San Antonio (June 29, 2004) – Julie Hensler, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of pharmacology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, recently was elected as a U.S. councilor to the Serotonin Club, an international organization that promotes research into serotonin.
The biology of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that enables communication among brain cells, is a crucial topic in neuroscience. Medications such as fluoxetine (Prozac®, registered trademark of Eli Lilly & Co.) treat depression and other conditions by altering serotonin activity in the brain. Dr. Hensler is among 11 of the world’s foremost scientists who were invited to serve on the Serotonin Club Council, including five from Europe, four from the United States and two from other parts of the world.
Dr. Hensler received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University. “Because the treatment of many psychiatric disorders involves long-term pharmacological intervention, I am interested in the molecular mechanisms by which neurotransmitter receptor systems compensate (or regulate) following drug treatment,” she said. “My research group has focused primarily on the regulation of serotonin receptor function. The serotonergic system in the brain has been implicated in substance abuse and addiction, as well as many psychiatric disorders. This is really quite an honor to serve on the Serotonin Club Council with such esteemed colleagues.”
Dr. Hensler’s laboratory has received continuous research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health. Her work also has been supported by awards from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation, the San Antonio Area Foundation and the South Texas Health Research Center. Her term on the Serotonin Club Council is for four years.