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Schizophrenia Research Forum: Researcher Profile - Joseph Neale
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Researcher Profile - Joseph Neale

First Name:Joseph
Last Name:Neale
Title:Paduano Distinguished Professor
Advanced Degrees:Ph.D.
Affiliation:Georgetown University
Street Address 1:37th and O Sts., NW
Street Address 2:407 Reiss Building
Zip/Postal Code:20057-1229
Phone:202 6875574
Fax:202 6875662
Email Address:
(view policy) 
Member reports no financial or other potential conflicts of interest. [Last Modified: 20 October 2005]
View all comments by Joseph Neale
Clinical Interests:
Drug abuse, Schizophrenia
Research Focus:
Animal models, Neurotransmission, Electrophysiology, Molecular and Cell biology, Pharamacology, Glutamatergic transmission
Work Sector(s):
Reasearcher Bio
Joseph Neale was born at Georgetown University Hospital. He earned his B.S. and Ph.D. from Georgetown and trained as a Research Assistant Professor at the Mental Health Research Institute at the University of Michigan and in the NICHD at NIH. He is the Paduano Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biology at Georgetown and the past chair of that department. He teaches Introductory Biology I to all science majors and premedical students at Georgetown as well as a course for liberal arts students titled, “Genes: Evolution, Immunity and Mind.” He also directs the Georgetown Hughes Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, a research-intensive 4-year curriculum for Biology majors who are interested in careers in research. This program is currently in its 12th year of support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and also includes a highly successful outreach education program for at-risk students in the DC public school system and a program for developing advanced teaching skills among doctoral students in the sciences. Professor Neale is a founding member of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience and chair of the Student Advisory Committee of that program. His research has been continuously supported for more than 25 years by grants from the NIH. Professor Neale’s laboratory has pioneered the study of N-acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG) the most prevalent peptide transmitter in the mammalian nervous system. Current work focuses on clinical applications of novel compounds that reduce the rate of inactivation of this transmitter. These applications include pain perception, stroke, neurodegenerative disorders and schizophrenia.
Top Papers
Wroblewska, B., J. T Wroblewski, S. Pshenichkin, A Surin, S. E. Sullivan and J. H. Neale. N-Acetylaspartulglutamate selectively activates mGluR3 receptors in transfected cells. J. Neurochem. 69:174-181, 1997.

Bzdega, T., T. Turi, B. Wroblewska, D. She and J. H. Neale. Molecular cloning of a peptidase against N-acetylaspartylglutamate from a rat hippocampal cDNA library.
J. Neurochem. 69:2270-2277, 1997.

Bzdega, T., T. Turi, B. Wroblewska, D. She and J. H. Neale. Molecular cloning of a peptidase against N-acetylaspartylglutamate from a rat hippocampal cDNA library.
J. Neurochem. 69:2270-2277, 1997.

Neale, J. H., Bzdega, T., and B. Wroblewska. N-Acetylaspartylglutamate: The most abundant peptide neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. J. Neurochem. 75:443-452, 2000.

Zhao, J., Cappiello, M., Ramadan, E., Wroblewska, B,. Bzdega, T. and J. H. Neale. NAAG inhibits [3H]-GABA release via mGluRe, cAMP, PKA and L-type calcium channel. Eur. J. Neuroscience 13:340-346, 2001.

Kozikowski, A. P., Nan, f., Conti, P., Zhang, J., Bzdega, T., Wroblewska, B., Neale, J. H., Pshenichkin, S., and J. T. Wroblewski. Design of remarkably simple, yet potent inhibitors of glutamate carboxypeptidase II (NAALADase). J. Medicinal Chemistry 44:298-301,2001.

Bacich, D.J., Ramadan, E., O’Keefe, D.S., Bukhari, N., Wegorzewska, E., Ojeifo, O., Olszewski, R, Wrenn, C. C., Bzdega, T., Wroblewska, B., Heston, W. D. W., and J. H. Neale. Deletion of the glutamate carboxypeptidase II gene in mice reveals a second enzyme activity that hydrolyzes N-acetylaspartylglutamate. J. Neurochem. 83:20-29, 2002.

Bzdega T., Crowe S.L., Ramadan E., Sciarretta K., Olszewski R.T., Ojeifo O., Rafalski V.A., Wroblewska B., Neale J.H. Cloning and characterization of a second enzyme with NAAG peptidase activity. J. Neurochem., 89:627-636, 2004.

Olszewski R., Bukhari R., Zhou J., Kozikowski A., Wroblewski J., Shamimi-Norri S., Wroblewska B., Bzdega T., Barton F., and Neale J. H. NAAG peptidase inhibition reduces locomotor activity and some stereotypes in the PCP model of schizophrenia via group II mGluR. J. Neurochem., 89:876-885, 2004.

Neale J.H., Olszewski R., Gehl L. M. Wroblewska B. and Bzdega T. The neurotransmitter N-acetylaspartylglutamate in models of pain, ALS, diabetic neuropathy, CNS injury and schizophrenia. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 9:476-484, 2005.

What are the top three papers (not yours) you have read recently?
Harrison and Weinberger, Molecular Pharmacology 10:40, 2005.

Javitt et al., Neuropsychopharmacology 30:649, 2005.
If resources were not limited, what research projects would you pursue?
The efficacy of NAAG peptidase inhibition in moderating the behavioral effects of PCP in animal models.
What is your leading hypothesis?
A parallel glutamate, dopamine theory for formulation of therapeutic strategies for treatment of schizophrenia
What piece of missing evidence would help prove it?
Complete assay of the efficacy of potent NAAG peptidase inhibitors in behavioral models of schizophrenia. Inhibitors alone and in combination with atypical antipsychotic drugs or NMDA receptor glycine site agonists.
What is your fallback position?
NAAG peptidase inhibitors are effective in only some classes of behaviors elicited by PCP.

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