LSU Health Shreveport, Donard Dwyer PhD, Pharmacology Joint Faculty, Psychology Faculty

Donard S. Dwyer, Ph.D.

Department of Psychiatry
Ph.D., 1980, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Major Research Interests:
Our laboratory is studying the role of energy metabolism in the growth and survival of neuronal cells. More specifically, we are characterizing the mechanisms involved in the regulation of glucose transport in neurons. Uptake of glucose is mediated by a family of glucose transport (GLUT) proteins; GLUT3 is the major transporter of neuronal cells. We have produced unique monoclonal antibodies against GLUT3 that will allow us to study any changes in cell surface expression or phosphorylation of GLUT3 that accompany upregulation of glucose transport. Certain antipsychotic drugs inhibit glucose uptake apparently independent of their effects on dopamine receptors. Moreover, the sensitivity of neuronal cells to the cytostatic effects of ethanol is determined, in part, by their rate of glucose metabolism.

In addition, our laboratory has a state-of-the-art molecular modeling capability based on a Silicon Graphics workstation and BIOSYM software. Computational chemistry approaches are being applied to the problem of protein folding (and secondary structure prediction) and to the effects of ethanol on protein structure at the molecular level.

Selected Recent Publications:
Dwyer, D. S.: Assembly of exons from unitary transposable genetic elements: implications for the evolution of protein-protein interactions. J. Theor. Biol. 194: 11-27 (1998). To view click here

Dwyer, D.S., Liu, Y., and Bradley, R. J.: An ethanol sensitive variant of the PC12 neuronal cell line: sensitivity to alcohol is associated with increased cell adhesion and decreased glucose accumulation. J. Cell. Physiol. 178: 93-101 (1999). To view click here

Dwyer, D.S., Pinkofsky, H. B., Liu, Y., and Bradley, R. J.: Antipsychotic drugs affect glucose uptake and the expression of glucose transporters in PC12 cells. Prog. NeuroPsychopharmacol. Psychiat. 23: 69-80 (1999). To view click here

Dwyer, D.S.: Molecular simulation of the effects of alcohols on peptide structure. Biopolymers 49: 635-645 (1999). To view click here

Contact Info:
Dr. Donard Dwyer
Department of Psychiatry
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
1501 Kings Highway
Shreveport, LA 71130-3932