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Bernard G Schreurs, PhD


Bernard Schreurs



Physiology, Pharmacology, & Neuroscience; Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute

Graduate Training

PhD,  University of Iowa


Section on Neural Systems, NINDS, NIH

Research Interests

My research is in learning and memory, synaptic plasticity, and preclinical models of Alzheimer’s disease and posttraumatic stress disorder. The lab has been studying the neural basis of learning and memory using a number of model systems including the marine snail, Hermissenda, the rabbit eyelid/nictitating membrane preparation, and human eyelid conditioning. Studies have focused on revealing the behavioral laws and identifying the neural substrates of learning and memory as well as examining the synaptic plasticity that occurs at these substrates. We use classical conditioning as a behavioral paradigm and slice electrophysiology as a way of recording the changes that learning induces in the brain. We are currently using patch clamp recording and retrograde viral tack tracing to identify changes in specific neurons in the cerebellum involved in learning. We have developed an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease which can produce Alzheimer’s-like pathology using simple dietary manipulations. We also have an animal model of some aspects of posttraumatic stress disorder that has yielded insights into possible behavioral treatments for the disorder. 

Research Topics

1.Determining behavioral and pharmacological treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a preclinical model. 

2.Developing and studying preclinical models of Alzheimer’s Disease induced by dietary manipulations. 

3.Antero- and retrograde polysynaptic viral track tracing and slice electrophysiology. 

Lab Personnel and Collaborators

Lauren B. Burhans, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Roger Bell, B.S.
Senior Research Assistant

Sylwia W. Brooks, B.S.
 MD/Ph.D. candidate

Carrie A. Smith-Bell, B.S.
Senior Research Assistant

Desheng Wang, MD, Ph.D.
Research Associate


  • Denvira, J., Neitch, S., Fan, J., Niles, R.M., Boskovic, G., Schreurs, B.G., Primerano, D.A. & Alkon, D.L. (2015). Identification of the PS1 Thr147Ile variant in a family with very early onset dementia and expressive aphasia. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 46, 483-490.
  • Schreurs, B.G. & Burhans, L.B. (2015). Eyeblink classical conditioning and post traumatic stress disorder – a model systems approach. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 6:50. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00050. 
  • Wang, D. & Schreurs, B.G. (2014). Maturation of membrane properties of neurons in the rat deep cerebellar nuclei. Developmental Neurobiology, 74, 1268-1276. 
  • Schreurs, B.G., Smith-Bell, C.A., Wang, D. & Burhans, L.B. (2013). Dietary cholesterol degrades rabbit long term memory for discrimination learning but facilitates acquisition of discrimination reversal. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 106, 238-245. PMCID: PMC3851950. 
  • Schreurs, B.G., Burhans, L.B., Smith-Bell, C.A., Mrowka, S.W. & Wang, D. (2013). Ontogeny of trace eyeblink conditioning to shock-shock pairings in the rat pup. Behavioral Neuroscience, 127, 114-120.
  • Gonzalez-Joekes, J. & Schreurs, B.G. (2012). Anatomical characterization of a rabbit cerebellar eyeblink premotor pathway using pseudorabies and identification of a local modulatory network in anterior interpositus. Journal of Neuroscience, 32, 12472-12487. PMCID: PMC3475616.