Hyung W. Nam, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neuroscience
Ph.D., 2006, Biochemistry, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea
Postdoc, Molecular Pharmacology and Psychiatry, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Louisiana State University Health Shreveport
1501 Kings Highway
Shreveport, LA 71130-3932

Major Research Interests

Neuropharmacology of Alcoholism and Psychiatric Disorders, Neuroproteomics
The main goal of our research is to investigate brain molecular/cellular signaling in alcoholism and psychiatric disorders by using a behavioral neuroscience approach. Interestingly, both genetic and environmental factors contribute to alcoholism, influenced susceptibility, and treatment responsiveness. Thus, we believe that linking addictive behaviors with a neuromodulation process and also intracellular mechanisms are essential to understanding psychiatric symptoms and how to better treat them. The focus of our research is to elucidate molecular mechanism that underline relevant addictive behavioral phenotypes in rodent models using a combination of cutting-edge techniques in the areas of optogenetics, neuroproteomics, neuropharmacology, and behavioral neuroscience.
Adenosine-glutamate signaling in alcoholism and neuro-glia interaction.
We have investigated adenosine-glutamate signaling mechanisms that result in neuro-glia dysregulation induced by excessive alcohol exposure. Using proteomics, we are investigating the glutamate synaptic plasticity modulated by adenosine 2A receptor (Adora2A) and neurogranin (Nrgn) in the striatum, which is regulated by extracellular adenosine levels in the brain. In particular, we are interested in the decision-making process associated with addiction development by utilizing advanced operant conditioning.  The behavioral mechanism behind the progression from the initial stages of goal-directed drug use to compulsive drug taking is a major question in my research. To address this goal, we have developed novel transgenic mice that are the most clinically relevant and employ multi-discipline methodologies, so our research will provide better an understanding on how to best alleviate drug addiction. Ultimately, our preclinical findings will be translated to clinical research by identifying therapeutic targets to advance the pharmacological treatment paradigm for alcoholism.
Pharmacometabolomics and pharmacoproteomics for neurological disorders.
We have studied drug effocacy biomarker studies using metabolomics and protoemics to elucidate pharmacological intervention in neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease and bipolar disorders. We have examined blood metabolite or tissue protein changes as a result of medication treatment and have found a possible metabolism in alcoholism patients that is associated with a positive outcome. The goal of pharmacometabolomics and pharmacoproteomics is to link the optimum physiological condition of a patient to a pharmaceutical treatment in disease. We believe that both pharmacometabolomics and pharmacoproteomics research will help to identify the best treatment option for a specific sub-population and contribute to the development of drug efficacy biomarker for personalized medicine in neurological disorders.
Selected Recent 15 Publications:
  1. Nam HW,Karpyak VM, Li X, Walker DL, Hinton DJ, Choi H, Abulseoud OA, Frye MA, Mrazek DA, Choi DS. Identification of pharmacometabolomics predictors for acamprosate response in alcohol dependent subjects. Transl Psychiatry, 5, e621, 2015.
  2. Nam HW, Bruner RC, Choi DS. Adenosine signaling in striatal circuits and alcohol use disorders. Mol Cells 36:3 195-202, 2013.
  3. Nam HW,Hinton DJ, Choi S, Kang N, Chang SY, Choi DS. Adenosine transporter ENT1 regulates the acquisition of goal-directed behavior and ethanol drinking through A2A Receptor in the dorsomedial striatum. J Neurosci 33:4329-4338, 2013.
  4. Nam HW,McIver SM, Hinton DJ, Thakkar MM, Sari Y, Parkinson FE, Haydon P, Choi DS. Adenosine and glutamate signaling in neuron-glia interaction: Implication in alcoholism and sleep disorders. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 36:1117-1125, 2012.
  5. Nam HW,Lee MR, Zhu Y, Wu J, Hinton DJ, Choi S, Kim T, Hammack N, Yin JC, Choi DS. Type 1 equilibrative nucleoside transporter regulates ethanol drinking through accumbal N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor signaling. Biol Psychiatry 69:1043-1051, 2011. (Selected as a 10 top-ranking articles in Biological Psychiatry 2011)
  6. Asatryan L, Nam HW, Lee MR, Thakkar MM, Dar MS, Davies DL, Choi DS. Implication of the purinergic system in alcohol use disorders. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 35:584-594, 2011.
  7. Kim JH, Karpyak VM, Biernack JM, Nam HW, Lee MR, Preusse UW, Zillf P, Yoong GH, Colbyc C, Mrazek DA, Choi DS. Functional role of the polymorphic 647 T/C variant of ENT1 (SLC29A1) and its association with alcohol withdrawal seizures. PLoS One 6: e16331, 2011.
  8. Ruby CL, Adams CA, Knight EJ, Nam HW, Choi DS.  An Essential role for adenosine signaling in alcohol abuse. Curr Drug Abuse Rev 3:163-174, 2010.
  9. Nam HW, Lee MR, Hinton DJ, Choi DS. Reduced effect of NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist on ethanol-induced ataxia and striatal glutamate levels in mice lacking ENT1. Neurosci Lett 479:277-281, 2010.
  10. Chen J, Nam HW, Lee MR, Hinton DJ, Choi S, Kim T, Kawamura T, Janak PH, Choi DS. Altered glutamatergic neurotransmission in the striatum regulates ethanol sensitivity and intake in mice lacking ENT1. Behav Brain Res 208:636-642, 2010.
  11. Park SY, Kim HS, Kim NH, Ji S, Cha SY, Kang JG, Ota I, Shimada K, Konishi N, Nam HW, Hong SW, Yang WH, Roth J, Yook JI, Cho JW. Snail1 is stabilized by O-GlcNAc modification in hyperglycemic condition. EMBO J 29:3787-3796, 2010.
  12. Yang WH, Park SY, Nam HW, Kim DH, Kang JG, Kang ES, Kim YS, Lee HC, Kim KS, Cho JW. NFkappaB activation is associated with its O-GlcNAcylation state under hyperglycemic conditions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105:17345-17350, 2008.
  13. Yang WH, Kim JE, Nam HW, Ju JW, Kim HS, Kim YS, Cho JW. Modification of p53 with O-linked N-acetylglucosamine regulates p53 activity and stability. Nat Cell Biol 8:1074-1083, 2006.
  14. Nam HW, Lee GY, Kim YS. Mass spectrometric identification of K210 essential for rat malonyl-CoA decarboxylase catalysis. J Proteome Res 5:1398-1406, 2006.
  15. Nam HW, Simpson R, Kim YS. N-terminal isotope tagging with propionic anhydride: proteomic analysis of myogenic differentiation of C2C12 cells. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 826:91-107, 2005