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David Weinshenker, PhD

Human Genetics

Phone: 404-712-7533

Fax: 404-712-8145

Contact Websites


The focus of my research program is the role of the catecholamine neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in behavior and neurochemistry using rats and genetically engineered mice with altered catecholamine systems. We study models of several different disorders, including those pertaining to drug addiction, arousal, neurodegenerative disease, epilepsy, and affective disorders.

Education & Training:

  • B.A. in Psychobiology, University of California, Santa Cruz (1992)
  • Ph.D. in Genetics, University of Washington (1997)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Neuroscience, University of Washington, 1998-2002


  • NARSAD Young Investigators Award (2004)
  • Emory Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences Mentor of the Year Award (2010)

Recent & Noteworthy Publications:

Lin SJ, Epps SA, West CH, Boss-Williams KA, Weiss JM, Weinshenker D (2012) Operant psychostimulant self-administration in a rat model of depression. Pharmacol Biochem Behav [ePub ahead of pring 9/22/12]. PMID: 23010383 (PMC in process).

Hammerschmidt T, Kummer MP, Terwel D, Martinez A, Gorji A, Pape HC, Rommelfanger KS, Schroeder JP, Stoll M, Schultze J, Weinshenker D, Heneka MT (2012) Selective loss of noradrenaline exacerbates early cognitive dysfunction and synaptic deficits in APP/PS1 mice. Biol Psych [ePub ahead of pring 8/9/12]. PMID: 22883210.

Epps SA, Tabb KD, Lin SJ, Kahn AB, Javors MA, Boss-Williams KA, Weiss JM, Weinshenker D (2012) Seizure susceptibility and epileptogenesis in a rat model of epilepsy and depression comorbidity. Neuropsychopharmacology [ePub ahead of print 8/8/12]. PMID: 22871911.

Mitrano DA, Schroeder JP, Smith Y, Cortright JJ, Bubula N, Vezina P, Weinshenker D (2012) α1-adrenergic receptors are localized on presynaptic elements in the nucleus accumbens and regulate mesolimbic dopamine transmission. Neuropsychopharmacology 37:2161-2172. PMID: 22588352

Schroeder JP, Cooper DA, Schank JR, Lyle MA, Gaval-Cruz M, Ogbonmwan YE, Pozdeyev N, Freeman KG, Iuvone PM, Edwards GL, Holmes PV, Weinshenker D (2010). Disulfiram attenuates drug-primed reinstatement of cocaine seeking via inhibition of dopamine beta-hydroxylase. Neuropsychopharmacology 35:2440-2449. PMID: 20736996

Lee SE, Simons SB, Heldt SA, Zhao M, Schroeder JP, Vellano CP, Cowan DP, Ramineni S, Yates CK, Feng Y, Smith Y, Sweatt JD, Weinshenker D, Ressler KJ, Dudek SM, Hepler JR (2010) RGS14 is a natural suppressor of both synaptic plasticity in CA2 neurons and hippocampal-based learning and memory. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:16994-16998. PMID: 20837545.

Mitchell HA, Weinshenker D (2010) Good night and good luck: norepinephrine in sleep pharmacology. Biochem Pharmacol 79:801-809. PMID: 19833104.

Taylor TN, Caudle WM, Shepherd KR, Noorian A, Jackson CR, Iuvone PM, Weinshenker D, Greene JG, Miller GW (2009) Nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease revealed in an animal model with reduced monoamine storage capacity. J Neurosci 29:8103-8113. PMID: 19553450.

Mitchell HA, Bogenpohl JW, Liles LC, Epstein MP, Bozyczko-Coyne D, Williams M, Weinshenker D (2008) Behavioral responses of dopamine β-hydroxylase knockout mice to modafinil suggest a dual noradrenergic-dopaminergic mechanism of action. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 91:217-222. PMID: 18703079.

Rommelfanger KS, MItrano DA, Smith Y, Weinshenker D (2008) Light and electron microscopic localization of alpha-1 adrenergic receptor immunoreactivity in the rat striatum and ventral midbrain. Neuroscience 158:1530-1540. PMID:19068224.

Schank JR, Liles LC, Weinshenker D (2008) Norepinephrine signaling through β-adrenergic receptors is critical for expression of cocaine-induced anxiety. Biol Psych 63:1007-1012. PMID: 18083142.

Weinshenker D, Ferrucci M, Busceti CL,Biagioni F, Lazzeri G, Liles LC, Lenzi P, Pasquali L, Murri L, Paparelli A, Fornai F (2008) Genetic or pharmacological blockade of noradrenaline synthesis enhances the neurochemical, behavioural, and neurotoxic effects of methamphetamine. J Neurochem 105:471-483. PMID: 18042179.

Rommelfanger KS, Edwards GL, Freeman KG, Liles LC, Miller GW, Weinshenker D (2007) Norepinephrine loss produces more profound motor deficits than MPTP in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:13804-13809. PMID: 17702867.

Weinshenker D, Schroeder JP (2007) There and Back Again: A tale of norepinephrine and drug addiction. Neuropsychopharmacology 32:1433-1451. PMID: 17164822.

Paladini CA, Beckstead MJ, Weinshenker D (2007) Electrophysiological properties of catecholaminergic neurons in the norepinephrine-deficient mouse. Neuroscience 144:1067-1074. PMID:17156935.

Olson VG, Heusner CL, Bland RJ, During MJ, Weinshenker D, Palmiter RD. (2006) Role of noradrenergic signaling by the nucleus tractus solitarius in mediating opiate reward. Science 311:1017-1020. PMID: 16484499.

Schank JR, Ventura R, Puglisi-Allegra S, Alcaro A, Cole CD, Liles LC, Seeman P, Weinshenker D (2006) Dopamine β-hydroxylase knockout mice have alterations in dopamine signaling and are hypersensitive to cocaine. Neuropsychopharmacology 31:2221-2230. PMID: 16395294.

Bourdélat-Parks B, Anderson, GM, Donaldson ZR, Weiss JM, Bonsall RW, Emery MS, Liles LC, Weinshenker D (2005) Effects of dopamine β-hydroxylase genotype and disulfiram inhibition on catecholamine homeostasis in mice. Psychopharmacology 183:72-80. PMID: 16163519.

Seeman P, Weinshenker D, et al (2005) Dopamine supersensitivity correlates with D2High states, implying many paths to psychosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102: 3513-3518. PMID: 15716360.

Weinshenker D, Miller NS, Blizinsky K, Laughlin ML, Palmiter RD (2002) Mice with chronic norepinephrine deficiency resemble amphetamine-sensitized animals. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 99:13873-13877. PMID: 12370425.

Weinshenker D, Rust NC, Miller NS, Palmiter RD (2000) Ethanol-associated behaviors of mice lacking norepinephrine. J Neurosci 20:3157-3164. PMID: 10777779.