Faculty: David R. Hampson, PhD

David R. Hampson, PhDDavid R. Hampson, PhD
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, and Department of Pharmacology
Director, CIHR Strategic Training Program in Biological Therapeutics
Chairman, University of Toronto Radiation Protection Authority

General Research Area: Molecular Pharmacology of Neurotransmitter Receptors

Research in our laboratory is focused on the study of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders and particularly fragile X syndrome.  FXS is a syndromic form of autism and is the most common single gene cause of inherited mental retardation.  The disorder is caused by the loss of the mRNA binding protein, fragile X mental retardation protein or FMRP.  Persons with FXS display cognitive impairment, epileptic seizures, social anxiety, hyperactivity, and autistic behaviors.

Our work on FXS has also been associated with our research on the metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs).  The mGluRs belong to Family 3 of the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily.  The mGluRs are targets for the development of novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of epilepsy, anxiety, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, fragile X syndrome, and possibly autism.   Other Family C receptors under investigation include the GABA-B receptor and the calcium-sensing receptor which is activated by a rise in extracellular calcium.

We are also attempting to develop gene therapy approaches for neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders including FXS.  These studies entail investigating the feasibility and efficacy of using viral vectors expressing therapeutic proteins in the brain to reverse biochemical and behavioral abnormalities in animal models of autism.

Funding for our research comes from federal granting agencies, private foundations, and from the pharmaceutical industry.   Most members of the Hampson Lab participate in the Collaborative Program in Neuroscience.  Applicants with a background in biochemistry, molecular biology, molecular pharmacology, and bioinformatics are encouraged to apply for graduate studies in the Hampson laboratory.

Selected Publications:

David R. Hampson, Shervin Gholizadeh Moghaddam, and  Laura K. Pacey  (2012). Pathways to Drug Development for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (Nature Publishing Group) 91(2), 189-200. PMID: 22205199

Sujeenthar Tharmalingam, Andrew R. Burns, Peter J. Roy, and David R. Hampson (2012).  Orthosteric and Allosteric Drug Binding Sites in the C. elegans MGL-2 Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor. Neuropharmacology 63(4), 667-674.  PMID: 22652059

Laura K. K. Pacey, Ingrid Xuan, Asuka Guan, Dafna Sussman, R. Mark Henkelman, Yan Chen, Christian Thomsen, and David R. Hampson (2013).  Delayed Myelination in a Mouse Model Fragile X Syndrome. Human Molecular Genetics, 22 (19), 3920-3930.
PMID: 23740941

Shervin Gholizadeh, Sujeenthar Tharmalingam, Margarita E. MacAldaz, and David R. Hampson  (2013)  Transduction of the Central Nervous System Following Intra-cerebroventricular Injection of Adeno-associated Viral Vectors in Neonatal and Juvenile Mice.  Human Gene Therapy Methods, 24, 205-213. PMID: 23808551 [in process]

J. Ellegood, E. Anagnostou, B.A. Babineau, J.N. Crawley, L. Lin, M. Genestine, E. DiCicco, D. Bloom, J.K.Y. Lai, J.A. Foster, O. Penagarikano, D.H. Geschwind, L.K. Pacey, D.R Hampson, C.L. Laliberte, G. Horev, A.A. Mills, E. Tam, L.R. Osborne, M. Kouser, F. Espinosa Decerra, Z. Xuan, C.M. Powell, A.Raznahan, D.M. Robins, N. Nakai,J. Nakatani, T. Takumi,M.C.van Eede1, T.M. Kerr,C. Muller, R.D.Blakely, J.VeenstraDVanderWeele, R.M. Henkelman, and J.P.Lerch.  Clustering Autism: Using Neuroanatomical Differences in 27 Mouse Models to Gain Insight into the Heterogeneity. Molecular Psychiatry (Nature Publishing Group), in press.

Ingrid C.Y. Xuan and David R. Hampson  (2014)  Maternal Immune Activation during Pregnancy Induces Gender-Specific Behavioral Effects in Offspring.  PLoS ONE 9(8): e104433.

Shervin Gholizadeh, Jason Arsenault, Ingrid Cong Yang Xuan, Laura K. Pacey, and David R. Hampson (2014). Reduced Phenotypic Severity Following Adeno-Associated Virus Mediated Fmr1 Gene Delivery in Fragile X Knockout Mice.  Neuropsychopharmacology (Nature Publishing Group), in press.


Faculty of Pharmacy
144 College Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 3M2
Phone: 416-978-4494
FAX: 416-595-8511
Email: d.hampson@utoronto.ca

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