Daniel M. Dorsa, PhD

Dr. Dorsa

Primary Affiliation

Vice President for Research

Professor - Physiology & Pharmacology Department

Program Affiliation

Physiology & Pharmacology
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences

Background & Education

B.S., 1972, University of Santa Clara, Santa Clara, California
Ph.D., 1977, University of California, Davis


The Research Program of Dr. Dorsa focuses on CNS effects of gonadal steroids. In the past these studies had addressed neuroendocrine changes in aging, and the role of estrogen and androgen receptors in these processes. More recently effects of estrogen and testosterone on neurotransmitter gene expression and that of their receptors have been a major focus. This includes neuropeptides such as vasopressin and oxytocin as well as biogenic amine pathway including the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system. The ability of hormone replacement to reverse age-related changes in these systems has been examined and to date indicate that testosterone in the male and estrogen replacement in the female can reverse age related declines in neuropeptide and dopaminergic markers. Most recently, rapid signaling effects of estrogen have been intensely studied in his lab. These studies show that membrane initialed effects of estrogen, mediated by estrogen receptor Alpha or Beta, may be critical in the neuroprotective effects of estrogen in neuroprotection both in vitro and in vivo.


Contact Information

Oregon Health & Science University
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd - L335
Portland, OR  97239