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Mark Austin

Mark Austin, Ph.D.

Molecular Neuroscience

Office: Life Sciences 304/305

(208) 282-3534

Austin Lab

We study the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders and other neurological disorders.


1988, Ph.D. Pharmacology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
1981, B.S. Biology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

1988-1991, Postdoctoral fellow, Molecular and behavioral neuroscience, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Austin joined the Biological Sciences department in 2012. His research interests have primarily focused on examining the molecular basis of the pathophysiology of major depressive illness and stress responses. Much of this research has focused on the serotonin system and associated sex differences, epigenetic mechanisms, molecular links associated with co-morbidity of obesity and diabetes with depressive illness, neurodevelopmental consequences of early life stress and the molecular basis for the structural brain abnormalities in depression and mild traumatic brain injury. His research program utilizes multiple models, including rodent stress models, transgenic mice and in vitro cell culture as well as a variety of molecular tools including DNA microarray expression profiling, qPCR, immunoblot and immunofluorescence histochemistry. Our aims are to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the neurobiology of major depressive disorder and the neurodevelopmental consequences of early life perturbations on the synaptic plasticity and functional integrity of the central nervous system.


BIOL 4491 Senior Seminar

Selected Publications

Goswami, D.B., Jernigan, C.S., Chandran, A., Iyo, A.H., May, W.L., Austin, M.C., Stockmeier, C., Karolewicz, B. Gene expression analysis of novel genes in the prefrontal cortex of major depressive disorder subjects. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacol. & Biol. Psychiatry. 43: 126-133, 2013.

Chandran, A., Iyo, A.H., Jernigan, C.S., Legutko, B., Austin, M.C., Karolewicz, B. Reduced phosphorylation of the mTOR signaling pathway components in the amygdala of rats exposed to chronic stress. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacol. & Biol. Psychiatry. 40: 240-245, 2013.

Bogdan, R., Fitzgibbon, H., Woolverton, W.L., Bethea, C.L., Iyo, A.H., Stockmeier, C.A., Kyle, P.B., Austin, M.C. 5-HTTLPR genotype and gender, but not chronic fluoxetine administration, are associated with cortical TREK1 protein expression in rhesus macaques. Neurosci. Lett. 503: 83-86, 2011.

Szewczyk, B., Albert, P.R., Rogaeva, A., Fitzgibbon, H., May, W.L., Rajkowska, G., Miguel-Hidalgo, J.J., Stockmeier, C.A., Woolverton, W.L., Kyle, P.B., Wang, Z., Austin, M.C. Decreased expression of Freud-1/CC2D1A, a transcriptional repressor of the 5-HT1A receptor, in the prefrontal cortex of subjects with major depression. Int. J. Neuropsychopharmacol. 13: 1089-1101, 2010.

Goswami, D.B., May, W.L., Stockmeier, C.A., Austin, M.C. Transcriptional expression of serotonergic regulators in laser-captured microdissected dorsal raphe neurons of subjects with major depressive disorder: Sex-specific differences. J. Neurochem. 112: 397-409, 2010.


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