James Waschek

Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences

James Waschek UCLA Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center
University of California, Los Angeles
NRB Room 355
635 Charles E. Young Drive South
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7332
310-825-0179 (tel)
310-206-5061 (fax)

Biography/Curriculum Vitae:

Research Interests:
Biological roles of neuropeptides, as well as well as mechanisms controlling their expression

Narrative of Current Research Efforts:
The goal of the Waschek laboratory is to understand mechanisms controlling gene expression, neurogenesis and gliogenesis in the mammalian nervous system. They are interested in the molecular control of cell growth and phenotypic commitment, and also how gene expression is actively regulated in the adult in processes such as nerve regeneration, circadian rhythms, and reproduction.

In their most recent work they have studied the roles of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and the related neuropeptide pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP). They have detected gene expression for VIP, PACAP, and their receptors in the rodent embryonic CNS at the time of peak neurogenesis, and receptor mRNA in several neuronal and glial precursor populations. They have also found the expression of these peptides dramatically increases after nerve injury, and have studied their involvement in the pathogenesis of brain tumors.

Current studies are designed to understand specific actions of these peptides on CNS patterning, including effects on neuroblast and glioblast proliferation and survival. In related work, Waschek and colleagues are examining the intracellular signaling pathways involved that mediate the growth-related actions of these peptides. To study these processes, they have generated knockout mice and viral delivery systems for these peptides, and have established cell culture models. They have also established a Xenopus and zebrafish mRNA injection models to study the developmental actions of these peptides.

Major Honors and Awards:

Representative Publications:

Lacombe A, Lelievre V, Roselli CE, Salameh W, Lue YH, Lawson G, Muller JM, Waschek JA and Vilain E (2006) Delayed testicular aging in pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) null mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 103:3793-8.

Armstrong BD, Abad C, Chhith S, Cheung-Lau G, Hajji OE, Coute AC, Ngo DH and Waschek JA (2006) Impairment of axotomy-induced pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating peptide gene expression in T helper 2 lymphocyte-deficient mice. Neuroreport, 17:309-12.

Aton SJ, Colwell CS, Harmar AJ, Waschek J and Herzog ED (2005) Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide mediates circadian rhythmicity and synchrony in mammalian clock neurons. Nat Neurosci, 8:476-83.

Colwell CS, Michel S, Itri J, Rodriguez W, Tam J, Lelievre V, Hu Z and Waschek JA (2004) Selective deficits in the circadian light response in mice lacking PACAP. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 287:R1194-201.

Armstrong BD, Hu Z, Abad C, Yamamoto M, Rodriguez WI, Cheng J, Lee M, Chhith S, Gomariz RP and Waschek JA (2004) Induction of neuropeptide gene expression and blockade of retrograde transport in facial motor neurons following local peripheral nerve inflammation in severe combined immunodeficiency and BALB/C mice. Neuroscience, 129:93-9.


Created 1/20/2006 by Evette Mezger
Last modified 10/31/2006 by Dorwin Birt