Alan Frazer, Ph.D.

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Alan Frazer, Ph.D.


Professor and Chairman, Department of Pharmacology
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Dr. Frazer’s research primarily focuses on the mechanisms of action of antidepressants. Using mostly an in vivo approach, he and his colleagues measure the behavioral and neurochemical effects produced by various types of antidepressants in experimental animals. He is currently examining effects caused by VNS, which has received approval for treatment-refractory depression. He is also examining the interaction between ovarian steroids and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) at the level of the serotonin transporter. These latter studies have implications for the treatment of postmenopausal depressed patients. Neuroanatomical localization of drug-induced effects is emphasized by employing techniques such as quantitative autoradiography, immunohistochemistry and in vivo voltammetry. Dr. Frazer also carries out clinical studies directed at clarifying the onset and timing of behavioral improvement induced by antidepressants. This work has demonstrated that behavioral improvement begins earlier than had been considered.

In addition to his current post, Dr. Frazer has been a Career Scientist of the Department of Veterans Affairs.