Graduate Studies Faculty

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Michael C. Andresen, Ph.D.

Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology
Admin Unit: SOM-Physiology & Pharmacology Department
Phone: 503-494-5831
Office: 3582 R. Jones Hall/CROET
Mail Code: L334
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Physiology & Pharmacology
Program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences
Research Interests:
neuroscience, synaptic transmission, autonomic, brainstem, cellular, TRPV1 » Click here for more about Dr. Andresen's research » PubMed Listing
Preceptor Rotations
Dr. Andresen has not indicated availability for preceptor rotations at this time.
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Andresen has not indicated availability as a mentor at this time.

Our work deals with a portion of the brain that regulates vital organ function called the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS). Afferents from vital organs (e.g. heart, lungs, gut) directly contact the brain at NTS. Our major technical focus is electrophysiology (patch clamp recording) of neurons in slices (see lab website). We selectively activate single afferent axons that synapse on the recorded cell for quantal analysis of neurotransmitter release. We use fluorescent tracers to identify neurons.  Fluorescence microscopy enables identification of specific cell types. Projects include use dependent depression of sensory synaptic transmission, accessory co-transmission (ATP, purines, peptides), and a unique form of vanilloid receptor (TRPV1) driven synaptic transmission. We are interested in roles played by intrinsic differences in myelinated and unmyelinated axons that influence information transfer to the CNS. More details

Peters, J.H.; McDougall, S.J.; Fawley, J. A.; Smith, S.M.; Andresen, M.C.Primary afferent activation of thermosensitive TRPV1 triggers asynchronous glutamate release at central neurons. Neuron 65: 657-669. 2010 PMID: 20223201

Shoudai, K.; Peters, J.H.; McDougall, S.J.; Fawley, J. A.; Andresen, M.C. Thermally active TRPV1 tonically drives central spontaneous glutamate release. J. Neuroscience 30:14470-14475, 2010. PMID: 2098060


  • Ph.D. University of Texas Medical Branch
  • B.S. University of California, Irvine