Melissa T. Manners, PhD

Melissa Manners

Melissa T. Manners PhD

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience


PhD, Drexel University

BA, Rutgers University

Research Interests

Molecular mechanisms underlying stress and depression

I mentor undergraduate and graduate students interested in conducting laboratory research


Stress is a causal factor for major depressive disorder (MDD). The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, more people will be affected by MDD than by any other disease. Current first-line antidepressant treatments are effective in only 20 out of 100 people; thus, there is a critical medical need to develop improved therapies.

The major focus of my laboratory is to investigate the molecular and behavioral effects of stress, in order to identify new therapeutic targets for antidepressant therapy. We are developing a multidisciplinary research program by incorporating genetics, pharmacology, molecular biology, epigenetics, system neuroscience, next generation sequencing, and behavioral modeling to conduct innovative exploratory and mechanistic studies.

Selected Scholarly Activity

M.T. Manners, J.K. Brynildsen, M. Schechterm X Liu, D.Eacret, J.A. Blendy. “CREB deletion increases resilience to stress and downregulates inflammatory gene expression in the hippocampus.” Brain, Behavior, Immunity (2019).

M.T. Manners, N.L. Yohn, N.F. Lahens, G.R. Grant, M.S. Bartolomei. J.A. Blendy. “Transgenerational inheritance of chronic adolescent stress: Effects of stress response and the amygdala transcriptome.” Genes, Brain and Behavior (2018).

Gao, X, J. Xia, F. Munoz, M.T. Manners, R. Pan, O. Meucci, Y. Dai, H. Hu. “STIMS and Orai1 regulate cytokine production in spinal astrocytes.” Journal of Neuroinflammation (2016).

M.T. Manners, A. Ertel, Y. Tian, S.K. Ajit, “Genome-wdie redistribution of MeCP2 in dorsal root ganglia after peripheral nerve injury.” Epigenetics & Chromatin (2016).

M. T. Manners, Y. Tian, Z. Zhou, S.K.Ajit. “MicroRNAs downregulated in neuropathic pain regulate MeCP2 and BDNF related to pain sensitivity.” FEBS Open Bio. (2015).

K. E. Capasso*, M. T. Manners*, R. A. Qureshi, Y. Tian, R. Gao, H. Hu, J. E. Barrett, A. Sacan, and S. K. Ajit. “Effect of the Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor JNJ-26481585 in pain.” Journal of Molecular Neuroscience (2015) (*equal contribution of authors).

C.E. Beyer, J. M. Dwyer, M. J. Piesla, B. J. Platt, R. Shen, Z. Rahman, K. Chan, M. T. Manners, T. A. Samad, J. D. Kennedy, B. Bingham, G. T. Whiteside. "Depression-like phenotype following chronic CB1 receptor antagonism." Neurobiology of disease (2010).

H. Beal McIlvain, L. Ma, B. Ludwig, M. T. Manners, R. L. Martone, J. Dunlop, E. J. Kaftan, J. D. Kennedy, and G. T. Whiteside. "Purinergic receptor-mediated morphological changes in microglia are transient and independent from inflammatory cytokine release." European journal of pharmacology (2010).

Contact Information

Office location: McNeil Science & Technology Center, Room 374; Lab 355
Mailing address: Box 38
University of Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495

mmanners [at] usciences [dot] edu