Elias Michaelis Lab

Elias Michaelis Lab

Elias Michaelis
Lab Members

Associate Researchers

Dongwei Hui

Associate Researcher | Elias Michaelis Lab

Research Interests

The focus of research in our laboratory is on processes that control both normal and abnormal neurological activity in brain. In particular, a major focus has been on the study of the L-glutamate (Glu) neurotransmitter system and its role in alcohol abuse and alcoholism, the development of seizures, the induction of oxidative stress and neurodegeneration, and the processes involved in aging or age-associated diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease. Glu neurotransmission is the most extensive excitatory transmission in the brain and spinal cord and is thought to be involved in disease states ranging from schizophrenia, to alcoholism, to Lou Gehrig's disease, to seizure disorders, and to Alzheimer's disease. Our laboratory has made and continues to make seminal contributions to the field of Glu neurotransmission and its role in these important behavioral and neurological states.

The most modern techniques of genomics, bioinformatics, transgenics, molecular biology, protein biochemistry, immunocytochemistry, confocal microscopy, and electrophysiology have been applied to solve the research problems confronting us in uncovering the mechanisms of Glu-induced alterations in neurological function. Through collaborations with other colleagues, our research group has branched into behavioral measurements and magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the brain in efforts to explore in living organisms the effects of altered Glu metabolism and activity on brain structure and function. The research group has also generated several unique transgenic and gene knockout mice that are providing us with models of Glu- and aging-associated neurological damage and which have similarities to Alzheimer's disease.


  • Ph.D., University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY (1973)
  • M.D., St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO (1969)
  • B.S., Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ (1966)


Elias Michaelis specializes in neurological and other biomedical sciences. His training an M.D. and a Ph.D. scientist has allowed me to conduct a wide variety of research into important biomedical problems, such as alcohol abuse and related brain damage, seizure neurobiology, and aging-associated neurodegeneration.  

During his Ph.D. training at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, he received a special fellowship awarded by the National Institutes on Neurological Diseases and Stroke. During the early stages of his scientific career, he received a MERIT award from the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. He also received the Higuchi Award for Biomedical Sciences at the University of Kansas and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from St. Louis University School of Medicine, and was named a University of Kansas Distinguished Professor. The research programs in his laboratory were supported continuously through funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the American Heart Association and private foundations and pharmaceutical companies. He has served on the scientific advisory boards of the Oread Laboratories Pharmaceutical, Promega Biotechnology  and Aventis pharmaceutical companies, as well as many NIH review panels.