Shelley J. Russek, PhD
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics

PhD, Boston University
MS, State University of New York at Stony Brook

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.

Boston University
Graduate Program for Neuroscience

Mentor for Graduate Medical Students
Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

2004 American Epilepsy Society: Innovative Research Award
2001 BU School of Medicine: Dean’s Distinguished Faculty Service Award

Mapping the Transcriptome of Age-Related Hippocampal Trisynaptic Circuit Dysfunction in a Rat Model for Alzheimer'S Disease
02/01/2019 - 01/31/2021 (Co-PI)
PI: David H. Farb, PhD
NIH/National Institute on Aging

Does REST make you resilient?
05/07/2018 - 03/31/2020 (Co-PI)
PI: Valentina Sabino, PhD
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health

Student Billing agreement for Shen Ning
07/01/2018 - 06/30/2019 (PI)
General Hospital Corp d/b/a Massachusetts General Hospital NIH NIA

GABA(A) Receptor Subunit Regulation in Epileptogenesis
09/01/2015 - 06/30/2019 (PI)
Regents of the University of Colorado, on behalf of The University of Colorado Denver NIH NINDS

Development of Novel JAK/STAT Inhibitors for Epilepsy Prevention and Treatment
01/01/2014 - 09/16/2016 (PI)
Regents of the University of Colorado, on behalf of The University of Colorado Denver NIH NINDS

Development of Novel JAK/STAT Inhibitors for Disease Modification in Epilepsy
01/01/2014 - 12/31/2015 (PI)
Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE)

07/01/2010 - 04/30/2015 (PI)
Regents of the University of Colorado, on behalf of The University of Colorado Denver NIH NINDS

JAK/STAT Inhibition to Prevent Epilepsy development and Progression
07/01/2010 - 06/30/2012 (PI)
Cure Lab, Inc.

Steroids - Functional Modulators of Amino Acid Receptors
07/01/1992 - 05/31/2009 (Co-PI)
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health
5 R01 MH49469 15

GABA-A Receptor Gene Transfer to Prevent Epileptogenesis
02/01/2002 - 01/31/2006 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke
5 R21 NS42363 03

Showing 10 of 11 results. Show All Results

Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2019 Mapping the Transcriptome of Age-Related Hippocampal Trisynaptic Circuit Dysfunction in a Rat Model for Alzheimer's Disease 1R21AG061553-01
2019 Does REST make you resilient? 5R21MH113128-02
2018 Does REST make you resilient? 1R21MH113128-01A1
2018 GABA(A) Receptor Subunit Regulation in Epileptogenesis 5R01NS051710-14 18
2017 GABA(A) Receptor Subunit Regulation in Epileptogenesis 5R01NS051710-13 18
2016 GABA(A) Receptor Subunit Regulation in Epileptogenesis 5R01NS051710-12 18
2015 Development of novel JAK/STAT inhibitors for Epilepsy prevention and treatment 5R21NS083057-02 4
2015 GABA(A) Receptor Subunit Regulation in Epileptogenesis 2R01NS051710-11A1 18
2014 Development of novel JAK/STAT inhibitors for Epilepsy prevention and treatment 1R21NS083057-01A1 4
2014 GABA(A) Receptor Subunit Regulation in Epileptogenesis 5R01NS051710-10 18
Showing 10 of 28 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.

  1. Li Z, Cogswell M, Hixson K, Brooks-Kayal AR, Russek SJ. Nuclear Respiratory Factor 1 (NRF-1) Controls the Activity Dependent Transcription of the GABA-A Receptor Beta 1 Subunit Gene in Neurons. Front Mol Neurosci. 2018; 11:285.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30186109.
  2. Ruan QT, Yazdani N, Beierle JA, Hixson KM, Hokenson KE, Apicco DJ, Luttik KP, Zheng K, Maziuk BF, Ash PEA, Szumlinski KK, Russek SJ, Wolozin B, Bryant CD. Changes in neuronal immunofluorescence in the C- versus N-terminal domains of hnRNP H following D1 dopamine receptor activation. Neurosci Lett. 2018 09 25; 684:109-114.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30003938.
  3. 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; PMCID: PMC4814566; DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0020-15.2016;.
  4. 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.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26631472; PMCID: PMC4666916; DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1813-15.2015;.
  5. 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; DOI: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2015.07.001;.
  6. 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; PMCID: PMC4596257; DOI: 10.1111/epi.12771;.
  7. 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;.
  8. 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; PMCID: PMC4134742; DOI: 10.1002/jnr.23402;.
  9. 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; PMCID: PMC3908775; DOI: 10.1016/j.nbd.2013.09.003;.
  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 57 results. Show More

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

Bar chart showing 57 publications over 25 distinct years, with a maximum of 5 publications in 2004 and 2006

In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

Brain Inhibition
Gene Regulation
Systems Biology
Contact for Mentoring:

72 E. Concord St Building A
Boston MA 02118
Google Map

Russek's Networks
Click the "See All" links for more information and interactive visualizations
Similar People
Same Department