UTHSCSA Faculty Profiles v1.0

Frazer, Alan

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
(210) 567-4205

My primary research interest is the mechanisms of action of antidepressants. Most often, an in vivo approach is taken whereby measurements are made of effects produced by various types of antidepressants on noradrenergic or serotonergic neurons, on neurochemical or behavioral responses elicited by these neurotransmitters, or on their receptors. Neuroanatomical localization of drug-induced effects is emphasized by employing techniques such as quantitative autoradiography, immunohistochemistry, and in vivo voltammetry. Most of our recent work has used the latter technique to measure the rate of clearance of serotonin from extracellular fluid (ECF) in discrete regions of rat brain. Our lab is one of the few in this country that uses this technique to do this.

We have begun recently collaborations with the laboratory of Dr. David Morilak to study cognitive and emotional behaviors in animal "models" of depression to begin to integrate psychological theories of depression with biological processes in brain affecting relevant behaviors and antidepressant effects. In addition, collaborations have begun with the laboratories of Drs. Tom Cunningham and Steve Mifflin to understand better the mechanism(s) by which Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS) produces beneficial effects on treatment refractory depression.

9/1994 - Present Adjunct Professor University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy
9/1994 - Present Adjunct Professor University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Pharmacology
9/1993 - Present Chair and Professor University of Texas Health Science Center, Pharmacology, San Antonio, TX
9/1993 - Present Cross Faculty Appointment The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Psychiatry, San Antonio, TX