Dhammika N. Atapattu, MD, PhD

Academic Title
Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
California Northstate University College of Medicine

Contact Information
Office Phone: (916) 686-7303
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Research Interests:
Understanding the structural biology and host interactions of bacterial toxins (RTX toxins, LPS and botulinum neurotoxin).
Developing cell based and in-vitro assays to detect biomolecules (toxins and small proteins) using advanced imaging techniques such as high content fluorescent microscopy, immunoassay technology and molecular biological techniques.
Studying the immunological mechanisms of bacterial and viral co-infections of the respiratory tract using micro-array technology in ex-vivo and animal models.
Develop methods to study the formation of bacterial and fungal Biofilms and techniques to disrupt them in in-vitro and in-vivo systems.

Publications (most representatives from the last 4 years
Alhaji U N’jai, Atapattu DN, Rivara J, Czuprynski CJ, Gene expression profiling of bovine bronchiolar epithelial cells in vitro infected with bovine herpes virus 1 and Mannheimia haemolytica. J of V Immunology and Immunopathology, 2013 (1st co-author).

Aulik NA, Atapattu DN, Czuprynski CJ, McCaslin DR Brief heat treatment causes a structural change and enhances cytotoxicity of the Escherichia coli α-hemolysin. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2013 Feb; 35(1):15-27.

Kisiela DI, Aulik NA, Atapattu DN, Czuprynsky CJ, N-terminal region of Mannheimia haemolytica leukotoxin serves as a mitochondrial targeting signal in mammalian cells. Cell Microbiol. 2010 Jul; 12 (7):976-87.

Arseculeratne SN, Atapattu DN [editors]. Rhinosporidiosis in Humans and Animals, and Rhinosporidium seeberi. NSF Publishers, 2011 - 1st Edition (ASIN: B008U2K3XE) .

Patents and product licenses: 
Non-FRET Botulinum Assay
BioSentinel Pharmaceuticals Inc., Madison, Wisconsin.
Dhammika Atapattu and Ward C Tucker - US patent office; Pub No.: US 2012/0309039 A1; Dec 6th 2012.

Development of a bovine macrophage cell line – Wisconsin Alumni Research Federation product license number P140060US01
Dhammika Atapattu, CJ Czuprynski and J Figueredo; 09.19.2013

Marco Atzori, PhD

Academic Title
Professor of Biology
Biology Program, Department of Sciences
Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, SLP, México

Contact Information
Office Phone: 52 444 826 2491 ext. 2918
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Research Projects:
Effects of stressors on synaptic transmission, Modulation of GABAergic synapses; Neuro-immune interactions; Central actions of Interleukins.

Current Grants:
2013          “Use of tricyclics in the treatment of cognitive symptoms of schizophrenic psychoses”. Director. Supported by: FAI, Grant C13-FAI-03-03.03

2013-2014 “Development of an animal model for the determination of the efficacy of GSK blockers in the treatment of bipolar disease”. Director. Supported by: PROMEP, Grant PROMPEP/103.5/13/6575

Publications (most representatives from the last 3 years):
A. Banerjee, F. García-Oscos, S. Roychowdhury, L.C. Galindo, S. Hall, M. Kilgard, M. Atzori. Impairment of cortical GABAergic synaptic transmission in an environmental rat model of autism. Int. J. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2013 Jul;16(6):1309-18

S. Roychowdhury, Z. Peña-Contreras, J. Tam, A. Yadlapalli, L. Dinh, J.A. Nichols, D. Basu, M. Atzori. α2- and β-adrenoceptors involvement in nortriptyline modulation of auditory sustained attention and impulsivity. Psychopharmacol., 2013 Jul;16(6):1309-18

M Atzori, F. Garcia-Oscos, J.A. Mendez. Role of Interleukin 6 in the etiology of hyper-excitable neuropsychiatric conditions: experimental evidence and therapeutical implications. Future Medicinal Science, 2012 Nov;4(17):2177-92

D.C. Brown II, M.S. Co, R.C. Wolff, M. Atzori: α Adenergic receptors in auditory cue detection: α2 receptor blockade suppresses false alarm responding in the rat. Neuropharmacol., 2012 62: 2178-83

F. Garcia-Oscos, H. Salgado, S. Hall, F. Thomas, G.E. Farmer, J. Bermeo, L. C. Galindo, R.D. Ramirez, S. D’Mello, S. Rose-John, M. Atzori. The stress-induced cytokine interleukin-6 decreases the inhibition/excitation ratio in the rat temporal cortex via trans-signaling. Biol. Psych. 2012, 71: 574-82

H.Salgado, L. Dinh, F. Garcia-Oscos, M. Atzori. Synaptic locus of action of norepinephrine in auditory cortex GABA synapses. Synapse, 2012, 66:20-8

Jesús García-Colunga, PhD

Academic Title
Professor of Neurobiology
Instituto de Neurobiología
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México

Contact Information
Office Phone: 52 (442) 238 1063
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Research Projects:
Modulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by antidepressants.
Effects of antidepressants and participation of astrocytes in synaptic transmission.

Current Grant:
2014-2016 “Effects of fluoxetine (Prozac) on hippocampal GABAergic synaptic transmission”. Director. Supported by: UNAM, DGAPA- PAPIIT, Grant IN201313.

Publications (most representatives from the last 3 years):
García-Colunga J., Godoy-García U., Vázquez-Gómez E. Interaction of bupropion and zinc with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Neuropharmacology 61: 1202-1209, 2011.

López-Hidalgo M, Salgado-Puga K, Alvarado-Martínez R, Medina AC, Prado-Alcalá RA, García-Colunga J. Nicotine Uses Neuron-Glia Communication to Enhance Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission and Long-term Memory. PLoS One. 7(11):e49998, 2012. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0049998.

Reyes-Haro D., Mora-Loyola E, Soria-Ortiz B, García-Colunga J. Regional density of glial cells in the rat corpus callosum. Biological Research 46: 27-32, 2013.

Hernández-Morales and García-Colunga J. Nicotine induces intracellular Ca2+ increases in cultured hippocampal astrocytes by nAChR-dependent and -independent pathways. World Journal of Neuroscience, 4: 40-46, 2014; doi.org/10.4236/wjns.2014.41005.

Giuseppe Cannazza, PhD

Academic Title
Researcher, Assistant Professor
Life Science Department
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Via Campi, 183, 41100 Modena, Italy

Contact Information
Office Phone: 0039 059 205 5136
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Research Projects:
1. Development of new positive allosteric modulators of AMPA receptors
2. Development of LC-MS/MS methods to evaluate xenobiotics in rodent brain microdialysates

Current Grants:
Programma di Ricerca di rilevante interesse Nazionale (PRIN) 2012

Publications (most representatives from the last 3 years):
Troisi, L., Carrozzo, M.M.,Citti, C., Falcicchio, A.,Mansueto, R., Rosato, F.,Cannazza, G. On the oxidation of different iminic bonds by excess of 3-chloroperbenzoic acid, Synlett , 2013, 24 (1), 53-56.

Cannazza, G.*, Carrozzo, M.M., Cazzato, S.A., Bretis, I., Troisi, L.,Parenti, C., Braghiroli, D., Guiducci, S., Zoli, M. Simultaneous measurament of adenosine, dopamine, acetylcholine and 5-hydroxytryptamine in cerebral mice microdialysis samples by LC-ESI-MS/MS, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 2012, 71, 183-186.

Carrozzo, M.M., Troisi, L., Cannazza,G.*, Battisti, U.M., Braghiroli, D., Parenti, C., Guiducci, S., Zoli, M.; An improved LC-MS/MS method for the quantitation of adenosine concentration in mice brain microdialysates, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 2012,70, 563-566.

Battisti, U.M., Carrozzo, M.M., Cannazza, G.*, Braghiroli, D., Parenti, C, Brasili, L., Citti, C., Troisi, L.; Efficient synthesis of 5,6-dihydro-8H-[1,2,4]thiadiazino [6,5,4-de]phenantridine 4,4-dioxide and 5,6-dihydro-8H-[1,2,4]-thiadiazino[6,5,4-ij]thieno[2,3-c]quinoline 4,4-dioxide. Tetrahedron Lett., 2012, 53 (9), pp 1122-1125.

Battisti, U. M., Jozwiak, K., Cannazza, G.*, Puja, G., Stocca, G., Braghiroli, D., Parenti, C., Brasili, L., Carrozzo, M.M., Citti, C., Troisi. L.; 5-arylbenzothiadiazine type compounds as positive allosteric modulators of AMPA/kainate receptors. Med. Chem. Lett., 2012, 3, 25-29.

Battisti, U.M., Carrozzo, M.M., Cannazza, G.*, Puia, G., Troisi, L., Braghiroli, D., Parenti, C., Jozwiak, K. Molecular modeling studies, synthesis, configurational stability and biological activity of 8-chloro-2,3,5,6-tetrahydro-3,6-dimethyl-pyrrolo[1,2,3- de]-1,2,4-benzothiadiazine 1,1-dioxide (2011) Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 19 (23), pp. 7111-7119.

Cannazza, G.*, Battisti, U., Carrozzo, M.M., Brasili, L., Braghiroli, D., Parenti, C. Evaluation of stereo and chemical stability of chiral compounds (2011) Chirality, 23 (10), pp. 851-859.

Patricio Iturriaga-Vásquez, PhD

Academic Title
Associated Professor of Organic Chemistry
Chemistry Department, Faculty of Sciences
University of Chile, Chile.

Contact Information
Office Phone: 56 2 29787402
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Research Projects:
nicotinic acetylcholine receptor; monoamine transporters; Structure-activity relationships and design of drugs acting on CNS; Role of the nicotinic neurotransmission system on different physiological and pathological states.

Current Grants:
2013-2016 “Fishing for complements: Design of compounds that simultaneously interact with monoaminergic proteins and nicotinic receptors, based on similarities between their ligand binding sites”. Co-investigator. Supported by: FONDECYT, Grant 1130185

2013-2016 “A synthetic approach towards novel series of 3-(3-(1-piperazinyl)propyl-1h-indole derivatives as monoaminergic multi-target agents. Docking studies and pharmacological evaluation at SERT, D2 and MAO-A receptors. Co-investigator. Supported by: FONDECYT, Grant 1130347

Publications (most representatives from the last 3 years):
2014: Non-Equivalent Ligand Selectivity of Agonist Sites in (4β2)24 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors: A Key Determinant of Agonist Efficacy. S. Mazzaferro, F. Gasparri, K. New, C. Alcaino, M. Faundez, P. Iturriaga-Vasquez, R. Vijayan, P. C. Biggin., I.Bermudez. J. Biol. Chem. 289(31):21795-806.

2014: Synthesis and Biological Screening of Novel Indolalkyl(hetero)arenes Targeting Serotonine Transporter. Claudia Ojeda-Gómez, Hernán Pessoa-Mahanna, Patricio Iturriaga-Vasquez, C. David Pessoa-Mahanna, Gonzalo Recabarren, Claudio Mendez. Archiv der Pharmazie. 347(3), 174-184.

2013: Synthesis, docking and pharmacological evaluation of novel homo- and hetero-bis 3-piperazinylpropylindole derivatives at SERT and 5-HT1A receptor. H. Pessoa-Mahana, C. González-Lira, A. Fierro, G. Zapata-Torres, C. D. Pessoa-Mahana, J. Ortiz, P. Iturriaga-Vásquez, M. Reyes-Parada, P. Silva-Matus, C. Saitz-Barría, R. Araya-Maturana. Bioorg. Med. Chem., 21(24), 7604-7611.

2013: Experimental and theoretical study on the oxidation mechanism of dopamine in n-octyl pyridinium based ionic liquids–carbon paste modified electrodes. Carlos Díaz, Camilo García, Patricio Iturriaga-Vásquez, Maria Jesús Aguirre,Juan Pablo Muena, Renato Contreras, Rodrigo Ormazábal-Toledo, Mauricio Isaacs. Electrochimica Acta 111, 846– 854.

2013: Neonicotinic analogues: Selective antagonists for α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Faundez-Parraguez M, Farias-Rabelo N, Gonzalez-Gutierrez JP, Etcheverry-Berrios A, Alzate-Morales J, Adasme-Carreño F, Varas R, Bermudez I, Iturriaga-Vasquez P. Bioorg Med Chem. 21(10),2687.

California Northstate University College of Medicine ♦ 9700 West Taron Drive ♦ Elk Grove, CA 95757 ♦ Phone: (916) 686-7300