Dr. Barbara Waszczak is Professor of Pharmacology in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bouve College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Prior to joining the faculty in 1983, she served as a Staff Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Judith Walters at the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She received a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan in 1978.
Dr. Waszczak’s research is focused on dopamine system neuropharmacology and disorders of the brain’s basal ganglia with a special emphasis on Parkinson’s disease. Using in vivo electrophysiological methods, she was instrumental in revealing how dopamine receptor stimulation regulates basal ganglia output from the substantia pars reticulata in rats, and how loss of dopamine alters D1 and D2 dopamine receptor co-expression in the corpus striatum, findings which challenge prevailing views of basal ganglia functional organization. Her current research focuses on finding a way to deliver the neurotrophic factor, GDNF, to the brain by a non-invasive means in an effort to harness its neuroprotective potential as a therapeutic agent for Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Waszczak has over 50 publications and has served as mentor for 7 PhD students and numerous undergraduate and MS students. She has taught neuropharmacology for the last 25 years to Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) and Pharmacology MS and PhD students at Northeastern. She also served from 1991-1995 as a member of an NIH Study Section focused on Neurological Disorders.