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Paul Slesinger

  • PROFESSOR Neuroscience
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  • B.A., Reed College

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California

  • Ph.D, University of California



  • 2006 - 2008
    NARSAD Independent Investigator Award

  • 2003 - 2005
    McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Award

  • 2001 - 2004
    Human Frontiers Science Program Young Investigator Grant

  • 1999 - 2002
    McKnight Scholars Award in Neuroscience

  • 1998 - 2000
    Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow


Basic functions in the brain, such as making decisions, consuming food and forming memories, rely on a proper balance of excitatory and inhibitory neuronal signals. Our research focuses on the function of potassium ion channels, which generate one of the inhibitory signals in the brain.  We are particularly interested in G protein-regulated potassium channels and their role in drug addiction and mental disorders. We have unraveled the molecular details underlying G protein modulation, elucidated a structural mechanism of alcohol-mediated activation, and discovered drug-induced plasticity for these G protein-gated potassium channels.  As potassium channels emerge as critical gatekeepers of neuronal excitability, the results of our research may lead to the development of more effective treatments for diverse neurological diseases such as epilepsy, Down syndrome, alcohol abuse and drug addiction.

Dr. Michael Beaumont (postdoc)   
Dr. Ian Glasser (postdoc)   
Dr. Nidaa O. Marsh (postdoc)   
Dr. Kristin G. Beaumont (visiting scientist)   
Dr. Karthik Bodhinathan (postdoc)     
Michaelanne Munoz (UCSD graduate student)   
Victory Joseph (UCSD graduate student)


Padgett CL, Lalive AL, Tan KR, Terunuma M, Munoz MB, Pangalos MN, Martínez-Hernández J, Watanabe M, Moss SJ, Luján R, Lüscher C, Slesinger PA. Methamphetamine-evoked depression of GABA(B) receptor signaling in GABA neurons of the VTA. Neuron 2012 Mar; 73(5).

Balana B, Maslennikov I, Kwiatkowski W, Stern KM, Bahima L, Choe S, Slesinger PA. Mechanism underlying selective regulation of G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium channels by the psychostimulant-sensitive sorting nexin 27. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2011 Apr; 108(14).

Lüscher C, Slesinger PA. Emerging roles for G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels in health and disease.. Nat Rev Neurosci 2010; 11: 301–315.

Aryal P, Dvir D, Choe S, Slesinger PA. A discrete alcohol pocket involved in GIRK channel activation. . Nature Neurosci., 2009; 12(8): 988-995.

Lunn ML, Nassirpour R, Arrabit C, Tan J, Mcleod I, Arias C, Sawchenko PE, Yates I, Slesinger PA. A unique sorting nexin regulates trafficking of potassium channels via a PDZ domain interaction.. Nature Neurosci. 2007; 10(10): 1249-1259.

Industry Relationships

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Below are financial relationships with industry reported by Dr. Slesinger during 2012 and/or 2013. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

Royalty Payments:

  • Pfizer Inc.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website at Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.

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