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Andrew Russo, PhD

Research Health Science Specialist, Director of Animal Research
Professor of Neurology
Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Contact Information

Primary Office
5-432 Bowen Science Building (BSB)
51 Newton Road
Iowa City, IA 52242


BA, Biology (concentrations in biochemistry and microbiology), University of California
PhD, Biochemistry, University of California
Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular Neurobiology, Department of Medicine, UCSD

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics PhD, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Genetics, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Molecular Medicine, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Translational Biomedicine, Medical Scientist Training Program

Research Summary

My research interest is to understand how neurons respond to changes in their environment. We have focused on regulation of CGRP and its actions in the context of trigeminal-mediated disorders, especially migraine. A recent focus of the lab is a CGRP-sensitized transgenic mouse model we generated based on clinical reports that injection of CGRP is able to induce a migraine, but not in people who do not suffer from migraine. These sensitized mice overexpress the RAMP1 subunit of the CGRP receptor in the nervous system. The RAMP1 mice have elevated CGRP-induced neurogenic inflammation, mechanical allodynia, and light aversion analogous to photophobia. In collaborative projects, the lab is also studying the beneficial effects of CGRP and RAMP1 against hypertension and obesity, with overall goals to develop effective diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for neurovascular disorders.