Faculty Affairs: Faculty Interests Database Elisabeth J. Van Bockstaele, Ph.D.
Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson Medical College
Professor, Department of Neurosurgery
Program Director, Neuroscience Graduate Program
Vice Chair for Research, Department of Neurosurgery
Professor, Farber Institute for Neurosciences
|Mailing Address||Contact Information|
900 Walnut St., Ste. 417
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
|B.A., Sarah Lawrence College, Biology, 1985
M.S., New York University, Neurobiology, 1988
Ph.D., New York University, Neurobiology, 1991
|Expertise and Research Interests|
|Dr. Van Bockstaele is an active faculty member in the education of medical students and residents at TJU. She coordinates basic science research activities focused in the neurosciences and assists residents in developing research projects during their research rotations. As a mentor for numerous graduate and medical students over the past ten years, Dr. Van Bockstaele has demonstrated expertise in training postgraduate students. Her participation on NIH study sections aimed at supporting research programs for PhD, MD and MD/PhD applicants will facilitate the submission of such proposals from current neuroscience gradiaute students and neurosurgical residents.
She is a major participant in Medical Neuroscience ID150, a course offered at Jefferson Medical College during the first year of medical school as well as several graduate level neuroscience courses in the Jefferson College of Graduate Studies. She is currently the Program Director for the Neuroscience Graduate Program at TJU.
Dr. Van Bockstaele has successfully competed for extramural funds from federal agencies (including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation) as well as private foundations (including the American Heart Association and the National Association for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression). She has a strong, well-funded research program. She has received an Independent Scientist Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse demonstrating the recognition by her peers of her valuable research work. She has been an invited speaker throughout the world. She was an invited speaker at the first Neuron-Glial Biology Gordon Conference in California, a prestigious honor.
Dr. Van Bockstaele is the current President of the local Chapter for the Society for Neuroscience in Philadelphia. She coordinated the last three annual meetings with funds sponsored by the Grass Traveling Lecture Series provided by the Society for Neuroscience in Washington DC. She also coordinates public outreach activities at the Franklin Science Institute during "Brain Awareness Week" held annually in March to teach the public about the importance of mental health research.
Research in our laboratory falls into several categories:
Cannabinoids and Noradrenergic Function
Our guiding hypothesis is that chronic cannabinoid administration results in a potentiated noradrenergic system that may contribute to the pathophysiology of affective disorders.
Cellular Mechanisms of Addictive Processes
Prior stress can influence the pharmacodynamics of opiates that are used in clinical settings. Conversely, these opiates could potentially predispose individuals to stress-related psychiatric disorders.
Glutamate Receptors and Anxiety
The noradrenergic nucleus locus coeruleus (LC) is an important mediator of stress responses and dysfunction of this system is implicated in affective disorders such as anxiety and depression.
HIV and the Brain
It has been suggested that the biochemical and molecular cascades by which neurons become dysfunctional and die in HIV dementia are similar to those that occur in Alzheimer's disease.
Models of Intracerebral Hemorrhage
Alterations in cholinergic neurotransmission may contribute to the cognitive deficits, such as impaired memory or language use, following intracerebral hemorrhage.
Stress and Noradrenergic Function
A history of stress alters the sensitivity of the noradrenergic system in the locus coeruleus to the stress-related neurohormone, corticotropin-releasing factor. This process may contribute to stress-related psychiatric symptoms such as hyperarousal or difficulty concentrating.
Cocaine Effects on Norepinephrine in the Amygdala
Cocaine-withdrawal induced anxiety is considered to be one of the most important factors in precipitating relapse to chronic cocaine abuse. The guiding hypothesis for this project is that this anxiety, and the stress-induced relapse to cocaine use, may be mediated by the effects of cocaine on noradrenergic circuits originating from brainstem nuclei (e.g. locus coeruleus) providing innervation to the amygdala.
Corticotropin-Releasing Factor (CRF)-serotonin (5-HT) interactions
The serotonergic system in the dorsal raphe nucleus has been implicated in acute responses to stress and in psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression. Substantial findings suggest that the neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) is instrumental in modulating the activity of this system during stress.
Sex Differences in Anxiety During Cocaine Withdrawal
Current advances show statistically significant differences between males and females in all phases of drug exposure (acquisition, steady-state maintenance, escalation, dysregulation, withdrawal, relapse, and treatment). Clinical evidence demonstrates that females are more susceptible to relapse compared to males and that this relapse is accompanied by a negative emotional state, notably anxiety.
The techniques used in our laboratory include: tract-tracing of neural pathways, immunoelectron microscopy for determining synaptic interactions of multiple transmitter systems, subcellular localization of receptors, in situ hybridization, extra- and intracellular physiology, neurochemical studies and molecular biology.
2005-present Member, Committee on Departmental Review, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
2005-present Member, Committee on Faculty Appointments and Promotions, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
2004-present Member, Graduate Council, Jefferson College of Graduate Studies, Thomas Jefferson University
2004-present Member, Curriculum Committee, Graduate Council, Jefferson College of Graduate Studies, Thomas Jefferson University
2003-2005 Chair, Subcommittee on Research Enhancement Awards, Committee on Research, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
2003-2004 Chair, Task force on development of a Neuroscience Graduate Program in the College of Graduate Studies at Thomas Jefferson University
2002 Member, Search Committee for Chairman of Neurology, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
2002-2004 Member, Professorial Advisory Committee, Thomas Jefferson University
2002-2004 Representative (Basic Science), Scientific and Academic Affairs Committee, Thomas Jefferson University
2001-2005 Member, Committee on Research, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
1998-present Member, Judicial Board, College of Graduate Studies, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
1998-present Member, Admissions Committee, College of Graduate Studies, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
1997-2002 Co-Chair, Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology Seminar Committee
Manuscript referee: The Journal of Comparative Neurology; Brain Research; Brain Research Interactive; Neuroscience Letters; The Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy; Neuroscience; The Journal of Neuroendocrinology; Neuropharmacology; The Anatomical Record; The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics; European Journal of Pharmacology; The Journal of Neuroscience; The Journal of Neurophysiology; The Journal of Neuroscience Research; The Journal of Neurophysiology; European Journal of Neuroscience; Synapse
2005 ZRG1 F02A (20) National Institute on Mental Health, NIH
2005 ZRG1 IFCN-A (02) National Institute on Mental Health, NIH
2005 ZDA1 MXS-M (05) National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH
2005 National Institute on Mental Health, Conte Centers
2003 ZRG1 IFCN-4 Special Emphasis Panel, NIDA, NIH
2002-2003 National Institutes of Health, NIDA CEBRA review committee
2002-2003 NIDA-K, The Training and Career Development Review Committee, NIH
2002 ZRG1 IFCN-4 Special Emphasis Panel, NIDA, NIH
1998-present National Science Foundation, Ad hoc reviewer
TEACHING EXPERIENCE (1997-present)
2005-present Course Coordinator, Neurosurgery Board Review for residents, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
2004-present Section Leader, Neurotransmitters and signaling, Cell and Molecular Neuroscience, Course Coordinator: Diane Merry, Ph.D
2002-present Lecturer, Molecular and Cellular Basis of Medicine, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
2002-present Co-course coordinator, Mechanisms of Development, College of Graduate Studies, Thomas Jefferson University
2002-present Course Coordinator, Advanced Topics in Neuroscience, College of Graduate Studies, Thomas Jefferson University
1999-present Assistant Laboratory Coordinator for Freshman Medical Neuroscience ID150, Course Coordinator: G. Brainard, Ph.D
1999-present Neuroanatomy Assistant Coordinator for Freshman Medical Neuroscience ID150, Course Coordinator: G. Brainard, Ph.D
1998-present Lecturer and instructor for laboratory sessions and clinical conferences; Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Freshman Medical Neuroscience ID150, Course Coordinator: G. Brainard, Ph.D
1997-present Lecturer, College of Graduate Studies, Jefferson Medical College of TJU: Introduction to Neuroscience, Course Directors: G. Grunwald, Ph.D., D. Horn Ph.D., Mechanisms of Development, Course Coordinator: K. McHugh, Ph.D., Developmental Biology, Course Coordinator: G. Grunwald, Ph.D.
Research Supervisor for Undergraduate Students, Westinghouse Award Research Students, Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Fellows.
INVITED LECTURES AND SEMINARS (1997-present)
July 2005 "Stress-opioid interactions in norepinephrine regulation"
St John's Medical Center, St Louis, MO
April 2005 "Stress peptide interactions with norepinephrine in drug abuse"
Farber Institute of Neuroscience Retreat, Philadelphia, PA
February 2003 "Functional coupling between neurons and glia and modulation by afferent input" Neuron-Glia Gordon Conference, Ventura, California
January 2003 "Anatomical substrates underlying electrical coupling in the locus coeruleus" Attention-Locus Coeruleus (Invited speaker in a WCBR panel), Snowmass, Utah
October 2002 "Perspectives on an academic career in neuroscience research"
"Women in Science" seminar series sponsored by the Graduate Student Association, Thomas Jefferson University
March 2002 "Opioids, stress and noradrenergic neurons". Temple University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.
February 2001 "Stress, opiate withdrawal and noradrenergic function". Medical College of Pennsylvania/Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, PA.
January 2001 "Stress, opiate withdrawal and noradrenergic function"
Howard University, Washington DC.
October 2000 "Locus coeruleus and opiate withdrawal"
Department of Neurology, Neuroscience Seminar Series, Thomas Jefferson University
August 2000 "Topographic architecture of stress circuits influencing the noradrenergic locus coeruleus"
University of Parma, Italy
April 2000 "The mysterious limbic system"
Yoga Society, Thomas Jefferson University
March 2000 "New perspectives on the chemoarchitecture of the locus coeruleus"
University of Gottingen, Germany
July 1998 "Role of opioids and excitatory amino acids in the locus coeruleus in the opiate withdrawal syndrome"
Vollum Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Portland, Oregon
June 1997 "Opioid modulation of the locus coeruleus: implications for opiate withdrawal"
Hopital Pitie Salpetriere, Paris, France
June 1997 "Opioid modulation of the locus coeruleus: implications for opiate withdrawal"
Universite Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, France
May 1997 "The locus coeruleus and opiate withdrawal"
Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
|Pathology; Norepinephrine; serotonin; drug abuse; morphine; electrophysiology; receptors; brain; electron microscopy|
Last Updated by Sparks: Monday, June 20, 2011 10:42:23 AM