Stanley W. Halvorsen PhD

Stanley Halvorsen

Stanley W. Halvorsen

Associate Professor

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Specialty/Research Focus

Molecular and Cellular Biology; Neurodegenerative disorders; Signal Transduction; Toxicology; Transcription and Translation

Contact Information
955 Main Street
Room 3214
Buffalo, New York 14203
Phone: (716) 829-2651

Professional Summary:

My lab studies the receptor signaling mechanisms for a family of neurotrophic factors that includes ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), leptin, interferon gamma, and cardiotrophin-1.  These factors use the Jak/STAT pathway to regulate neuronal survival, development and response to trauma. Our interests are in how activity of the receptors and their pathway components are regulated.  Currently this has focused on the impact of cellular oxidative stress on the inhibition of Jak tyrosine kinase activity. Increases in oxidative stress in neurons result in the blockade of not only CNTF family factor effects, but of many other cytokines that also use the Jak/STAT pathway for signaling such as interferons and interleukins. Non-nerve cells appear resistant to these effects of oxidative stress.

Ongoing projects include testing the theory that environmental contaminants known to increase oxidative stress in cells may promote neurodegenerative diseases by inhibiting growth factor signaling.  We have been studying the effects of certain heavy metals (cadmium & mercury) and pesticides (e.g. rotenone) on nerve cells in culture to determine the molecular basis for Jak inhibition.

Another examines a possible role of oxidative stress in obesity.  This study tests the hypothesis that the loss of the ability of the hormone leptin to regulate metabolism and appetite during obesity is a result of oxidative reactions that inhibit Jak-mediated signaling in the hypothalamus and other brain regions.

Education and Training:

  • Other, Neurobiology, Univ. California - San Diego (1989)
  • PhD, Pharmacology, University of Washington (1984)
  • Residency, Hospital Pharmacy, US Public Health Service Hospital Staten Island, NY (1977)
  • BPharm, Pharmacy, Washington State University, Cum Laude (1976)


  • Associate Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology, State University of New York at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (2000-present)
  • Assistant/Research Associate Professor, Biochemical Pharmacology, State University of New York at Buffalo School of Pharmacy (1990–2000)
  • Assistant Research Biologist, University of California-San Diego (1989–1990)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biology, University of California-San Diego (1984–1989)
  • Predoctoral Trainee, University of Washington (1979–1984)
  • Director of Pharmacy Services, US Public Health Service (1977–1979)

Research Expertise:

  • Cell Biology: Intracellular trafficking of STATs; nuclear translocation; oxidative stress; mitochondria dysfunction;
  • Molecular Neurobiology: Signaling mechanisms; transciptional regulation; immediate early genes; Ach esterase;
  • Molecular Signaling and Signal Transduction: Jak/STAT signaling; MAP kinase; ERK; Oxidative stress
  • Nerve and Growth Factors: ciliary neurotrophic factor; interferons; interleukins; neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuropharmacology: Synaptic development; cholinergic synapses; neurotrophic factor effects; cholinergic differentiation
  • Oxidative stress: Impact of oxidative stress and free radicals on signal transduction and disease in the nervous system; mitochondria
  • Receptor Pharmacology: CNTF receptors; Jak/STAT coupled receptors; Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors; gp130 cytokine receptors ;

Grants and Sponsored Research:

  • CNTF Receptors on Neurons
    Role: Principal Investigator

Journal Articles:

See all (28 more)

Books and Book Chapters:

  • Halvorsen S Kaur, N. (2006) CNTF and Related Neurokines. Springer Science.
  • Koshlukova S Halvorsen S. (1999) The Neuron in Tissue Culture, International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) Handbook series: Methods in Neurosciences. In: Chick Ciliary Ganglion Neurons. John Wiley & Sons, 441-446.


  • Berg, D.K., R.T. Boyd, S.W. Halvorsen, L.S. Higgins, M.H. Jacob, J. F. Margiotta, A.E. McEachern. (1988) Regulation of neuronal acetylcholine receptors by cell-cell interactions. (Jan) 283-297

Professional Memberships:

  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy; Organization for facuty in pharmacy profession (1990–present)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (1989–present)
  • Society for Neuroscience (1985–present)

Service Activities:

  • Executive Director of Regulatory Support Office of the Vice President for Research and Development; Director (2019–2022)
  • Director of Graduate Admissions Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology; Director (2009–2019)
  • Curriculum; Member (2009–present)
  • Appointment, Promotions,Tenure & Privileges; Member (2008–2014)
  • IGPBS Admissions; Director (2004–2009)
  • Proposition Exam; Chair (2004)
  • Research Promotions; Chair (2003–2004)
  • IGPBS Admissions; Alternate Member (2002–2004)
  • Research Promotions; Member (2002–2004)
  • MSTP Admissions; Member (2002–2004)
  • Graduate Admissions; Chair (2002–2008)

School News:

In the Media:

Clinical Specialties:

Clinical Offices:

Insurance Accepted:

Contact Information

955 Main Street
Room 3214
Buffalo, New York 14203
Phone: (716) 829-2651