Kaustuv Saha, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Neuroscience
University of Florida
1149 Newell Drive
PO Box 100244
Gainesville, FL 32611-0244

Email:              ksaha@ufl.edu
Lab Phone:     (352) 273-8739

Education

2001 Bachelor in Pharmacy Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and Research
University of Delhi, India.
2004 Masters in Pharmacy
(Pharmacology)
Faculty of Pharmacy
Hamdard University, India
2011 PhD (Pharmacology) Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences
College of Pharmacy, University of Houston, Texas
2011-2017 Postdoctoral Fellowship
(Mentor: Dr. Habibeh Khoshbouei)
Department of Neuroscience
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

Key Words:

Research Summary:

The long-term goal of my research is to identify novel pharmacological approaches to decrease the rate of dopamine neuronal dysfunctions implicated in Parkinson’s disease and drug addiction. With an undergraduate degree in Pharmacy and a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in Pharmacology and nearly 15 years of neuropharmacology research experience, I have developed a very strong interest in pursuing a career in research and target specific drug development. My PhD project at the University of Houston in Texas, involved investigating biogenic amines such as dopamine and norepinephrine regulation of G protein coupled receptors (GPCR) and stress-induced behavior and electrophysiological responses in rodents. Following graduation, I joined the laboratory of Dr. Habibeh Khoshbouei to examine the underlying mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of dopamine system that is implicated in neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and drug addiction. Over the past five years, my research has focused on determining how alpha-synuclein, a synaptic protein implicated in neurodegenerative diseases and drug addiction, affects dopamine transmission prior to neuronal demise. Using single neuron electrophysiology, optogenetics, TIRF and confocal microscopy I have found alpha-synuclein overexpression alters the activity of dopamine neurons, and thus dopamine transmission prior to neuronal demise. The results of my work have provided mechanistic insight on how alpha-synuclein regulates dopamine transmission, inducing neuronal dysfunction prior to neuronal loss, challenging the current dogma in degeneration of dopamine neurons.