Robert Pechnick, PhD
Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmacology Discipline Leader
College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
Join year: October 2012
Ph.D., Pharmacology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 1982
B.A., Psychology University of California, San Diego, CA 1973
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, UCLA, Los Angeles CA, 1985-86
NIMH Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology, UCLA, Los Angeles CA, 1983-85
- Professor of Pharmacology, Western University of Health Sciences, COMP, 2012-present
- Professor of Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 2002-2012
- Professor of Biomedical Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 2010-2012
- Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 2000-2012
- Promotion to Tenured Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, Louisiana State University, New Orleans, 1996
- Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, Department of Pharmacology, Louisiana State University, New Orleans 1993-1999
- Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, UCLA, 1988-1992
IDIT (Introduction to Pharmacology)
Neuroscience (Autonomic Pharmacology)
Behavioral Medicine (Psychopharmacology)
The research in my laboratory has been focused on three aspects of neuropsychopharmacology: using animal models to understand the causes of and to develop new potential treatments for various forms of mental illness; utilizing both in vivo and in vitro approaches to study the neuropharmacology of drugs of abuse; and defining the role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in health and disease states. Primary goals include: characterizing the role of developmental insults (prenatal, neonatal and adolescence) in producing neuropsychiatric disorders; defining the involvement of cytokines and stress in adult hippocampal neurogenesis and depression; understanding the role of neurogenesis in post-chemotherapy-induced cognitive function, and determining the neurochemical mechanisms underlying the effects and the pathophysiological and neurochemical consequences of the repeated administration of drugs of abuse. Experimental approaches involve studying the effects of the systemic and central administration of selective agonists, antagonists, using transgenic animal models, utilizing viral-mediated gene delivery and characterizing functional responses as well as changes in receptor subunit gene expression after acute and chronic drug administration.
Selected Recent Grants
- US Army, Role: Principal Investigator, Androgen Deprivation Therapy and Cognitive Impairment, 08/01/16 - 07/31/19
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (Richardson), Role: Co-Investigator, AniStat: A Statistical Design Tool for Animal Researchers, 03/03/16 - 08/30/16
- National Institute on Drug Abuse, Role: Principal Investigator, Nicotine Addiction: Influence of Prenatal and Adolescent Exposure, 4/01/08 – 1/31/14
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (Town), Role: Co-Investigator, Peripheral TGF-beta Pathway Inhibitor Therapy in Alzheimer’s Rats 9/30/11 – 9/30/12
- National Institute on Aging (Cohen), Role: Co-Investigator, The Role of CD8+ T cells in a Rat Model of Alzheimer’s Disease, 9/30/09 – 8/31/12
- National Institute on Drug Abuse, Role: Principal Investigator, Viral-Mediated GDNF Expression and Cocaine Addiction, 4/01/08 – 3/31/11
- National Institute of Mental Health, Role: Principal Investigator, Viral-Mediated Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH) Expression and Depression, 7/01/07 – 5/31/10
- National Institute of Mental Health (Chesnokova), Role: Co-Investigator, Role of p21 in Antidepressant-Induced Neurogenesis, 12/01/07 – 11/30/10
- US Army, Role: Principal Investigator, Basic Mechanisms Underlying Post-Chemotherapy Cognitive Impairment, 9/01/08 – 4/30/10
- National Institute of Mental Health, Role: Principal Investigator, Differential Effects of Antidepressants in Adult and Developing Animals, 08/01/06-07/31/09
- Outstanding Basic Science Faculty Award, School of Medicine Class of 2020, Western University of Health Sciences (2017)
- Institute for Medical Educators Student Focus Award, Western University of Health Sciences (2016)
- Outstanding Basic Science Faculty Award, School of Medicine Class of 2018, Western University of Health Sciences (2015)
- Outstanding Basic Science Faculty Award, School of Medicine Class of 2017, Western University of Health Sciences (2014)
- Best Class Advisor, Psychiatry Residency Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (2012)
- David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Award for Excellence in Education (2008)
- Medical Student Teaching Award, UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences (2006, 2011)
- Copping Excellence in Basic Science Teaching Award (1999)
- Copping Excellence in Basic Science Teaching Award Nominee (1997, 1998)
- Outstanding Teacher Award, UCLA School of Medicine (1991, 1992)
- J.Thomas Ungerleider Substance Abuse Prevention/Education Lectureship, UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
- Mental Health Training Fellowship - NIMH
- National Research Service Award - NIGMS
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
- American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
- College on Problems of Drug Dependence
- Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience
- International Society for Serotonin Research
- Society for Neuroscience
- Course Chair; Neuroscience Systems Course
- Course Evaluation Subcommittee, Curriculum Committee
- Medical School Admissions Interviewer
- New Proposal Subcommittee (Chair), Curriculum Committee
- Promotion and Tenure Committee, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
- Chesnokova, V Pechnick RN, Wowrowsky K. Chronic peripheral inflammation, hippocampal neurogenesis, and behavior. Brain Behav Immun. 2016 Jan 21. pii:S0889-1591(16)30017-4. doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2016.01.07.
- Chesnokova, V. and Pechnick R.N. New Signaling Pathway for Gut-Brain Interactions. "Hot Topic" Neuropsychopharmacology, 2016 Jan;41(1):372-3. doi:10.1038/npp/2015.237. PMID:26657951
- Zonis, S.; Pechnick, R.N.; Ljubimov, V.A.; Mahgerefteh, M.; Wawrowsky, K.; Michelsen, K.S. and Chesnokova, V. Chronic Intestinal Inflammation Alters Hippocampal Neurogenesis. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 2015 Apr 3;12:65.
- Wheeler, C.J., Seksenyan, A., Koronyo, Y., Rentsendorj, A., Sarayba, D., Wu, H., Gragg, A., Siegel, E., Thomas, D., Espinosa, A., Thompson, K., Black, K., Koronyo-Hamaoui, M., Pechnick, R.N. and Irvin, D.K. T-Lymphocyte Deficiency Exacerbates Behavioral Deficits in the 6-OHDA Unilateral Lesion Rat Model for Parkinson’s Disease. Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology, 5, pii: 2019, 2014.
- Pechnick, R.N., Cunningham, K.C. and Danovitch, I: The Hallucinogen-Related Disorders. In: Gabbard’s Treatments of Psychiatric Disorder, Fifth Edition, Gabbard G.O. (Ed), American Psychiatric Publishing, Washington, D.C., pp. 829-939, 2014.
- Cohen, R.M., Rezai-Zadeh, K., Weitz, T.M. Rentsendorj, A., Gate, D., Johnson, S., Spivak, I., Bholat, Y., Vasilevko, V., Glabe, C.G., Breunig, J.J., Rakic, P., Davtyan, H., Agadjanyan, M.G., Kempe, V., Barrrio, J., Bannykh, S., Szekely, C.A., Pechnick, R.N., and Town, T. A Transgenic Alzheimer Rat with Plaques, Tau Pathology, Behavioral Impairment, Oligomeric Aß, and Frank Neuronal Loss Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 6425-6256, 2013.
- Puntel, M., Muhammad, G., Farrokhi, C., Vanderveen, N., Paran, C., Appelhans, A., Kroeger, K.M., Salem, A., Lacayo, L., Pechnick, R.N., Kelson, K.R., Kaur, S., Kennedy, S., Palmer, D., Ng, P., Liu, C., Krasinkiewicz, J., Lowenstein, P.R. and Castro, M.G. Safety Profile, Efficacy, and Biodistribution of a Bicistronic High-Capacity Adenovirus Vector Encoding a Combined Immunostimulation and Cytotoxic Gene Therapy as a Prelude to a Phase I Clinical Trial for Glioblastoma. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 268, 318-330, 2013.
- Zonis, S., Ljubimov, V.A., Mahgerefteh, M., Pechnick, R.N., Wawrowsky, K, and Chesnokova, V. p21Cip1 Restrains Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Protects Neuronal Progenitors From Apoptosis During Acute Systemic Inflammation. Hippocampus, 23,1383-1394, 2013.
- Muhammad, G., Xiong, W., Puntel, M., Farrokhi, C., Kroeger, K.M., Salem, A., Lacayo, L., Pechnick, R.N., Kelson, K.R., Palmer, D., Ng, P., Liu, C., Lowenstein, P.R., and Castro, M.G. Maria G. Safety Profile of Gutless Adenovirus Vectors Delivered into the Normal Brain Parenchyma: Implications for a Glioma Phase I Clinical Trial. Human Gene Therapy Methods, 23:271-284, 2012.
- Pechnick, R.N., Zonis, S, Wawrowsky, K, Cosgayon, R., Farrokhi, C., Lcayo, L. and Chesnokova, V. Antidepressants Stimulate Hippocampal Neurogenesis by Inhibiting p21 Expression in the Subgranular Zone. PLoS ONE , Epub 6:e27290, 2011.
- Pechnick, R.N., Manalo, C.M., Lacayo, L.M., Bholat, Y. and Spivak, I. Acamprosate Attenuates Cue-Induced Reinstatement of Nicotine Seeking Behavior in Rats. Behavioural Pharmacology 22:222-227, 2011.
- Pechnick, R.N., L.M. Lacayo, L.M., and Manalo, C.M. Characterization of the Effects of Eszopiclone on the Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis. European Journal of Pharmacology 661:22-26, 2011.
- Larocque, D., Sanderson, N.S.R., Bergeron, J., Curtin, J., Girton, J., Wibowo, M., Bondale, N., Kroeger, K.M., Yang, J., Lacayo, L.M., Reyes, K.C., Farrokhi, C., Pechnick, R.N., Castro, M. and Lowenstein, P.R. Exogenous Flt3L Overrides Brain Immune Privilege and Facilitates Recognition of a Neo-Antigen: Implications for Brain Immunotherapies. Proceeding of the National Academy of Science, USA 107:14443-14448, 2010.
- Pechnick, R.N., Zonis, S, Wawrowsky, K, Bresee, C. and Chesnokova, V.: p21Cip1 Restricts Neuronal Proliferation in the Subgranular Zone of the Dentate Gyrus in the Hippocampus of the Rat. Proceeding of the National Academy of Science, USA, 105: 1358-1363, 2008.
Click link for complete list of publications:
Recent Invited Talks
- Adult Neurogenesis Versus Chemobrain: Central Nervous System Consequenses of Chemobrain, Student Interest Group in Neurology, Western University of Health Sciences, 2017.
- Adult Neurogenesis, Depression and Chemobrain, Claremont Colleges' Neuroscience Program, Claremont, CA, 2015.
- Careers in Psychiatry, Psychiatry Student Interest Group Network Regional Convention, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 2013.
- Biochemical and Molecular Basis of Mental Illness, Graduate Training Program, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, 2013.
- Neurogenesis, Depression and Chemobrain, Center for Addiction Research, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, 2013.
- Neurogenesis, Depression and Chemobrain, Western University of Health Sciences, 2012.
- Neurogenesis, Depression and Chemobrain, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, 2012.
- Neurogenesis, Depression and Chemobrain, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences Grand Rounds, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 2010.
- A Preclinical Model of Chemobrain, Southern California Workshop on Cognitive Function and Cancer, Los Angeles, CA, 2010
- Cue-induced Reinstatement: An animal model for the Development of New Treatments for Nicotine Dependence, 6th Annual Drug Abuse Research Day, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA, 2010.
- Animal Models, Cell Cycle Regulators, and Neurobehavioral Disorders, Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, New Orleans, LA, 2010.
- Neurogenesis, Depression and Chemobrain, Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX, 2010.
- Pechnick, R.N., Alkam, T., Baudry, M., Lin, Y. Treatment With the Chemotherapeutic Drug Methotrexate Impairs Long-Term Potentiation in the Hippocampus. CINP World Congress of Neuropsychopharmacology, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 2016.
- Atkinson, K., Alkam, T., Diaz, S., Robbins, A., Pechnick, R.N. Effects of Castration on Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis. Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL., 2015.
- Alkam, T., O'Donnell, Pechinck, R.N. Effects of Prenatal and/or Adolescent Exposure to Nicotine On Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Adult Rats. Society for Neruoscience, Chicago, IL., 2015
- Alkam, T., Farrokhi, C.B., Lacayo, L.M., Vit, JP., Carmona, S., Mastali, M., Pechnick, R.N. Effects of the Chemotherapeutic Drug Sunitinib On Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Mice: An Animal Model of Chemobrain. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA., 2013.
- Farrokhi, C., Lacayo, L.M., Vit, J.P., Carmona, S., Mastali, M., Asher, A., Figlin, R.A. and Pechnick, R.N. Modeling Sunitinib-Induced Chemobrain in Mice. Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, LA., 2012.
- Vit, J.P., Lacayo, L.M., Manalo, C.M., Farrokh,i C. and Pechnick, R.N. Modafinil Decreases Methamphetamine Self-Administration in Rats. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C., 2011.
- Bholat, Y., Mastali, M., Spivak, I., Vit, J.P., Pechnick, R.N., Wheeler, C.J. and Cohen, R.M. Contribution of T Cells in a Transgenic Alzheimer’s Disease Rat Model. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C., 2011.
- Farrokhi, C., Pechnick, R.N., Zonis S., Lacayo, L.M. and Chesnokova, V. p21Cip1-Null Mice Have Increased Adult Neurogenesis and Altered Behavior. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C., 2011.
- Pechnick, R.N., Reyes, K.C., Lacayo, L.M., Farrokhi, C., Vit, J.P., Das, M., Lei, I.F., Zonis S. and Chesnokova, V. Cognitive Impairment and Decreased Hippocampal Neurogenesis After Treatment With Methotrexate: An Animal Model of Chemobrain. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C., 2011.
- Biochemical and Molecular Basis of Mental Illness, Graduate Training Program, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, 2013.