Dr. Hugh M. Fentress

Assistant Professor

Adjunct Assistant Professor (Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Phamacology)

Hugh Fentress Pict 









Department of Biological Sciences
College of Life & Physical Sciences

Contact Information:

Office/Lab Location: 301 Harned Hall
Telephone: 615-963-5757
FAX: 615-963-5747
Email TSU: hfentres@tnstate.edu    E-mail Vanderbilt: Hugh.fentress@vanderbilt.edu


Research Areas:

Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience

Most Significant Publications:

Fentress, HM, Klar, R, Krueger, JK, Sabb, T, Redmon, SR, Wallace, NM, Shirey-Rice, JK, and Hahn, MK. Altered Regulation of Norepinephrine Transport and Behavior in Norepinephrine Transporter Heterozygous Knockout Mice. (submitted).


Jana K. Shirey-Rice, Rebecca Klar, Hugh M. Fentress, Sarah N. Redmon, Tiffany Sabb, Jessica J. Krueger, Nathan M. Wallace, Martin Appalsamy, Charlene Finney, Suzanna Lonce, André Diedrich, David Robertson, Maureen K. Hahn. Norepinephrine Transporter A457P Knock-in Mice Display Key Features of Human Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Dis. Model. Mech . April 4, 2013, doi: 10.1242/dmm.012203.


Qiang Wei*, Hugh M. Fentress*, Mary T. Hoversten, Limei Zhang, Elaine K. Hebda-Bauer, Stanley J. Watson, Audrey F. Seasholtz, and Huda Akil. Early-Life Forebrain Glucocorticoid Receptor Overexpression Increases Anxiety Behavior and Cocaine Sensitization. Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Feb 1; 71(3):224-31. (*equal contribution).


Hebda-Bauer EK, Pletsch A, Darwish H, Fentress H, Simmons TA, Wei Q, Watson SJ, and Akil H. Forebrain glucocorticoid receptor overexpression increases environmental reactivity and produces a stress-induced spatial discrimination deficit. Neuroscience. Aug 25;169(2):645-53. Epub 2010 May 31.


Maureen K. Hahn, Jennifer Blackford, Kirsten Haman, Michelle Mazei-Robison, Harish C. Prasad, Angela Steele, Lisa Hazelwood, Hugh Fentress, Regina Myers, Randy D. Blakely, Elaine Sanders-Bush, and Richard Shelton. Multivariate Permutation Analysis Associates Multiple Polymorphisms With Subphenotypes Of Major Depression. Genes, Brain and Behavior. 7: 487-495, 2008.


Hugh M. Fentress, Ellinor Grinde, Joseph E. Mazurkiewicz, Jon R. Backstrom, Katharine Herrick-Davis, and Elaine Sanders-Bush. Pharmacological Properties of the Cys23Ser Single Nucleotide Polymorphism in Human 5-HT2C Receptor Isoforms. Pharmacogenomics J. 5:244-54, 2005.


Elaine Sanders-Bush, Hugh Fentress, Lisa Hazelwood. 5-HT2 Receptors: Molecular and Genomic Diversity. Mol. Interv. 3: 319-330, 2003.


James J.-L. Wang, Zhaolin Hua, Hugh M. Fentress, and Charles K. Singleton. JNK1 is inactivated during thiamine deficiency-induced apoptosis in human neuroblastoma cells. Nutr. Biochem. 11:208-215, 2000.


Research/Work Experience:


Department of Life and Physical Sciences – Biology

Fisk University- Nashville, TN



Department of Pharmacology

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine- Nashville, TN


SCIENTIST-EDUCATOR FELLOW 10/30/2008-7/31/2011

Division of Genetic Medicine

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine- Nashville, TN

Advisor: Maureen K. Hahn, Ph.D.

Research examined the neurobehavioral consequences of norepinephrine transporter variants. I also serve as an instructor in the brain and behavior module in the School of Medicine.



Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute (MBNI)

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, MI

Advisor: Huda Akil, Ph.D.

Studied drug abuse in mice overexpressing the glucocorticoid receptor.



Neuroscience Graduate Program

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine-Nashville, TN

Advisor: Elaine Sanders-Bush, Ph.D.

Dissertation Entitled: Human 5-HT2C Receptor Variants: Functional Properties and Genetic Associations in Major Depressive Disorder.



Department of Cell Biology

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine-Nashville, TN

Advisor: Vivian Cassagrande, Ph.D.  Studied the visual system in primates.



Department of Molecular Biology

Vanderbilt University-Nashville, TN

Advisor: Charles K. Singleton, Ph.D.

Researched JNK1 activity during thiamine deficiency in neuroblastoma cells.



Measurement Incorporated-Nashville, TN

Graded standardized tests.



PROGRAM 6/1998-8/1998

University of Minnesota-St. Paul, MN

Advisor: Robert Jones, Ph.D.

Researched drought tolerance in maize seedlings.



Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI)-Indianapolis, IN

Advisors: William McBride, Ph.D. and Barbara Bowers, Ph.D.

Studied the effects of serotonin on alcohol-induced dopamine release.


Tennessee State University-Nashville, TN

Advisor: E.L. Myles, Ph.D.

Conducted research to identify stress tolerant genes in glycine max.


CHEMISTRY TUTOR 1997-1999-Tennessee State University-Nashville, TN Supervisor: Carlos Lee, Ph.D.

Tutored undergraduate students in general and organic chemistry.



Tennessee State University-Nashville, TN

Hall counselor and tutor to high school and undergraduate students.


Faculty Development

The Sloan-C Certificate Program for an Online Teaching Certificate 2012


Natural Science Mathematics and Business Faculty Retreat 5/8/2012


Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network Proposal Development Workshop

for Research Initiation Awards (RIA) Track in the National Science Foundation’s

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP)

and its Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) 1/27-28/2012


Awards and Honors

Health Emotions Annual Meeting Travel Award Winner 2007


Postdoctoral Training in the Biology of Drug Abuse University of Michigan, 2006


NIGMS Workshop on Achieving Scientific Excellence through Diversity, May 6-7, 2001


Golden Key National Honor Society


Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society


3rd place at Tennessee State University’s Research Day, 1999; 1st place at Beta Kappa Chi National Conference, 1999


Honorable Mention at Tennessee Academy of Science, 1999


Best paper presentation at Tennessee Academy of Science, 1998


All-American Scholar Collegiate Award


National Collegiate Minority Leadership Award


Who’s Who Among American College Students


National Dean’s List, 1995-1999


Tennessee State University Honors Program, 1995-1999


Wal-Mart Scholarship, 1995


Civitan Club Scholarship, 1995


R.C. Byrd Scholarship, 1999


Presidential Scholarship at Tennessee State University, 1995-1999



Grant Support (Past and Current)

National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, PI 2000-2003


University Graduate Fellowship, Vanderbilt University, PI 2000-2004


NIGMS MARC Predoctoral Fellowship, PI 2003-2005


NIDA Postdoctoral Training Grant, University of Michigan, Fellow 2006-2008


National Science Foundation Research Initiation Award, PI; Identifying changes in serotonin receptor function due to naturally occurring single nucleotide polymorphisms 2012-present


Journal Reviewer

American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics

Cellular and Molecular Biology




BIOL 1110 – General Biology I

BIOL 1120 - General Biology II

Molecular Neuroscience

The Brain, Behavior, and Neuropharmacology

Independent Study: Special Topics in Neuroscience

Biology Boot camp



Ph.D. – Vanderbilt University School of Medicine-Neuroscience

Post-Doc – University of Michigan-Ann Arbor – Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience


Date joined staff:  2014


Click here for full Resume of Dr. Fentress

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Biological Sciences