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Thomas Hnasko, PhD

Thomas Hnasko, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Neurosciences

Contact Information

Email: thnasko{at}
Phone: 858.822.0672

Biomedical Research Facility 2
BRF2, lab #2217E, office #2123

Mailing Address:
University of California, San Diego
Attn: Hnasko Lab MC 0626
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093

Lab Website:

Our primary goal is to achieve a better understanding of the neural circuitry involved in motivated behaviors, decision making, & movement. We focus on glutamatergic and dopaminergic neurotransmission to and from midbrain neurons of particular importance to mental illness, including drug addiction, schizophrenia, depression and the neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson’s Disease. Our core approach is to leverage the power of modern molecular genetic tools and mouse models in order to perturb specific genes and control discrete neural circuit elements – that we may better define their roles in physiology, behavior & disease.

Hnasko TS, Edwards RH. Neurotransmitter co-release: mechanism and physiological role. Annual Reviews in Physiology 74:225-43 (2012).

Goh GY, Huang H, Ullman J, Borre L, Hnasko TS, Trussell LO, Edwards RH. Presynaptic regulation of quantal size: K+/H+ exchange stimulates vesicular glutamate transport. Nature Neuroscience, 14:1285-92 (2011).

Scherrer G, Low SA, Wang X, Zhang J, Yamanaka H, Urban R, Hnasko TS, Edwards RH, Basbaum AI. VGLUT2 expression in primary afferent neurons is essential for normal acute pain and heat hypersensitivity following peripheral injury. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA107:22296-01 (2010).

*Stuber G, *Hnasko TS, Britt J, Edwards RH, Bonci A. Dopaminergic terminals in the nucleus accumbens but not the dorsal striatum co-release glutamate. Journal of Neuroscience, 30:8229-33 (2010). *Co-first authors

Hnasko TS, Chuhma N, Zhang H, Goh GY, Sulzer D, Palmiter RD, Rayport S, Edwards RH. Vesicular glutamate transport promotes dopamine storage and glutamate corelease in vivo. Neuron 65:643-56 (2010).