Dr. Waschek is a Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and is an expert in the molecular and cellular biology and physiological actions of neuropeptides. Dr. Waschek received a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 1984 from the University of California at San Francisco, after which he took a postdoctoral position at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 1988 he came to UCLA, where his research has centered on three broad, but related topics: 1) CNS development, degeneration, injury, and repair, 2) neuroinflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis, and maternal inflammation-induced perinatal white matter disease, and 3) brain tumor pathogenesis. A past and continuing objective has been to better understand the biological roles of neuropeptides in these processes, especially the two related peptides PACAP and VIP (pituitary adenylyl cyclase activating peptide and vasoactive intestinal peptide, respectively). A major contribution in this area was his discovery first reported in 1998 that PACAP and functional PACAP receptors are highly expressed in the murine neural tube and other germinal centers, and that PACAP acts in part via cAMP and protein kinase A to regulate neural patterning and proliferation via antagonism of hedgehog signaling. Using gene targeting and other approaches, he found this interaction to be relevant not only during brain development, but also in the pathogenesis of malignant pediatric brain tumors. In other work, he has demonstrated growth factor-like actions of PACAP in the maturation of white matter (myelin) and in axon regeneration after injury. Most recently, he determined that VIP and PACAP are critically involved in inflammatory responses after nerve injury and in other pathologies such as lung and liver injury, colitis, cystitis, viral infection, and in an animal model of multiple sclerosis. These studies have revealed significant effects of PACAP and VIP PACAP loss on innate cellular responses to injury, as well as in Th1, Th2, and Th17 differentiation, regulatory T cell production, and immune cell invasion of the CNS parenchyma. Has been continuously funding for his research by the NIH since 1984, and is also currently receiving funding through major grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Department of Defense, and the Simons Foundation. Dr. Waschek has served on NIH study sections almost continuously since 2006, and served as an external reviewer for the newly-formed LOWEE Institute on Tumors and Inflammation in Marburg, Germany, and a consultant for the Japanese-Israeli Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement in Life Sciences in the Topic of Stem Cell Research.
A selected list of publications:
Ji Haofeng, Zhang Yu, Shen Xiuda, Gao Feng, Huang Cynthia Y, Abad Catalina, Busuttil Ronald W, Waschek James A, Kupiec-Weglinski Jerzy W Neuropeptide PACAP in mouse liver ischemia and reperfusion injury: immunomodulation via cAMP-PKA pathway
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.), 2012; 166(1): .
Nobuta Hiroko, Ghiani Cristina A, Paez Pablo M, Spreuer Vilma, Dong Hongmei, Korsak Rose A, Manukyan Armine, Li Jiaxi, Vinters Harry V, Huang Eric J, Rowitch David H, Sofroniew Michael V, Campagnoni Anthony T, de Vellis Jean, Waschek James A STAT3-mediated astrogliosis protects myelin development in neonatal brain injury
Annals of neurology, 2012; 72(5): 750-65.
Ghiani Cristina A, Mattan Natalia S, Nobuta Hiroko, Malvar Jemily S, Boles Julie, Ross Michael G, Waschek James A, Carpenter Ellen M, Fisher Robin S, de Vellis Jean Early effects of lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation on foetal brain development in rat
ASN neuro, 2011; 3(4): .
Dragich Joanna M, Loh Dawn H, Wang Louisa M, Vosko Andrew M, Kudo Takashi, Nakamura Takahiro J, Odom Irene H, Tateyama Sei, Hagopian Arkady, Waschek James A, Colwell Christopher S The role of the neuropeptides PACAP and VIP in the photic regulation of gene expression in the suprachiasmatic nucleus
The European journal of neuroscience, 2010; 31(5): 864-75.
Kim Woo-Kyun, Meliton Vicente, Park Kye Won, Hong Cynthia, Tontonoz Peter, Niewiadomski Pawel, Waschek James A, Tetradis Sotirios, Parhami Farhad Negative regulation of Hedgehog signaling by liver X receptors
Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.), 2009; 23(10): 1532-43.
Lelievre Vincent, Seksenyan Akop, Nobuta Hiroko, Yong William H, Chhith Seririthanar, Niewiadomski Pawel, Cohen Joseph R, Dong Hongmei, Flores Avegail, Liau Linda M, Kornblum Harley I, Scott Matthew P, Waschek James A Disruption of the PACAP gene promotes medulloblastoma in ptc1 mutant mice
Developmental biology, 2008; 313(1): 359-70.
Studeny Simon, Cheppudira Bopaiah P, Meyers Susan, Balestreire Elena M, Apodaca Gerard, Birder Lori A, Braas Karen M, Waschek James A, May Victor, Vizzard Margaret A Urinary bladder function and somatic sensitivity in vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP)-/- mice
Journal of molecular neuroscience : MN, 2008; 36(1-3): 175-87.
Colwell Christopher S, Michel Stephan, Itri Jason, Rodriguez Williams, Tam J, Lelievre Vincent, Hu Zhou, Liu X, Waschek James A Disrupted circadian rhythms in VIP- and PHI-deficient mice
American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 2003; 285(5): R939-49.
Li Jian-Ming, Southerland Lauren, Hossain Mohammad S, Giver Cynthia R, Wang Ying, Darlak Kasia, Harris Wayne, Waschek James, Waller Edmund K Absence of vasoactive intestinal peptide expression in hematopoietic cells enhances Th1 polarization and antiviral immunity in mice
Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 2011; 187(2): 1057-65.
Kim Kyun-Do, Srikanth Sonal, Tan Yossan-Var, Yee Ma-Khin, Jew Marcus, Damoiseaux Robert, Jung Michael E, Shimizu Saki, An Dong Sung, Ribalet Bernard, Waschek James A, Gwack Yousang Calcium signaling via Orai1 is essential for induction of the nuclear orphan receptor pathway to drive Th17 differentiation
Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 2014; 192(1): 110-22.
Vu John P, Larauche Muriel, Flores Martin, Luong Leon, Norris Joshua, Oh Suwan, Liang Li-Jung, Waschek James, Pisegna Joseph R, Germano Patrizia M Regulation of Appetite, Body Composition, and Metabolic Hormones by Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP)
Journal of molecular neuroscience : MN, 2015; 56(2): 377-87.
Onaka Yusuke, Shintani Norihito, Nakazawa Takanobu, Haba Ryota, Ago Yukio, Wang Hyper, Kanoh Takuya, Hayata-Takano Atsuko, Hirai Hiroyuki, Nagata Kin-Ya, Nakamura Masataka, Hashimoto Ryota, Matsuda Toshio, Waschek James A, Kasai Atsushi, Nagayasu Kazuki, Baba Akemichi, Hashimoto Hitoshi CRTH2, a prostaglandin D2 receptor, mediates depression-related behavior in mice
Behavioural brain research, 2015; 284(12): 131-7.
Yamasaki Atsushi, Kasai Atsushi, Toi Akihiro, Kurita Maki, Kimoto Saki, Hayata-Takano Atsuko, Nakazawa Takanobu, Nagayasu Kazuki, Shintani Norihito, Hashimoto Ryota, Ito Akira, Meltzer Herbert Y, Ago Yukio, Waschek James A, Onaka Yusuke, Matsuda Toshio, Baba Akemichi, Hashimoto Hitoshi Identification of the role of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and transforming growth factor-Î² (TGF-Î²) signaling in the trajectory of serotonergic differentiation in a rapid assay in mouse embryonic stem cells in vitro
Journal of neurochemistry, 2015; 132(4): 418-28.
Wu Xiujuan, Conlin Victoria S, Morampudi Vijay, Ryz Natasha R, Nasser Yasmin, Bhinder Ganive, Bergstrom Kirk S, Yu Hong B, Waterhouse Chris C M, Buchan Allison M J, Popescu Oana E, Gibson William T, Waschek James A, Vallance Bruce A, Jacobson Kevan Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide promotes intestinal barrier homeostasis and protection against colitis in mice
PloS one, 2015; 10(5): e0125225.
Teuchner Barbara, Dimmer Andreas, Humpel Christian, Amberger Albert, Fischer-Colbrie Reiner, Nemeth Jozsef, Waschek James A, Kieselbach Gerhard, Kralinger Martina, Schmid Eduard, Bechrakis Nikolaos, Troger Josef VIP, PACAP-38, BDNF and ADNP in NMDA-induced excitotoxicity in the rat retina
Acta ophthalmologica, 2011; 89(7): 670-5.
Martin Bronwen, Shin Yu-Kyong, White Caitlin M, Ji Sunggoan, Kim Wook, Carlson Olga D, Napora Joshua K, Chadwick Wayne, Chapter Megan, Waschek James A, Mattson Mark P, Maudsley Stuart, Egan Josephine M Vasoactive intestinal peptide-null mice demonstrate enhanced sweet taste preference, dysglycemia, and reduced taste bud leptin receptor expression
Diabetes, 2010; 59(5): 1143-52.
Nakano Ichiro, Masterman-Smith Michael, Saigusa Kuniyasu, Paucar Andres A, Horvath Steve, Shoemaker Lorelei, Watanabe Momoko, Negro Alejandra, Bajpai Ruchi, Howes Amy, Lelievre Vincent, Waschek James A, Lazareff Jorge A, Freije William A, Liau Linda M, Gilbertson Richard J, Cloughesy Timothy F, Geschwind Daniel H, Nelson Stanley F, Mischel Paul S, Terskikh Alexey V, Kornblum Harley I Maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase is a key regulator of the proliferation of malignant brain tumors, including brain tumor stem cells
Journal of neuroscience research, 2008; 86(1): 48-60.