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Pavel Belichenko

Pavel Belichenko

Associate Adjunct Professor

Contact Information

Pavel Belichenko is uniquely trained in anatomy, neuroanatomy, and histology. He received his education in medicine and biochemistry at the Second Medical Institute, Ministry of Health in Moscow, Russia, in 1976, and went on to postgraduate training at the Academy of Medical Science, Brain Research Institute, Moscow, where he earned his PhD studying the organization of trigeminal and vagus nerves.

Dr. Belichenko then became a researcher at the Brain Research Institute Academy of Medical Science in Moscow. In 1988 he began a series of academic appointments as a visiting scientist, first at the prestigious Max-Planck Institute of Brain Research in Frankfurt-Main, Germany, and then at the Institute of Neurobiology, University of Goteborg in Goteborg, Sweden; the Institute of Histology and General Embryology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland; and Institute of Animal Health, Edinburgh University, Scotland.

In 1999, Dr. Belichenko left Europe for Stanford University where he accepted a position in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences.

His research focuses on 3 areas: 1) The neurobiology of autism spectrum disorders, specifically Rett syndrome; 2) the neurobiology of Down syndrome, and 3) the Human Brain Mapping project at the single cell level.

For Rett syndrome, he is establishing primary rodent cortical tissue cultures, single cell labeling, a confocal microscopy, and behavioral testing.

As Director for Circuit Structure at the UCSD Down Syndrome Center for Research and Treatment, Dr. Belichenko is producing morphological and behavioral data in developing pharmacotherapies for improving cognition and learning in people with Down syndrome.

With the Human Brain Mapping project, he is studying the neuronal architecture of the human brain, specifically the classification of interneurons and projection cells.

Pavel Belichenko is an expert on many different microscopic techniques from confocal laser scanning microscopy and 3D morphometric techniques to electron microscopy. Dr. Belichenko has published extensively, in top tier journals, including the Journal of Neuroscience, where he defined a small part of the trisomic chromosome called the Down Syndrome Critical Region that is sufficient in a mouse model to confer the behavioral, neurophysiological and synaptic phenotypes characteristic of Down syndrome. This seminal finding sets the stage for future studies to define the specific gene or genes that present the Down syndrome phenotype.

In addition, his research has included studies on the biochemistry of enzymes in rat livers; studies on the central organization of trigeminal and vagus nerves in the rat and human brain; studies on neuronal structure of the human brain stem during postnatal development, aging, and in pathological states (schizophrenia); research on neuronal structure of raphe nuclei during postnatal development and aging; research on neuronal structure in various cortical areas (temporal, frontal, parietal, motor and visual) in the human brain in normal and pathological conditions (epilepsy, Rett syndrome, infantile autism, AIDS, CJD); research on neuronal structure in speech neocortical areas in the human brain in normal cases, Rett syndrome, and infantile autism cases; and most recently, research on neuronal structure of neocortical areas in mouse models of Rett syndrome and Down syndrome.

Human chromosome 21 orthologous region on mouse chromosome 17 is a major determinant of Down syndrome-related developmental cognitive deficits.
Zhang L, Meng K,  Liu C, Pao A, Belichenko PV, Kleschevnikov AM, Josselyn S, Liang P, Ye P, Mobley WC, Yu YE. 
Publish date: 2013 Sep 25. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 24041763

Deficits in cognition and synaptic plasticity in a mouse model of Down syndrome ameliorated by GABAB receptor antagonists.
Kleschevnikov AM, Belichenko PV, Faizi M, Jacobs LF, Htun K, Shamloo M, Mobley WC.
Publish date: 2012
PMID: 22764230

Genetic analysis of Down syndrome facilitated by mouse chromosome engineering.
Zhang L, Fu D, Belichenko PV, Liu C, Kleschevnikov AM, Pao A, Liang P, Clapcote SJ, Mobley WC, Yu YE
Publish date: 2012, Jan 1

Discoveries in Down syndrome: Moving basic science to clinical care.
Kleschevnikov A.M., Belichenko P.V., Salehi A., Wu C.
Publish date: 2012

Increased efficiency of the GABAA and GABAB receptor-mediated neurotransmission in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome.
Kleschevnikov AM,Belichenko PV,Gall J,George L,Nosheny R,Maloney MT,Salehi A,Mobley WC.
Publish Date: 2012 Feb
PMID: 22062771

Mouse models for down syndrome-associated developmental cognitive disabilities.
Liu C,Belichenko PV,Zhang L,Fu D,Kleschevnikov AM,Baldini A,Antonarakis SE,Mobley WC,Yu YE.
Publish Date: 2011
PMID: 21865664

Three-dimensional synaptic ultrastructure in the dentate gyrus and hippocampal area CA3 in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome.
Popov VI,Kleschevnikov AM,Klimenko OA,Stewart MG,Belichenko PV.
Publish Date: 2011 May 1
PMID: 21452200

Neuroprotection of host cells by human central nervous system stem cells in a mouse model of infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.
Tamaki SJ,Jacobs Y,Dohse M,Capela A,Cooper JD,Reitsma M,He D,Tushinski R,Belichenko PV,Salehi A,Mobley W,Gage FH,Huhn S,Tsukamoto AS,Weissman IL,Uchida N.
Publish Date: 2009 Sep 4
PMID: 19733542

The "Down syndrome critical region" is sufficient in the mouse model to confer behavioral, neurophysiological, and synaptic phenotypes characteristic of Down syndrome.
Belichenko NP,Belichenko PV,Kleschevnikov AM,Salehi A,Reeves RH,Mobley WC.
Publish Date: 2009 May 6
PMID: 19420260

Widespread changes in dendritic and axonal morphology in Mecp2-mutant mouse models of Rett syndrome: evidence for disruption of neuronal networks.
Belichenko PV,Wright EE,Belichenko NP,Masliah E,Li HH,Mobley WC,Francke U.
Publish Date: 2009 May 20
PMID: 19296534

Evidence for both neuronal cell autonomous and nonautonomous effects of methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 in the cerebral cortex of female mice with Mecp2 mutation.
Belichenko NP,Belichenko PV,Mobley WC.
Publish Date: 2009 Apr
PMID: 19167498

Excitatory-inhibitory relationship in the fascia dentata in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome.
Belichenko PV,Kleschevnikov AM,Masliah E,Wu C,Takimoto-Kimura R,Salehi A,Mobley WC.
Publish Date: 2009 Feb 1
PMID: 19034952

Comparative study of brain morphology in Mecp2 mutant mouse models of Rett syndrome.
Belichenko NP,Belichenko PV,Li HH,Mobley WC,Francke U.
Publish Date: 2008 May 1
PMID: 18306326

Using mouse models to explore genotype-phenotype relationship in Down syndrome.
Salehi A,Faizi M,Belichenko PV,Mobley WC.
Publish Date: 2007
PMID: 17910089

Synaptic and cognitive abnormalities in mouse models of Down syndrome: exploring genotype-phenotype relationships.
Belichenko PV,Kleschevnikov AM,Salehi A,Epstein CJ,Mobley WC.
Publish Date: 2007 Oct 1
PMID: 17663443

Increased App expression in a mouse model of Down's syndrome disrupts NGF transport and causes cholinergic neuron degeneration.
Salehi A,Delcroix JD,Belichenko PV,Zhan K,Wu C,Valletta JS,Takimoto-Kimura R,Kleschevnikov AM,Sambamurti K,Chung PP,Xia W,Villar A,Campbell WA,Kulnane LS,Nixon RA,Lamb BT,Epstein CJ,Stokin GB,Goldstein LS,Mobley WC.
Publish Date: 2006 Jul 6
PMID: 16815330

Penetration, diffusion, and uptake of recombinant human alpha-L-iduronidase after intraventricular injection into the rat brain.
Belichenko PV,Dickson PI,Passage M,Jungles S,Mobley WC,Kakkis ED.
Publish Date: 2005 Sep-Oct
PMID: 16006167

Identification and characterization of a new Down syndrome model, Ts[Rb(12.1716)]2Cje, resulting from a spontaneous Robertsonian fusion between T(171)65Dn and mouse chromosome 12.
Villar AJ,Belichenko PV,Gillespie AM,Kozy HM,Mobley WC,Epstein CJ.
Publish Date: 2005 Feb
PMID: 15859352

Synaptic structural abnormalities in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down Syndrome.
Belichenko PV,Masliah E,Kleschevnikov AM,Villar AJ,Epstein CJ,Salehi A,Mobley WC.
Publish Date: 2004 Dec 13
PMID: 15515178

Hippocampal long-term potentiation suppressed by increased inhibition in the Ts65Dn mouse, a genetic model of Down syndrome.
Kleschevnikov AM,Belichenko PV,Villar AJ,Epstein CJ,Malenka RC,Mobley WC.
Publish Date: 2004 Sep 15
PMID: 15371516

Structural changes in the dendritic spines of pyramidal neurons in layer III of the sensorimotor cortex of the rat cerebral cortex in the late post-ischemic period.
Akulinin VA,Semchenko VV,Stepanov SS,Belichenko PV.
Publish Date: 2004 Mar
PMID: 15151174

Trafficking the NGF signal: implications for normal and degenerating neurons.
Delcroix JD,Valletta J,Wu C,Howe CL,Lai CF,Cooper JD,Belichenko PV,Salehi A,Mobley WC.
Publish Date: 2004
PMID: 14699953

[Structural changes in dendritic spines of the pyramidal neurons of layer III of the rat sensory-motor cortex during remote postischemic period].
Akulinin VA,Semchenko VV,Stepanov SS,Belichenko PV.
Publish Date: 2002
PMID: 12530305