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Research in the Waschek laboratory centers primarily on a class of molecules called neuropeptides - short peptides that classically act in the central and peripheral nervous systems to control a wide variety of behaviors and neurological processes.

Much of the laboratories efforts have focused on two structurally-related peptides that are widely expressed in neurons, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and pituitary adenylyl cyclase activating peptide (PACAP). These neuropeptides are rather unusual because they function not only as neurotransmitters, regulating processes such as circadian rhythms, cognition, and stress responses, but also as immunomodulators and as factors involved in growth and repair.

Most Recent Publication

Ago Yukio , Hayata-Takano Atsuko , Kawanai Takuya , Yamauchi Ryosuke , Takeuchi Shuto , Cushman Jesse D., Rajbhandari Abha K., Fanselow Michael S., Hashimoto Hitoshi , Waschek James A. Impaired extinction of cued fear memory and abnormal dendritic morphology in the prelimbic and infralimbic cortices in VPAC2 receptor (VIPR2)-deficient mice. Neurobiol Learn Mem 145 (2017) 222-231