Dr. Michael Beazely’s lab research focuses on understanding how growth factor receptors and G protein-coupled receptors modulate ion channels and neuronal cell function. His clinical and education research is focused on the role of health professionals in reducing harms associated with problematic substance use.
Office: PHR 4007
Phone: 519-888-4567, ext.21310
- Growth factor signaling in the developing and mature nervous system
- Regulation of NMDA receptors and other ion channels by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) including the 5-HT7 receptor
- The role of health professionals in harm reduction and substance use
The Beazely lab interested in basic mechanisms of GPCR and growth factor signaling in neurons, and how these classes of receptors regulate ion channel signaling. Specifically, we focus on the interactions between 5-HT and dopamine receptors, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptors and TrkB, and NMDA receptors. This work will expand our understanding of neuronal function and dysfunction in mental health conditions including schizophrenia and depression, as well as susceptibility to addiction and substance use.
Dr. Beazely’s research includes the evaluation of undergraduate pharmacy education with respect to substance use and ongoing educational tool development for practicing health professionals. He is interested in assessing interventions by community pharmacists aimed at reducing harms associated with substance use and understanding the intersection between drug use and ongoing pharmaceutical care.
Dr. Beazely teaches at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Course offerings have included:
PHARM 141 Medicinal Chemistry, Toxicology and Pharmacology
PHARM 324 Integrated Patient-Focused Care 8 (Mental Health)
PHARM 608A Selected Topics in Pharmaceutical Science (Neuroscience)
Dr. Beazely is also involved in coordinating the pharmacology portion of the curriculum.
Samarajeewa S, Goldemann L, Khanderia C, Vasefi SM, Ahmed N, Gondora N, Mielke J, Beazely MA. 5-HT7 receptor activation promotes an increase in TrkB receptor expres-sion and phosphorylation. Front Behav Neurosci 2014;8:391. Special issue: “Further Understanding of Serotonin 7 Receptors’ Neuro-Psycho-Pharmacology”
Kruk JS, Kouchmeshky A, Grimburg N, Rezkella M, Beazely MA. Transactivation of receptor tyrosine kinases by dopamine receptors. In: Neuromethods, Dopamine Receptor Technologies. Tiberi M, ed. Humana Press 2014
Kruk JS, Vasefi MS, Heikkila JJ, Beazely MA. Reactive oxygen species are required for 5-HT-induced transactivation of the neuronal platelet-derived growth factor and TrkB receptors, but not for ERK1/2 activation. PLoS One 2013;8:e77027.
Vasefi SM, Yang K, Li J, Kruk JS, Heikkila JJ, Jackson MF, MacDonald JF, Beazely MA. Acute 5-HT7 receptor activation increases NMDA-evoked currents and differentially alters NMDA receptor subunit phosphorylation and trafficking in hippocampal neurons. Mol Brain 2013;6:24.
Vasefi SM, Kruk JS, Heikkila JJ, Beazely MA. 5-HT7 receptor neuroprotection against NMDA-induced excitotoxicity is PDGFβ receptor-dependent. J Neurochem 2013;125:26-36
Kruk JS, Vasefi SM, Liu H, Heikkila JJ, Beazely MA. 5-HT(1A) receptors transactivated the platelet-derived growth factor receptor type beta in neuronal cells. Cell Signal 2013;25:133-43
Peng F, Yao H, Bai X, Zhu X, Reiner BC, Beazely MA, Funa K, Xiong H, Buch S. Platelet- derived growth factor-mediated induction of the synaptic plasticity gene Arc/Arg3.1. J Biol Chem 2010;285:21615-24.
Yang K, Trepanier C, Li H, Beazely MA, Lerner EA, Jackson MF, MacDonald RF. Vasoactive intestinal peptide acts via multiple signal pathways to regulated NMDA receptors and synaptic transmission. Hippocampus 2009;19:779-89.
Thompson RJ, Jackson MJ, Olah M, Rungta R, Hines DJ, Beazely MA, MacDonald JF, MacVicar BA. Activation of Pannexin-1 hemichannels augments abberrant bursting in the hippocampus. Science 2008;322:1555-9.
Awards and Distinctions
- 2014 Outstanding Faculty Mentor, Graduate Program
- 2014 Alumni of Influence, University of Saskatchewan, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition (named one of the top 100 influential Pharmacy alumni)
- 2006, 2007 Teacher of the Year, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto
University of Waterloo Affiliations
- Cross-appointed to Department of Biology (Faculty of Science)
- Cross-appointed to the School of Public Health (Faculty of Applied Health Sciences)
Professional Associations and Service
Dr. Beazely is a member of the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) and served as President of the Southern Ontario Neuroscience Association (SONA, sonasfn.org), an SFN local Chapter, in 2016. Since 2008, Dr. Beazely has been involved with the Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Task Force (WRIDS, whatsyourrole.org) and currently serves as Vice-Chair of the WRIDS Steering Committee and Chair of the WRIDS Prevention Coordinating Committee. He is also a member of the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council (preventingcrime.ca).
2000 BSc Pharmacy (University of Saskatchewan)
2004 PhD Pharmacology (Purdue University)
2008 Postdoctoral Fellowship (University of Toronto)