIH/NIGMS, CSR: NIGMS Institutional Predoctoral Training, BRT-A Subcommittee
2013 US-India Chamber of Commerce: BioPharma Summit, Panel Member on Industry Academia Collaborations
2009 The NorthEast Under/graduate Research Organization for Neuroscience (N.E.U.R.O.N.): Steering Committee
2006-2007 Boston University Office of Technology Transfer: Ignition Award for Research Leading to the Development of Novel Analgesics
2005-2007 American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET): President, New England Pharmacologists Chapter
2005 NTRC: Study Section
2005 IUPHAR (International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology) : GABAB Committee
2004 NIAAA: Brain Resiliency and Repair Workshop, Future Directions Panel
1999 Wellcome Trust Infrastructure Fund: Chair, Review Committee
1998 NIGMS ZGM1 PS-5 (1) Site Visit, Ad Hoc Committee: Chair
1997 NIMH Future Directions Conference: Panel Member
1997-2003 Tufts University School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics: External Advisory Board
1989-1990 MRC Molecular Genetics Unit at Cambridge University: Fogarty Senior International Fellow with Dr. Sydney Brenner

Training in Biomolecular Pharmacology
07/01/2018 - 06/30/2023 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Mapping the Transcriptome of Age-Related Hippocampal Trisynaptic Circuit Dysfunction in a Rat Model for Alzheimer's Disease
02/01/2019 - 01/31/2022 (Multi-PI)
PI: David H. Farb, PhD
NIH/National Institute on Aging

Personnel Agreement for Research Services of Joshi Utsav
09/28/2020 - 09/27/2021 (PI)
Bedford VA

Personnel Agreement for Research Services of Roberto Collu
02/28/2020 - 09/27/2021 (PI)
Bedford VA

Personnel Agreement for Research Services of Elisa Giunti
02/28/2020 - 09/27/2021 (PI)
Bedford VA

Draper Fellow Program - Michelle Nguyen
09/01/2020 - 05/31/2021 (PI)
Draper Laboratory, Inc.

Age-Related Changes in Neural Network Activity and Tau in a rat model of Alzheimer's Disease
04/15/2018 - 03/31/2020 (PI)
NIH/National Institute on Aging

Training in Biomolecular Pharmacology
07/01/2016 - 06/30/2018 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Personnel agreement for research services of Kendra Kobrin
06/01/2013 - 05/31/2018 (PI)
VA Boston Healthcare System

Intergrovernmental Personnel Agreement for Clara Velazquez-Sanchez
09/28/2015 - 09/27/2016 (PI)
Department of Veterans Administration, Bedford

Showing 10 of 22 results. Show All Results


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2021 Training in Biomolecular Pharmacology 5T32GM008541-24 145
2020 Mapping the Transcriptome of Age-Related Hippocampal Trisynaptic Circuit Dysfunction in a Rat Model for Alzheimer's Disease 5R21AG061553-02
2020 Training in Biomolecular Pharmacology 5T32GM008541-23 145
2020 Training in Biomolecular Pharmacology 3T32GM008541-23S1 145
2019 Mapping the Transcriptome of Age-Related Hippocampal Trisynaptic Circuit Dysfunction in a Rat Model for Alzheimer's Disease 1R21AG061553-01
2019 Age-Related Changes in Neural Network Activity and Tau in a rat model of Alzheimer's Disease 5R21AG056947-02 1
2019 Training in Biomolecular Pharmacology 5T32GM008541-22 145
2019 Training in Biomolecular Pharmacology 3T32GM008541-22S1 145
2018 Age-Related Changes in Neural Network Activity and Tau in a rat model of Alzheimer's Disease 1R21AG056947-01A1 1
2018 Training in Biomolecular Pharmacology 2T32GM008541-21 145
Showing 10 of 80 results. Show All Results

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. Ratner MH, Downing SS, Guo O, Odamah KE, Stewart TM, Kumaresan V, Robitsek RJ, Xia W, Farb DH. Prodromal dysfunction of a5GABA-A receptor modulated hippocampal ripples occurs prior to neurodegeneration in the TgF344-AD rat model of Alzheimer's disease. Heliyon. 2021 Sep; 7(9):e07895.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34568591; PMCID: PMC8449175; DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e07895;
  2. Ratner MH, Kumaresan V, Farb DH. Neurosteroid Actions in Memory and Neurologic/Neuropsychiatric Disorders. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2019; 10:169.View Related Profiles. PMID: 31024441; PMCID: PMC6465949; DOI: 10.3389/fendo.2019.00169;
  3. Robitsek J, Ratner MH, Stewart T, Eichenbaum H, Farb DH. Combined administration of levetiracetam and valproic acid attenuates age-related hyperactivity of CA3 place cells, reduces place field area, and increases spatial information content in aged rat hippocampus. Hippocampus. 2015 Dec; 25(12):1541-55.View Related Profiles. PMID: 25941121; PMCID: PMC4633399; DOI: 10.1002/hipo.22474;
  4. Ratner MH, Farb DH, Ozer J, Feldman RG, Durso R. Younger age at onset of sporadic Parkinson's disease among subjects occupationally exposed to metals and pesticides. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2014 Sep; 7(3):123-33.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26109889; PMCID: PMC4434105; DOI: 10.2478/intox-2014-0017;
  5. Farb DH, Ratner MH. Targeting the modulation of neural circuitry for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Pharmacol Rev. 2014 Oct; 66(4):1002-32.View Related Profiles. PMID: 25237115; DOI: 10.1124/pr.114.009126;
  6. 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.View Related Profiles. PMID: 25057049; PMCID: PMC4164982; DOI: 10.1124/mol.114.094128;
  7. Smith CC, Gibbs TT, Farb DH. Pregnenolone sulfate as a modulator of synaptic plasticity. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2014 Sep; 231(17):3537-56. PMID: 24997854; PMCID: PMC4625978; DOI: 10.1007/s00213-014-3643-x;
  8. Gutiérrez ML, Ferreri MC, Farb DH, Gravielle MC. GABA-induced uncoupling of GABA/benzodiazepine site interactions is associated with increased phosphorylation of the GABAA receptor. J Neurosci Res. 2014 Aug; 92(8):1054-61. PMID: 24723313; DOI: 10.1002/jnr.23387;
  9. Farb DH. An interview with David H Farb, Section Editor for Basic Pharmacology. BMC Pharmacol Toxicol. 2013; 14:42. PMID: 24001169; PMCID: PMC3846662; DOI: 10.1186/2050-6511-14-42;
  10. 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.View Related Profiles. PMID: 23879974; PMCID: PMC3734045; DOI: 10.1186/2050-6511-14-37;
Showing 10 of 101 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 98 publications over 37 distinct years, with a maximum of 7 publications in 1988


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72 E. Concord St Instructional (L)
Boston MA 02118
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