Special ITTS Symposium at ASPET 2018




It is with great delight that we announce the International Transmembrane Transporter Society’s first appearance as a guest society at the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), being held as part of the Experimental Biology (EB) meeting in San Diego, April 21-25, 2018.  As a guest society, ITTS will receive tremendous visibility with over 14,000 participants taking part at EB.  Of special significance, we are very pleased to announce ASPET’s sponsorship of a special ITTS symposium, to honor the late Dr. Nancy Zahniser (1948-2016).  Dr. Zahniser pioneered research elaborating our understanding of how dopamine and glutamate contribute to individual differences in cocaine-induced brain plasticity and addiction-like behavior in rodent models and how neural dopamine transporters are rapidly regulated.  Her findings underscored the overall importance of dopamine transporters in contributing to enhanced vulnerability to cocaine addiction and relapse.  The “Nancy Zahniser Memorial Symposium: The Dopamine Transporter in Health and Disease”, will feature talks that encapsulate some of the most recent findings coming from research spawned by Nancy's pioneering studies.

This memorial symposium was organized, and will be chaired by ITTS Vice-President, Lynette Daws, and Secretary/Treasurer, Habibeh Khoshbouei.  Speakers, named below, are ITTS members and world-renown neurotransmitter transporter researchers.

Preliminary Program

Susan G. Amara, PhD
Scientific Director
Intramural Research Program, National Institute of Mental Health
Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology

Dopamine Transporters and Psychostimulant Action: Lessons from Nancy

Dr. Amara will give a brief history of research on the dopamine transporter, including the important contributions of Professor Zahniser, then bring us up-to-date with what is at the cutting edge of dopamine transporter research today.


Aurelio Galli, PhD
Professor, Director of Gastrointestinal Biology
University of Alabama Medical School

Dopamine transporters:  Linking obesity to diabetes to psychiatric disorders

Dr. Galli will discuss latest discoveries linking insulin regulation of the dopamine transporter to psychiatric disorders, including depression.


Sara R. Jones, PhD
Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
Wake Forest Medical School

Cocaine potency at the dopamine transporter: It’s complicated!

Dr. Jones will discuss a variety of factors that influence the ability of cocaine to increase dopamine signaling, including autoreceptor regulation of the dopamine transporter and motivational state during self-administration of cocaine.


Ulrik Gether, MD
Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology
University of Copenhagen

Moving from neuronal transporter structures to clinically relevant therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders.

Dr. Gether will discuss translational findings from molecular structures, to mice, to the clinic, and implications for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease.


Margaret Gnegy, PhD
Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Pharmacology
University of Michigan School of Medicine

Modulation of Stimulant Actions by the Intertwining Activities of D2 Autoreceptors and PKCbeta

Dr. Gnegy will discuss her novel and exciting new findings that the selective estrogen receptor modulator, Tamoxifen, via is actions at PKC, may regulate the dopamine transporter in a manner that makes it potentially amenable as a treatment for amphetamine abuse, mania and possibly other psychiatric disorders.


Junior Speaker, TBD

A junior speaker will be either identified from submitted abstracts or personally invited by symposium organizers.  A junior speaker is defined here as an individual at either the rank of Assistant Professor or post-doctoral fellow.