Asha Suryanarayanan, PhD, FPGEC

Asha Suryanarayanan

Asha Suryanarayanan PhD, FPGEC

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences


PhD, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

BPharm, University of Bombay, India

Research Interests

Mechanisms of neuroimmune modulation of GABAergic function

Role of cytokines in acute and chronic response to ethanol

Novel biological compounds with neuroprotective properties


Dr. Suryanarayanan earned her bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Mumbai, India. She subsequently earned her PhD degree from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California Los Angeles and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the University of the Sciences, Dr. Suryanarayanan was a founding faculty member at Manchester University College of Pharmacy, Indiana.

Dr. Suryanarayanan’s research focuses on neuropharmacology of ligand-gated ion channels. More specifically, the lab is interested in neuroimmune modulation of GABAA receptor function in normal physiology as well as disease states such as alcoholism and epilepsy. We recently discovered that the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 modulates GABAergic neurotransmission in the brain. IL-10 is also involved in acute behavioral response to a single intoxicating dose of ethanol. Ongoing studies are investigating mechanisms of this neuroimmune modulation using mammalian cell culture as well as rat brain slice models.

Another area of interest (pursued via collaborations) is identification of novel biological compounds which have neuroprotective activity in disease states such as Parkinson’s disease.

Approaches used in the lab include field potential recordings, rat brain slice electrophysiology, biochemistry such as cross-linking and biotinylation-based western blotting, immunoprecipitation and neurobehavioral assays. The studies in my lab aim to provide significant insight into cytokine modulation of GABAergic transmission in normal physiology as well as acute and chronic ethanol exposure.

Selected Scholarly Activity

Suryanarayanan A, Carter, JM, Landin JD, Morrow AL, Werner DF, Spigelman I. “Role of interleukin-10 (IL-10) in regulation of GABAergic transmission and acute response to ethanol”. Neuropharmacology. Accepted. DOI: J. Neuropharm.2016.03.027.

Lindemeyer AK, Liang J, Marty VN, Meyer EM, Suryanarayanan A, Olsen RW, Spigelman I. ‘Ethanol-induced plasticity of GABAA receptors in the basolateral amygdala.’ Neurochem Res. 2014 Jun;39(6):1162-70. PMID: 24710789

Liang J, Lindemeyer AK, Suryanarayanan A, Meyer EM, Marty VN, Ahmad SO, Shao XM, Olsen RW, Spigelman I. ‘Plasticity of GABA(A) receptor-mediated neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens of alcohol-dependent rats.’ J Neurophysiol. 2014 Jul 1;112(1):39-50. PMID: 24694935

Spigelman I, Liang J, Suryanarayanan A, Lindemeyer K, Meyer EM, Marty V and Olsen RW. Alterations in GABAAR-mediated tonic and phasic inhibition in the nucleus accumbens of rats after chronic intermittent ethanol treatment. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, Supplement to Vol. 36 (6): p.326A, #092, 2012.

Suryanarayanan A, Liang J, Meyer EM, A. Kerstin Lindemeyer KA, Chandra D, Homanics GE, Sieghart W, Olsen RW and Spigelman I. "Subunit compensation and plasticity of synaptic GABAA receptors induced by ethanol in a4 subunit knockout mice" Frontiers in Neuropharmacology, 2011;5:110.

Werner DF, Kumar S, Criswell HE, Suryanarayanan A, Fetzer JA, Comerford CE, Morrow AL. PKCγ is required for ethanol-induced increases in GABA(A) receptor α4 subunit expression in cultured cerebral cortical neurons. J Neurochem. 2011 Feb;116(4):554-63.

Kumar S, Suryanarayanan A, Boyd KN, Comerford CE, Lai MA, Ren Q, Morrow AL. Ethanol reduces GABAA alpha1 subunit receptor surface expression by a protein kinase C gamma-dependent mechanism in cultured cerebral cortical neurons. Mol Pharmacol. 2010 May; 77(5): 793-803.

Hazai E, Joshi PR, Skoviak EC, Suryanarayanan A, Schulte MK, Bikadi Z "A comprehensive study on the 5-Hydroxytryptamine3A Receptor Binding of Agonists serotonin and m-Chlorophenylbiguanidine" Bioorg Med Chem 2009 Aug, 17(16):5796¬-805.

Chandra D, Werner DF, Liang J, Suryanarayanan A, Harrison NL, Spigelman I, Olsen RW, Homanics GE. Normal acute behavioral responses to moderate/high dose ethanol in GABAA receptor alpha 4 subunit knockout mice. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2008 Jan; 32(1): 8-10.

Liang J, Suryanarayanan A, Chandra D, Homanics GE, Olsen RW, Spigelman I. Functional consequences of GABAA receptor alpha 4 subunit deletion on synaptic and extrasynaptic currents in mouse dentate granule cells. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2008 Jan; 32(1):19-26.

Liang J*, Suryanarayanan A*, Abriam A, Snyder B, Olsen RW, Spigelman I. Mechanisms of reversible GABAA receptor plasticity after ethanol intoxication. J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 7; 27(45):12367-77.

Chandra D, Jia F, Liang J, Peng Z, Suryanarayanan A, Werner DF, Spigelman I, Houser CR, Olsen RW, Harrison NL and Homanics GE. GABAA receptor alpha 4 subunits mediate extrasynaptic inhibition in thalamus and dentate gyrus and the action of gaboxadol. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Oct 10; 103(41):15230-5.

Suryanarayanan A*, Joshi PR*, Bikádi Z, Kulkarni T, Mani M, and Schulte M.K. “The Loop C Region of the Murine 5-HT(3A) Receptor Contributes to the Differential Actions of 5-hydroxytryptamine and m-chlorophenylbiguanide Biochemistry. 2005 Jun 28;44(25):9140-9.

For a full list, please see PubMed

Contact Information

Office location: Pharm-Tox Center, Room 241
Mailing address: University of Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Office Phone: 215-596-7152

a [dot] suryanarayanan [at] usciences [dot] edu