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Ashiwel Undieh

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Ashiwel Undieh

Professor, Neuroscience and Pharmacology

Administration Building 218
Phone Number: 

Before joining CCNY as Associate Provost for Research, Dr. Undieh was Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He also held appointments in Jefferson's Graduate faculty, the Farber Institute for Neuroscience, and the Kimmel Cancer Center.

From 1995 - 2007, he was a member of the graduate faculty at the University of Maryland in pharmaceutical sciences and molecular medicine and was a steering member of their Program in Neuroscience.

Dr. Undieh was the founding chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Thomas Jefferson University and through his leadership the Department established itself as a thriving teaching and research academic unit.He also has extensive experience with developing and managing graduate programs, graduate program review across various disciplines (University of Maryland Graduate Council), and co-developing the curriculum for the doctor of pharmacy program at Thomas Jefferson University.

Dr. Undieh has overall responsibility for promoting, developing, and reviewing research and scholarship throughout the college.  He actively contributes to the development of strategies and programs for the support and expansion of CCNY's comprehensive research agenda.Dr. Undieh also has overall responsibility for research administration and for the STEM graduate programs at CCNY.

Dr. Undieh's Curriculum Vitae


B. Pharm., First Class Honors (Pharmacy), University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; 1981
M. Pharm. (Pharmacology), University of Nigeria Graduate School, Nsukka, Nigeria; 1983
Ph. D. (Pharmacology), Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; 1990

Research Interests

Ashiwel Undieh's current research direction focuses on epigenetic regulation of dopamine neurotransmission, and dopaminergic modulation of epigenetic programs, in models of addiction, depression, or neurodevelopment. Epigenetic mechanisms examined include DNA methylation, histone alkylation, and microRNAs, with analyses of associated gene expression and protein metabolism. While dopamine signals through multiple cascades, we are centrally interested in phosphatidylinositol pathways where cytidine diphosphate diacylglycerol synthase (CDS) is the springhead and the immediate downstream targets include phospholipase C and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase systems. Dopamine is important in the regulation of mood, motivation, memory, motor activity, cognition, and neuroendocrine function. Abnormal dopamine neurotransmission is implicated in multiple disorders including addiction, schizophrenia, depression, and Parkinson disease. Uncovering new knowledge on dopamine signaling and epigenetics could accelerate the development of innovative treatments and diagnostics for these disorders.

In our research we employ integrative approaches that correlate cellular-level genomic/epigenomic and neurochemical parameters with phenotypic and behavioral expressions in whole organisms. This enables us to continually validate the physiological significance of the molecular observations, and increases the translational prospects of our findings. Techniques used in the research include behavioral and histological phenotyping, stereotaxic microinjection; laser capture microdissection; cell/tissue culture; cell proliferation and cell death; neurogenesis and neuronal differentiation; receptor binding; autoradiography; cell signaling; protein phosphorylation; DNA methylation; histone alkylation; microRNA manipulation, quantitative (RT)PCR; RNAi, gene and protein transfection, gene expression analysis; neurochemical assays; immunochemical techniques; electrophoresis; microarrays; chromatography; flow cytometry; fluorescence and confocal microscopy; mass spectrometry; bioinformatics; and pharmacometrics.


Recent and Representative Publications

  1. Brailoiu GC, Deliu E, Hooper R, Dun NJ, Undieh AS, Adler MW, Benamar K, Brailoiu E. Agonist-selective effects of opioid receptor ligands on cytosolic calcium concentration in rat striatal neurons. Drug Alcohol Depend. 123:277-281, 2012 [PMID: 22196236]
  2. Voulalas PJ, Schetz J, Undieh AS. Differential subcellular distribution of rat brain dopamine receptors and subtypespecific redistribution induced by cocaine. Mol Cell Neurosci 46(3):645-654, 2011. [PMID: 21236347]
  3. Undieh AS. Pharmacology of signaling induced by dopamine D1-Like receptor activation. Pharmacology & Therapeutics 128(1):37-60, 2010. [PMID: 20547182]
  4. Aboukhatwa M, Undieh AS. Antidepressant stimulation of CDP-diacylglycerol synthesis does not require monoamine reuptake inhibition. BMC Neuroscience 2010, 11:10. [PMID: 20105322]
  5. Williams SN, Undieh AS. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling modulates cocaine induction of rewardassociated ultrasonic vocalization in rats. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 332(2):463-468, 2010. [PMID: 19843976]
  6. Sahu A, Tyeryar KR, Vongtau HO, Sibley DR, Undieh AS. D5 dopamine receptors are required for dopaminergic activation of phospholipase C. Mol Pharmacol. 75(3):447-453, 2009. [PMID: 19047479]
  7. Novikova SI, He F, Bai J, Cutrufello NJ, Lidow MS, Undieh AS. Maternal cocaine administration in mice alters DNA methylation and gene expression in hippocampal neurons of neonatal and prepubertal offspring. PLoS ONE 3(1919):1-15, 2008. [PMID: 18382688]
  8. Tyeryar KR, Vongtau HOU, Undieh AS: Diverse antidepressants increase CDP-diacylglycerol production and phosphatidylinositide resynthesis in depression-relevant regions of the rat brain. BMC Neuroscience 9(12):1-18, 2008. [PMID: 18218113]. 
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