Dr. Jeremy Alden Teissere‌

A picture of Jeremy Teissere at his desk

Stanley Road Professor of Neuroscience, Department Chair
New Science 219 / 484-664-3617


B.A., Willamette University
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Madison
Postdoctoral fellow, Emory University

Research Interests: neurotransmitter receptor structure & function / molecular neuroscience / neuropharmacology / states of consciousness

Research Program
How are synaptic chemical signals transduced within the nervous system? How do drugs bind to and activate their receptor targets? The long-term goal of my research is to understand how the biochemical properties of a neurotransmitter receptor, the γ-aminobutyric acid Type A (GABA(A)) receptor, underlie its functional behavior, and how drugs modulate that behavior. The GABA(A) receptor is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter receptor in the mammalian central nervous system, and thus, GABA(A) receptors are powerful mediators of tranquility in the brain: reduction in anxiety, induction into sleep, and maintenance of anesthesia. The GABA(A) receptor is also a target for many neuroactive drugs (e.g., benzodiazepines, barbiturates, ethanol, volatile anesthetics) and neurohormones (e.g., progesterone, allopregnanolone). Past work of our laboratory and others has yielded key insight into how many of these drugs bind to and allosterically modulate the function of the receptor.

Recently, our laboratory has turned its attention to phytoextracts and herbal medicines that have a long folk history of use in reducing anxiety and inducing sleep, including passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), bergamot (Citrus bergamia), kava kava (Piper methysticum), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and suanzaoren tang (Ziziphi spinosae). We use a multidisciplinary approach - including biochemical, pharmacological, and physiological methods - to resolve the putative action of these herbal medicines on the GABA(A) receptor. We are fortunate to have a parallel collaboration with the research lab of Dr. Christine Ingersoll, Professor of Chemistry, a specialist in analytical chemistry methods, to identify and quantify the key chemical constituents of these plants. Taken together, our work will map the precise binding locations of these phytocompounds on the receptor and more finely describe their allosteric effects on receptor function. All of our work shares the ultimate goal of understanding anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, and epilepsy - and their pharmacological control - at a molecular level.


  • Drug Science (NSC 115)
  • Mind & Brain (NSC 201) 
  • Neurons & Networks (NSC 311)
  • States of Consciousness (NSC 302)
  • Receptors & Channels (NSC 304)
  • Advanced Seminar in Neuroscience (NSC 401)