Pharmaceutical Sciences

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Brandon Henderson

Assistant Professor
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Marshall University
United States of America


I have the necessary background to be considered as a future junior investigator for this COBRE, which is focused on cellular transport disorders in obesity related conditions. My research has focused on the molecular neuropharmacology of nicotine addiction. I have spent a significant amount of time in my scientific career discovering and designing small molecules that target nicotinic receptors as a means to improve tobacco cessation. My postdoctoral research has focused on the neurobiology of addiction and how nicotine alters midbrain neurons of the nigrostriatal reward pathway. My lab at Marshall University will use pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, electrophysiology, electrochemistry, microscopy, and animal models to: 1) study how addictive drugs modulate neurons involved in reward pathways, 2) study how these drugs alter DA release, and 3) discover novel small molecules that may aid in cessation.

Research Interest

Molecular neuropharmacology of nicotine addiction


  • Mutation Linked to Autosomal Dominant Nocturnal Frontal Lobe Epilepsy Reduces Low-Sensitivity α4β2, and Increases α5α4β2, Nicotinic Receptor Surface Expression.

  • Utilizing pHluorin-tagged Receptors to Monitor Subcellular Localization and Trafficking.

  • Menthol Enhances Nicotine Reward-Related Behavior by Potentiating Nicotine-Induced Changes in nAChR Function, nAChR Upregulation, and DA Neuron Excitability.

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