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Search Program Faculty/Research

Alan Frazer, Ph.D.



Dr. Alan Frazer’s primary research interest is the mechanism of action of antidepressants, with a focus on how treatment with such drugs affects the functioning of two central monoamine systems, noradrenergic and serotonergic, that are important targets for their clinical effects. 

Current projects in his laboratory include an examination of (1) the effect of female sex steroids on the ability of drugs such as Prozac to alter the function of the serotonin transporter in rats; (2) neurochemical and behavioral effects produced by both acute and chronic vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), which is approved for treatment resistant depression; (3) the involvement of the neurotrophin receptor, TrkB, in the effects of VNS and other antidepressants, including the NMDA receptor antagonist, ketamine.

Selected Publications

Carreno FR, Frazer A. Activation of signaling pathways downstream of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor receptor, TrkB, in the rat brain by vagal nerve stimulation and antidepressant drugs. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014 Feb;17(2):247-58.

Benmansour S, Weaver RS, Barton AK, Adeniji OS, Frazer A. Comparison of the effects of estradiol and progesterone on serotonergic function. Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Apr 1;71(7):633-41.

Furmaga H, Sadhu M, Frazer A. Comparison of ΔFosB immunoreactivity induced by vagal nerve stimulation with that caused by pharmacologically diverse antidepressants. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2012 May;341(2):317-25.

Furmaga H, Shah A, Frazer A. Serotonergic and noradrenergic pathways are required for the anxiolytic-like and antidepressant-like behavioral effects of repeated vagal nerve stimulation in rats. Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Nov 15;70(10):937-45.

Frazer A, Morilak DA. What should animal models of depression model? Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2005;29(4-5):515-23.



Ph.D., Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania, 1969

M.S., Chemistry, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, 1964



Phone: (210) 567-4205

Research Profile
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