1. Profile
  2. Douglas Feinstein

Douglas Feinstein PhD

Douglas Feinstein
  • Research Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, UIC
  • Research Career Scientist, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center
Contact Information
  • dlfeins [at]
  • (312) 996-9562

Doug Feinstein, Ph.D. (Professor, Anesthesiology; Bioengineering; Cell Biology and Anatomy; Biopharmaceutical Science) studies novel approaches to reduce damage and inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases. Studies include analysis of disease progression in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and multiple sclerosis (MS), in vitro studies using primary cultures of neurons and glial cells from wild type and transgenic mice, and analysis of the molecular events involved. Dr. Feinstein is involved in the design of early stage clinical trials for MS and AD.  Lastly, investigations on the effect of volatile anesthetics on neuro-inflammation are in progress.

  • Project 1

    Dr Feinstein pioneered discoveries showing that neurons in the brain that synthesize the neurotransmitter noradrenaline are damaged in AD patients, and this contributes to AD pathology (9, 15). Projects in the lab are characterizing when and how this damage occurs, and use novel drugs to reduce that damage. These treatments include treating mice with droxidopa, a compound similar to the Parkinson’s drug levodopa, but which is converted to noradrenaline rather than dopamine.

  • Project 2

    Screening a panel of novel compounds for the ability to induce immature neurons to differentiate into mature noradrenergic neurons.  There are 2 ongoing projects that test treatments to reduce disease in EAE, the animal model of MS. The first trial involves studies on a compound called dimethyl fumarate (DMF), which is in phase III trials for MS although the  mechanism(s) of action are not known. Dr Feinstein showed that DMF reduces inflammation in the brain, and recently reported that DMF increases the number of T regulatory cells that reduce CNS inflammation. Studies are aimed to determine how DMF acts on these Tcells. The 2nd MS project is based on recent findings that the inhaled anesthetic, sevoflurane, reduces EAE disease, and may also involve effects on Tregs.

  • Feinstein Labs

    Doug Feinstein is Research Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at UIC. He also is a Research Biologist at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center across the street. He's been doing research on neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative diseases throughout his career. He received degrees from MIT and Johns Hopkins University, did post doc training in Sweden, Switzerland, and France, then took a position in Neuroscience with Don Reis at Cornell University Medical College in Manhattan. He moved to UIC in 1999. He's been continuously funded by Federal, Pharma, and non-for-profit societies, and published about 160 papers. He is Associate or Handling Editor on several journals, serves on review panels for NIH, the VA, the NMSS and the Alzheimer’s Association. He was President of the American Society for Neurochemistry, and still hangs out at annual meetings. He's a better than mediocre guitarist, and a devoted chess addict (FICA 1500).

Title Description Investigator(s) Category Status
Microglial epigenome and alcohol exposure Alcohol induced epigenetic modifications in microglia and its role in the regulation of innate immune gene expression will be investigated in this pilot project. Several future pilot projects are planned to be included. Alcohol Research Center Completed