Robert A. Pearce, MD, PhD
Position title: Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology
MD, PhD – University of Virginia-Charlottesville
Research in my laboratory is focused on understanding how anesthetics and other drugs that target GABA receptors control memory formation and consciousness. Using expressed recombinant receptors, hippocampal brain slice preparations, and multichannel in vivo recordings from the hippocampus, we are investigating how inhibitory circuits support and control network activity. We are particularly interested in identifying the molecular components and functional properties of different types of inhibitory synapses that are found on the dendrites of pyramidal neurons and interneurons, and in determining their roles in generating or controlling complex circuit responses, such as theta and gamma oscillations, and in regulating synaptic plasticity.
Parks CL, Tucker W, Amlong CA, Mecozzi S, Pearce RA. (2016) Lipid-free Fluoropolymer-based Propofol Emulsions and Lipid Reversal of Propofol Anesthesia in Rats. Anesthesiology. 124(6):1328-37. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0000000000001080.
Amlong CA, Perkins MG, Houle TT, Miller KW, Pearce RA. (2016) Contrasting Effects of the γ-Aminobutyric Acid Type A Receptor β3 Subunit N265M Mutation on Loss of Righting Reflexes Induced by Etomidate and the Novel Anesthetic Barbiturate R-mTFD-MPAB. Anesthesia & Analgesia. 123(5):1241-1246.
Zarnowska ED, Rodgers FC, Oh I, Rau V, Lor C, Laha KT, Jurd R, Rudolph U, Eger EI 2nd, Pearce RA. (2015) Etomidate blocks LTP and impairs learning but does not enhance tonic inhibition in mice carrying the N265M point mutation in the beta3 subunit of the GABA(A) receptor. Neuropharmacology. 93:171-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.01.011.
Balakrishnan S, Pearce RA. (2015) Spatiotemporal characteristics and pharmacological modulation of multiple gamma oscillations in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Frontiers in Neural Circuits. 12;8:150. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2014.00150.
Engin E, Zarnowska ED, Benke D, Tsvetkov E, Sigal M, Keist R, Bolshakov VY, Pearce RA, Rudolph U. (2015) Tonic Inhibitory Control of Dentate Gyrus Granule Cells by α5-Containing GABAA Receptors Reduces Memory Interference. Journal of Neuroscience. 7;35(40):13698-712. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1370-15.2015.
Rodgers FC, Zarnowska ED, Laha KT, Engin E, Zeller A, Keist R, Rudolph U, Pearce RA. (2015) Etomidate impairs long-term potentiation in vitro by targeting α5-GABAARs on non-pyramidal cells. Journal of Neuroscience. 1;35(26):9707-16. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0315-15.2015.