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Portrait of Jonathan Geiger

Jonathan Geiger

B.A., M.S., Ph.D.
  • Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor, Biomedical Sciences
    • Neuroscience, Neuropharmacology, Neurochemistry, Neurodegenerative diseases, Purines

Contact Info

Office Address

Neuroscience Building
504 Hamline Street Stop 9061
Grand Forks, ND 58203-9061

Curriculum Vitae

Biography

After two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Manitoba (’82-’84), I accepted a faculty position in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba where I remained for 19 years (‘84-‘03) rising to the rank of Professor and Founding Director (‘99-‘03) of the Division of Neurovirology and Neurodegenerative Diseases at the St. Boniface General Hospital Research Center. From July 2003 to July 2013 I served as Chair of the UND Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Therapeutics. In addition, from July 2010 to July 2013 I served as Interim Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. From April of 2015 to September of 2015 I served as Vice-Chair of the Department of Basic Biomedical Sciences; a department that resulted from the consolidation of 4 departments in the Medical School at UND. Since 2003 I have been the Principal Investigator of a Neuroscience Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant ($25M over 15 years) and I am the Senior Management Advisor for a second COBRE grant focused on epigenetics ($10M over 5 years). For these two COBRE grants, three highly functional cores have been established; imaging and image analysis, mass spectrometry, and genomics/epigenetics/bioinformatics. I have consistently held multiple federal operating grants simultaneously throughout my career, and received highly prestigious Scholarship and Scientist awards (separate grants that pay an investigator’s salary independent of research operating grants) from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). I am currently funded by two five-year R01 grants from the NIH and hold the position of Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor. 

The main focus of my research continues to be on brain energy metabolism in general and purines in particular, regulation of levels of intracellular calcium with emphasis on intracellular pools of calcium, the control of neuronal cell life and death in neurodegenerative diseases, and neurological complications associated with HIV-1 infection. Currently, my laboratory has the following research interests: (1) The role of endolysosome dysfunction in animals models of Alzheimer’s disease and HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorder; (2) The protective actions of caffeine in animal models of neurodegenerative disorders; (3) The ability of calcium in endolysosomes to influence capacitative influx of calcium and calcium-induced calcium release; and (4) The role of brain energy metabolism (with particular emphasis on adenosine and ATP) in the pathogenesis of epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases and the ability of ketogenic diets to protect against these pathophysiological responses. I have published over 145 manuscripts and have delivered over 100 invited talks worldwide. I have served on over 100 local, national and international grant review study sections including those for the NIH (I am currently serving a 6 year term as a standing member of the NAED study section), the CIHR, the Alzheimer’s Society, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation; I have served as Chair or co-Chair on 14 of these panels.  

I have extensive mentoring experience. Since 2000, as a Director or Department Chair I hired 11 new faculty members. I have graduated seven Ph.D. and four M.S. students from my laboratory and trained 17 postdoctoral fellows, research associates and visiting professors as well as 48 undergraduate students, medical and dental students, and technicians. I have also served on and been President of major advisory boards as well as on many high level committees for the University of North Dakota. I currently serve on advisory boards for two COBRE grants, I am the Senior Management Advisor for a third COBRE grant, and I serve on the North Dakota EPSCoR Steering Committee. My 145 publications have been cited 5,412 times of which 205 are self-citations. I have published 15 manuscripts that have been cited greater than 80 times and 10 manuscripts were cited greater than 100 times. My h-index (Scopus) without self citations is 39. 

The main focus of my research continues to be on brain energy metabolism in general and purines in particular, regulation of levels of intracellular calcium with emphasis on intracellular pools of calcium, the control of neuronal cell life and death in neurodegenerative diseases, and neurological complications associated with HIV-1 infection. Currently, my laboratory has the following research interests: (1) The role of endolysosome dysfunction in animals models of Alzheimer’s disease and HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorder; (2) The protective actions of caffeine in animal models of neurodegenerative disorders; (3) The ability of calcium in endolysosomes to influence capacitative influx of calcium and calcium-induced calcium release; and (4) The role of brain energy metabolism (with particular emphasis on adenosine and ATP) in the pathogenesis of epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases and the ability of ketogenic diets to protect against these pathophysiological responses. 

79-82 Ph.D. Physiology and Pharmacology University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND

73-75 M.S. Physiology and Pharmacology, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND

70-73 B.A. Chemistry Windham College, Putney, VT

69-70 Fleming College Lugano Switzerland