Brian D. Burrell, PhD (he, his)
Professor of Neuroscience, Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences

Director, USD Graduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (G-RISE)

Co-Director, USD Neuroscience, Nanotechnology & Networks (USD-N3) Program 

Sanford School of Medicine

University of South Dakota

Vermillion, SD 57069


Research Interests: Neuroscience - specifically modulation of synaptic transmission in the context of pain and learning and memory. We use a combination of electrophysiology, cellular biology, and behavioral approaches to understand processes within the nervous system that increase or reduce the perception of painful stimuli. We are especially interested in the role of the endocannabinoid system and the potential overlap between cellular mechanisms that modulate pain and those that mediate learning and memory. Currently our research is supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (1R01NS092716-01A1), USD Center for Brain and Behavior Research, and the Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences.

STEM Graduate Training at USD: I am the Director of the Graduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (G-RISE) T32 training grant which is funded by the NIH National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). The emphasis of this program at USD is to enhance the diversity of the biomedical workforce and to prepare graduate students for a wide range of potential careers in the academia, industry, and government.
Neuroscience at USD:  I am member of the USD Center for Brain & Behavior Research (CBBRe; www.usd.edu/cbbre). I am also the Co-Director of the USD Neuroscience, Nanotechnology & Networks program (USD-N3; www.usd.edu/usdn3), a graduate training program supported by the NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program (DGE-1633213).

Undergraduate Research at USD: I am an active in promoting undergraduate research at USD and am the Co-Director of the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research in Addiction (SPURA; http://www.usd.edu/cbbre/spura).  

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: I highly value enhancing the diversity of the biomedical and biobehavioral workforce. For the scientific enterprise to serve all members of our society, all members of our society must be involved in scienceI am part of the executive committee for the USD-HHMI Inclusive Science Initiative. This is a program funded by a five-year grant from the HHMI Inclusive Excellence program and is meant to generate institutional changes that will increase the participation of students from under-represented groups in the sciences. For more information, go to http://www.usd.edu/research/inclusive-science-initiative.

Public Outreach
TEDx Talk: "What a Leech Can Tell Us ABout How It Hurts".  A recent talk I gave at the Tedx Sioux River symposium about our lab's research and the value of invertebrate model systems for biomedical research.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b32tZfte_JA&feature=BFa&list=PLI2jAQI16GalXc5nKr4S366wFgMkxOpGR
"Pain is Good" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap6ynkL0gcY&feature=youtu.beA 5-minute flash lecture sponsored by the USD Honors Program.

"USD research aims to limit methamphetamine prevalence" https://www.ksfy.com/content/news/Meth-565314982.html. Local news report on methamphetamine research at USD.

Reprint and data-sharing requests:  Email Brian Burrell (see above) for e-copies of all articles from the lab and for data-sharing access.