Hyung W. Nam, PhD
Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neuroscience
Major Research Interests
Neuropharmacology of Alcohol Use Disorders and Psychiatric Disorders
The main goal of our research is to investigate brain glutamate signaling in alcoholism and psychiatric disorders by using a behavioral neuroscience approach. Interestingly, both genetic and environmental factors contribute to alcoholism, influenced susceptibility, and treatment responsiveness. Thus, we believe that linking addictive behaviors with a glutamate neuromodulation process and also intracellular calcium mechanisms are essential to understanding psychiatric symptoms and how to better treat them. The focus of our research is to elucidate neurogranin (Ng) mechanism that underline relevant addictive behavioral phenotypes in rodent models using a combination of cutting-edge techniques in the areas of mouse genetics, neuroproteomics, neuropharmacology, and behavioral neuroscience.
Neurogranin-mediated Endothelial Activation
We are studying that endothelial nitric oxide synthetase (NOS) mechanism using calcium-dependent neurogranin (Ng) signaling. Ng expression in the brain attenuates calcium-CaM complex formation, and plays a critical role in regulating neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) activation. Our recent study identified that Ng is also expressed in endothelial cells and plays an essential role in endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity. Consistently, our new results indicate that Ng expression is significantly decreased in the left anterior descending artery of coronary artery disease patients. We therefore hypothesize that Ng dysregulation expression decreases NO bioavailability resulting in endothelial activation and inflammation, thus contributing to the promotion of atherosclerosis. We have used both in vitro and in vivo model systems using a combination of cutting-edge techniques including CRISPR/Cas9, flow-mediated dilation, partial carotid ligation, and label-free proteomics. Overall, our studies will have a broad impact on the field by dissecting the crucial roles of Ng-mediated eNOS regulation in regulating endothelial activation and atherosclerosis. In the long term, these studies may reveal novel NO therapeutic targets in the treatment of vascular disease.
Pharmacometabolomics and Pharmacoproteomics for Alcohol Use Disorders
We have studied drug efficacy biomarker studies using metabolomics and proteomics to elucidate pharmacological intervention in alcohol use disorders. We have examined blood metabolite or brain tissue protein changes as a result of medication treatment and have found a possible metabolism in alcoholism patients that is associated with a positive outcome of medication treatment. We believe that our research will help to identify the best treatment option for a specific sub-population and contribute to the development of drug efficacy biomarker for personalized medicine in alcohol use disorders.
- Reker AN, Oliveros A, Hinton DJ, Kim T, Bruner RC, Sullivan JM, Choi DS, Goeders NE, Nam HW. Accumbal Neurogranin Regulates mGluR5 Mediated NMDAR Hypo-function and Motivation Related to Ethanol Seeking. Neurophamacology,131: 58-67, 2018.
- Germany CE, Reker AN, Hinton DJ, Oliveros A, Smith K, Cvek U, Choi DS, Nam HW. Pharmacoproteomics identifies the drug efficacy mechanism in acamprosate treatment and alcoholism. Proteomics, 18(7), e1700417, 2018.
- Chandra M, Escalante-Alcaldeb D, Bhuiyan MS, Orr AW, Kevil C, Morrisd AJ, Nam HW, Dominic P, McCarthy KJ, Miriyala S, Panchatcharama M. Cardiac-specific inactivation of LPP3 in mice leads to myocardial dysfunction and heart failure. Redox Biology, 14:261-271, 2018.
- Sreedhar A, Cassell T, Smith P, Lu D, Nam HW, Lane AN, Zhao Y. UCP2 Overexpression Redirects Glucose into Anabolic Metabolic Pathways. Proteomics, 19(4): e1800353, 2019.
- Sullivan JM 3rd, Grant CA, Reker AN, Nahar L, Goeders NE, Nam HW, Neurogranin regulates sensorimotor gating through cortico-striatal circuitry. Neurophamacology,150: 91-99, 2019.
- Nam HW, Grant CA, Jorgensen AN, Holtz-Heppelmann CJ, Trutschl M, Cvek U, Neurogranin regulates alcohol sensitivity through AKT pathway in the nucleus accumbens. Proteomics. 20(1): e1900266, 2020.
- Cheriyan V, Alfaidi M, Jorgensen AN, Alam MA, Abdullah CS, Kolluru GK, Bhuiyan MD, Kevil CG, Orr AW, Nam HW, Neurogranin regulates eNOS function and endothelial activation. Redox Biology, 34: 101487, 2020.
- Lailun N, Grant CA, Hewett C, Cortes D, Reker AN, Kang S, Choi DS, Nam HW, Regulation of Pv-Specific Interneurons in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Reward-Seeking Behaviors, J Neurochem, 156(2):212-224, 2020.
- Abulseoud OA, Ross TJ, Nam HW, Caarelli EC, Tennekopon M, Schleyer B, Castillo J, Fedota J, Gu H, Yang Y, Stein E, Short-term nicotine deprivation alters dorsal anterior cingulate glutamate concentration and concomitant cingulate-cortical functional connectivity, Neuropsychopharmacology, 45(11):1920-1930, 2020.
- Kilgore PJM, Trutschl M, Cvek U, Nam HW, hSOM: Visualizing Self-Organizing Maps to Accomodate Categorical Data. Proceedings of the International Conference Information Visualisation (IV), IEEE Computer Society, 6:611-617, 2020.
- Nahar N, Delacroix BL, Nam HW, The role of Parvalbumin Interneurons in neurotransmitter balance and neurological disease, Front. Psychiatry, 679960, 2021.
- Jorgensen AN, Abdullah CS, Bhuiyan MS, Watt M, Dominic P, Kevil CG, Nam HW, Neurogranin regulates calcium-dependent cardiac hypertrophy, Under Revision, 2021.
- Nahar L, Kaufman SE, Davis PG, Saunders SL, Disbrow EA, Patterson J, Nam HW, Blood Glutamine Synthetase Signaling in Alcohol Use Disorder and Racial Disparity, Under Revision, 2021.
While we are not currently recruiting Post-doctoral Fellows, quality candidates will always be considered. To inquire about opportunities, contact Dr. Nam at Hyung.Nam@lsuhs.edu.
Graduate Students interested in conducting research in the Nam Lab should contact Dr. Nam at Hyung.Nam@lsuhs.edu.
Undergraduate Research Assistants
We are not currently hiring any additional undergraduates. However, positions can become available in the summer.
Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows
The Nam Lab has a number of research projects available for any Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows interested in drug addiction and alcoholism.