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  • Photo: Isaac Pessah

    Isaac Pessah- BS, MS, PhD
    Associate Dean and Professor and Researcher
    Molecular Biosciences

    2203 VM3B
    Davis, CA 95616

    +1 530 752 6696

    View Research Profile on PURE


    Research Focus

    Molecular and Cellular Signaling


    Molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating cellular Ca2+ signaling. The structure, function, and pharmacology of ryanodine-sensitive calcium channels of sarcoplasmic and endoplasmic reticulum in striated muscle and mammalian brain. Role of immunophilins in Ca2+-dependent and independent signaling cascades. Genetic and xenobiotic factors influencing malignant hyperthermia susceptibility Mechanisms responsible for the developmental neurotoxicity of halogenated aromatics Genetic and environmental factors influencing neurodevelopment

    Specialty Focus




    1977 BS , Cornell University, Ithaca, New York,
    1981 MS , University of Maryland, Baltimore,
    1983 PhD Toxicology, University of Maryland, College Park

    Honors and Awards

    2012 NIH Honor Isaac Pessah has accepted the invitation of the NIH Center for Scientific Review to serve in the Neurotoxicology and Alcohol Study Section from July 2012 through June 2016. Members are selected for the quality of their research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors. Pessah’s participation is important in assuring the quality of the NIH peer review process. Membership in this group is both an honor and a major commitment of professional time and energy resulting in a unique opportunity to contribute to the national biomedical research effort.
    2011 Neurobehavioral Toxicology Society's Elsevier Distinguished Lectureship presented at their June 2011 meeting in San Diego, CA
    2006-2008 Cure Autism Now, Environmental Innovator Award (Inaugural)
    2002 Larry L. Hillblom Endowed Chair in Developmental Disorders in Children (nominated)
    1997 Pfizer Award for Research Excellence
    1988-1993 NIH First Award
    1982-1983 Recipient of USDA, Predoctoral Fellowship
    1980-1981 Sea Grant Predoctoral Research Grant, University of Maryland, College park, MD

    Active Research Grants

    Co-Principal Investigator, Center for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research, (Principal Investigator), PHS/NIEHS

    Co-Principal Investigator, Subaward of Autism Risk, Prenatal Environmental Exposures and Pathophysiologic Markers, Hertz-Picciotto (Principal Investigator), NIH

    Principal Investigator, Project 2: Uncovering Basis of Malignant Hyperthermia, (Principal Investigator), Brigham & Women's Hospital

    Co-Investigator, CounterACT Project 3 - NIH Grant Number 5 U54 NS079202 , Pamela Lein (Principal Investigator), NIH

    Co-Investigator, Targeted upregulation of FMRP Expression, Paul Hagerman (Principal Investigator), DOD

    Co-Investigator, CCEH Project 4 (EPA), Judith Van de Water (Principal Investigator), EPA

    Principal Investigator, MIND Institute RESEARCH SUPPORT, (Principal Investigator), UCD MIND

    Co-Principal Investigator, Molecular and Cellular Basis of PCB Developmental Neurotoxicity, (Principal Investigator), NIH

    Most Recent 5 Book Chapters

    2014 Zhou J, Allen PD, Pessah IN: Malignant Hyperthermia and Other Related Disorders, , Miller RD, Eriksson LI, Fleisher L, Wiener-Kronish JP, Cohen NH, (ed), Elsevier Health Sciences, NY, NY. 1033-1052.

    2011 Bose DD, Pessah IN: Ryanodine receptor type 1, , Nature Signaling Gateway: Molecule Page. .

    2011 Lein PJ, Barnhart CD, Pessah IN: Acute Hippocampal Slice Preparation and Hippocampal Slice Cultures, Chapter 8, L Costa, (ed), In vitro Toxicology, Methods in molecular biology, Clifton, NJ. 115-134.

    2011 Stafstrom CE, Hagerman PJ, Pessah IN: Pathophysiology of epilepsy in autism spectrum disorders, Noebels JL, Avoli M, Rogawski MA, Olsen RW, Delgado-Escueta AV, (ed), Jasper's Basic Mechanisms of the Epilepsies, Fourth Edition. .

    2010 Lein PJ, Kim KH, Berman RF, Pessah IN: Exposure of the Developing Brain to Polychlorinated Biphenyls Influences the Susceptibility of the Adult Brain to Stress, Wang C, Slikker W, (ed), Developmental Neurotoxicity Research: Principles, Models, Techniques, Strategies and Mechanisms, Somerset, NJ. .