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)
Dr. Beazely is also involved in coordinating the pharmacology portion of the curriculum.
Liu H, Saffi GT, Vasefi MS, Choi Y, Kruk JS, Ahmed N, Gondora N, Mielke J, Leonenko Z, Beazely MA. Amyloid-β inhibits PDGFβ Receptor activation and prevents PDGF-BB-induced neuroprotection. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2018;15:618-27
Grindrod K, Beazely M. Fitting naloxone into community pharmacy practice. Can Pharm J (Ott). 2016;149:329-31
Kruk JS, Vasefi MS, Gondora N, Ahmed N, Heikkila JJ, Beazely MA. Fluoxetine-induced transactivation of the platelet-derived growth factor type β receptor reveals a novel heterologous desensitization process. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2015;65:45-51.
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
Awards and Distinctions
2018, “Community Leader Award”, University of Waterloo
2018, “Student Support Recognition Award”, chosen by the Rx 2018 Graduating Pharmacy Class
2016, “Best Community Outreach Initiative”, Opioid Crisis Awareness Campaign, School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo, awarded by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education
2016, “Excellence in Science Teaching Award”, Faculty of Science, University of Waterloo
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)
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 2009, Dr. Beazely has been involved with the Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Task Force (WRIDS, waterlooregiondrugstrategy.ca) and served as Chair of the WRIDS Steering Committee, Prevention Committee, and Special Committee on Opioid Response. He is an active contributor to committees focused on substance use education for pharmacy students and registered pharmacists.
2000 BSc Pharmacy (University of Saskatchewan)
2004 PhD Pharmacology (Purdue University)
2008 Postdoctoral Fellowship (University of Toronto)