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George D Bittner

Department of Neuroscience

Cellular/molecular mechanisms of plasmalemmal repair and nerve regeneration.


Phone: 512-471-5454

Office Location
PAT 321

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

George Bittner graduated from Duke University in 1962 where he received his AB in Chemistry, Magna Cum Laude. He entered Stanford University as an MD/Ph.D. student in 1962. He withdrew in good standing (6th in Class) from Stanford Medical School in 1966 to devote full time to research under the tutelage of Dr. Donald Kennedy (Chairman of Biological Sciences). He received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 1967 from Stanford University. He began his postdoctoral work in the Department of Anatomy and the Brain Research Institute at UCLA with Dr. Jose Segundo and joined the faculty at the University of Texas in 1969. Dr. Bittner has had extensive collaborations with scientists in the US. He has been a Visiting Professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and a visiting scholar at the University of Western Australia (Nedlands,Perth). He has served on many NIH and NSF panels and was Chairperson of the Neuroscience Panel for Howard Hughes and NSF Predoctoral Fellowships in1996. his research is widely known both nationally and internationally, as recognized in part by a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health, his election as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1992. Dr. Bittner was one of four founding members of the Institute for Neuroscience at the University of Texas and served for over a decade on its Executive Committee. He is a Professor of Neurobiology and Pharmacology at the University of Texas at Austin and an adjunct Professor at the Department of Physiology/Biophysics at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston, TX.

Research Summary:
We research cellular/molecular mechanisms of plasmalemmal repair and nerve regeneration. That is, we examine various biophysical, biochemical, or molecular mechanisms by which lesioned neurons repair lesions to their plasmalemma and regenerate axons. We are particularly interested in the role of calcium and axonal proteins in plasmalemmal repair and how such plasmlemmal repair relates to axonal regeneration. we are also interested in how polyethylene glycol (PEG) can be used to repair severed axons so that axonal continuity and function can be permanently repaired within minutes after applying PEG to rejoin severed axons. We also explore and define biochemical pathways by which neurons repair plasmalemmal damage.

2012 Zuzek A, Fan JD, Spaeth CS, Bittner GD, Sealing of transected neurites of rat B104 cells requires a diacylglycerol PKC-dependent pathway and a PKA-dependent pathway, Cell Molecular Neuroscience In Press

2012 Sexton,K.W., Pollins,A.C., Cardwell. A.L., Del Corral, G.A., Bittner, G.D., Shack,R.B., Nanney. L.B. Thayer, W.P. , Hydrophilic polymers enhance early funtional outcomes after nerve autografting. , J. Surgical Res. In Press

2012 Bittner, GD C.P. Keating, J. R. Kane , J.M. Britt, C. S. Spaeth, J. D. Fan, A. Zuzek R. W. Wilcott, W. P. Thayer, J.M. Winograd, F. Gonzalez-Lima and T. Schallert, Rapid, effective and long-lasting behavioral recovery produced by microsutures, methylene blue and polyethylene glycol after complete cut of rat sciatic nerves., J Neurosci Res. 90.: 967-980

2012 Spaeth CS, Robison TR, Fan, JD, Bittner GD, Cellular mechanisms of plasmalemmal sealing and axonal repair by polyethylene glycol and methylene blue., J. Neurosci Res. 90: 955-966

2012 Spaeth CS, Boydston EA, Wilcott RW, Fan JD, Robison T, Bittner,GD, Pathways for plasmalemmal repair mediated by PKA, Epac and cytosolic oxidation in rat B104 cells in vitro and rat sciatic axons ex vivo., Devel Neurol In press

2012 Spaeth CS, Fan, GD, Spaeth EB, Robison T, Wilcott RW, Bittner GD, Neurite transection produces cytosolic oxidation which enhances plasmalemmal repair., J Neurosci Res. 90: 945-954

2011 Yang, C.Z,, Yaniger, S.I., Jordan, V.C., Klein, D., Bittner, G.D., Environmental Health Perspectives, Most Plastic Products Release Estrogenic Chemicals: A Potential Health Problem That Can Be Solved. 119: 898-996.