1. Profile
  2. John Larson

John Larson PhD

John Larson
  • Associate Professor Emeritus
Gender Pronouns
  • he/him
Contact Information
  • jrlarson [at]
  • (312) 413-4572
  • School of Public Health / Psychiatric Institute (SPHPI)
    1601 W. Taylor St.
    SPHPI MC 912
    Chicago IL 60612
  • Room #:529

John Larson is Associate Professor of Physiology in Psychiatry. He received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. in Psychobiology from the University of California, Irvine. His research interests are in understanding the role of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in learning and memory formation. Dr. Larson studies mouse models for diseases affecting learning and memory, such as Alzheimer’s disease and autism spectrum disorders. Of particular interest is the neurobiology of Fragile X Syndrome, a monogenetic disorder that is the most common inherited intellectual disability and the most common known cause of autism. Dr. Larson is also interested in the synaptic and cellular mechanisms responsible for neuronal damage after oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) as occurs in stroke.

  • psychiatry
    • Synaptic plasticity
    • Learning and Memory
    • Stroke and Ischemia
  • Cortical synaptic function and memory in mouse models for autism

  • Neurobiology of the naked mole-rat

  • Regulation of neuronal gene expression in learning

  • Synaptic plasticity and neuronal function in mouse models for Alzheimer’s disease

  • Olfactory learning and memory in mice

  • Aging and memory function in mice

  • Mechanisms for hypoxia tolerance in mammalian nervous system.

    1. Gocel, J. & Larson, J. Evidence for loss of synaptic AMPA receptors in anterior piriform cortex of aged mice. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 5 (2013) Article 39 (PMID: 23964238)
    2. VandeVrede, L., Abdelhamid, R., Qin, Z., Choi, J., Piyankarage, S., Luo, J., Larson, J., Bennett, B., & Thatcher, G.R.J. An NO donor approach to neuroprotective and procognitive estrogen therapy overcomes loss of NO synthase function and potentially thrombotic risk. PLoS One, 8(8): e70740 (2013) (PMCID: PMC3745399).
    3. Larson, J., Drew, K.L., Folkow, L.P., Milton, S.L., & Park, T.J.  No oxygen? No problem! Intrinsic brain tolerance to hypoxia in vertebrates. Journal of Experimental Biology, 217 (2014) 1024-1039 (PMID: 24671961).
    4. Larson, J.  Munkácsy, E. Theta-Burst LTP. Brain Research, 1621 (2015) 38-50 (PMID: 25452022).
    5. Penz, O.K., Fuzik, J., Kurek, A.B., Romanov, R., Larson, J., Park, T.J., Harkany, T., & Keimpema, E. Protracted brain development in a rodent model of extreme longevity. Scientific Reports, 5 (2015) 11592 (PMCID: PMC4484490).
    6. Luo, J., Lee, S.H., VandeVrede, L., Qin, Z., BenAissa, M., Larson, J., Teich, A.F., Arancio, O., D’Souza, Y., Elharram, A., Koster, K., Tai, L.M., LaDu, M.J., Bennett, B.M., & Thatcher, G.R.J. A multifunctional therapeutic approach to disease modification in multiple familial mouse models and a novel sporadic model of Alzheimer’s disease. Molecular Neurodegeneration, 11 (2016) article 35. (PMID: 27129593)
    7. Balu, D., Larson, J., Schmidt, J.V., Wirtshafter, D., Yevtodiyenkoa, A., & Leonard, J.P. Behavioral and physiological characterization of PKC-dependent phosphorylation in the Grin2aDPKC mouse. Brain Research, 1646 (2016) 315-326. (PMID: 27317637)
    8. Geiseler, S.J., Larson, J., & Folkow, L. Synaptic transmission despite severe hypoxia in hippocampal slices of the deep-diving hooded seal. Neuroscience, 334 (2016) 39-46. (PMID: 27480049)
    9. Park, T.J., Reznick, J., Peterson, B., Blass, G.R.C., Omerbasic, D., Bennett, N.C., Kuich, P.H.J.L., Zasada, C., Browe, B.M., Hamann, W., Applegate, D.T., Radke, M.H., Kosten, T., Lutermann, H., Gavaghan, V., Eigenbrod, O., Begay, V., Amoroso, V.G., Govind, V., Minshall, R.D., Smith, E.St.J., Larson, J., Gotthardt, M., Kempa, S., & Lewin, G.R. Fructose driven glycolysis supports anoxia resistance in the naked mole-rat. Science, 356 (2017) 307-311. (PMID: 28428423)
    10. Heit, B.S., Dykas, P., Chu, A., Sane, A., & Larson, J. Synaptic and network contributions to anoxic depolarization in mouse hippocampal slices. Neuroscience, 461 (2021) 102-117. (PMID: 33636244)
    11. Park, T.J., Smith, E.S.J., Reznick, J., Bennett, N.C., Applegate, D.T., Larson, J., & Lewin, G.R. African naked mole-rats demonstrate extreme tolerance to hypoxia and hypercapnia. In: R. Buffenstein, T.J. Park, & M.M. Holmes (eds.), The Extraordinary Biology of the Naked Mole-Rat: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 1319 (2021) 255-269. (PMID: 34424519)
    12. Choi, J., Tchernookova, B., Kumar, W., Kiedrowski, L., Goeke, C., Guizzetti, M., Larson, J., Kreitzer, M., & Malchow, R.P. Extracellular ATP-induced alterations in extracellular H+ fluxes from cultured cortical and hippocampal astrocytes. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 15 (2021) Article 640217. (PMID: 33994945)
    13. Buffenstein, R., Amorosa, V., Andziak, B., Avdieiev, S., Azpurua, J., Barker, A.J., Bennett, N.C., Brieno-Enriquez, M., Bronner, G.N., Coen, C., Delaney, M.A., Dengler-Crish, C.M., Edrey, Y., Faulkes, C.G., Frankel, D., Friedlander, G., Gibney, P.A., Gorbunova, V., Hine, C., Holmes, M.M., Jarvis, J.U.M., Kawamura, Y., Kutsukake, N., Kenyon, C., Khaled, W.T., Kikusui, T., Kissil, J., Lagestee, S., Larson, J., Lauer, A., Lavrenchenko, L.A., Lee, A., Levitt, J.B., Lewin, G.R., Lewis Hardell, K.N., Lin, T.D., Mason, M.J., McCloskey, D., McMahon, M., Miura, K., Mogi, K.,  Narayan, V., O’Connor, T.P., Okanoya, K., O'Riain, M.J., Park, T.J., Place, N.J., Podshivalova, K., Pamenter, M.E., Pyott, S.J.,  Reznick, J.,  Ruby, J.G., Salmon, A.B., Santos-Sacchi, J., Sarko, D., Seluanov, A., Shepard, A., Smith, M., Storey, K.B., Tian, X., Vice, E.N., Viltard, M., Watarai, A., Wywial, E., Yamakawa, M., Zemlemerova, E.D., Zions, M., &  Smith, E.S.J. : The naked truth: a comprehensive clarification and classification of current ‘myths' in naked mole-rat biology. Biological Reviews, 97 (2022) 115-140. (PMID: 34476892)
    14. Heit, B.S., Chu, A., Sane, A., Featherstone, D.E., Park, T.J., & Larson, J. Tonic extracellular glutamate and ischemia: glutamate antiporter system xc- regulates anoxic depolarization in hippocampus. Journal of Physiology, 601 (2023) 607-629.
    15. Arzuaga, A., Edmison, D.D., Mroczek, J., Larson, J., & Ragozzino, M.E. Prenatal stress and fluoxetine exposure in mice differentially affect repetitive behaviors and synaptic plasticity in adult male and female offspring. Behavioural Brain Research, 436 (2023) Article 114114.
Title Description Investigator(s) Category Status
Exercise Training and Protection from Hypoxic Brain Damage Stroke is one of the leading causes of both mortality and adult-acquired disability worldwide.  The loss of blood supply (ischemia) to the brain induces a rapid cascade of cellular reactions to loss of energy (ATP) production that causes neuronal death within minutes. Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Laboratory On-going
Neurobiology of the Naked Mole-Rat Naked mole-rats have an unusual lifestyle in that they combine a fully subterranean existence, extreme sociality, and a proclivity for living in large numbers. Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Laboratory On-going
Prenatal SSRI exposure on cognition & synaptic plasticity in autism mouse models This project aims to test whether prenatal selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) exposure in a syndromic (monogenic) mouse model (Fmr1-KO) and idiopathic (polygenic) mouse model (BTBR) of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) exacerbates existing cognitive and synaptic plasticity phenotypes or produces new ASD-related cognitive impairments and synaptic alterations.  Specific Aim 1 will determ Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Laboratory On-going

*System-generated list from psychiatry research website.