Thomas R. Boyd
Department of Neuroscience
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Dr. Boyd received a B.S in Physiology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and an M.S. in Biology from the University of Memphis. He then received his Ph.D in Molecular Biology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986. Dr. Boyd carried out postdoctoral studies at the University of California, San Diego and the Salk Institute before moving to The Ohio State University College of Medicine as Assistant Professor of Pharmacology in 1990. Dr Boyd is currently Associate Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Neuroscience. Dr. Boyd is a reviewer for numerous journals and has served on multiple NIH study sections. He has been active in graduate education, recently completing a four-year term as Associate Director of the Integrated Biomedical Science Graduate Program (IBGP).
Research activities in Dr Boyds laboratory have emphasized a molecular biological analysis of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Neuronal nAChRs mediate synaptic transmission in many parts of the vertebrate central nervous system, in autonomic ganglia, retina, and adrenal medulla. We have studied transcriptional regulation of nAChR subunit genes as well the identifying a new allosteric site on the a4b2 neuronal nAChR. This site is being explored for its potential as a binding site for new drugs which modulate nAChR activity and could be used to aid smoking cessation. We have also cloned the zebrafish neuronal nAChR genes and determined the expression pattern of zebrafish neuronal nAChR genes during development. The information derived from these studies is being used to develop zebrafish as a model for studying the role of nAChRs in normal development of the nervous system and the mechanisms by which nicotine perturbs vertebrate nervous system development