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School of Medicine Columbia

Faculty and Staff

James Fadel, Ph.D.

Title: Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience
Department: Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience
School of Medicine Columbia
Phone: 803-216-3505
Fax: 803-215-3538

Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuro
Basic Science Bldg 1, Rm D-11



Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL


Aging in general—and age-related neurodegenerative conditions (such as Alzheimer’s disease) in particular—is associated with changes in cognitive and homeostatic function. We are interested in how brain regions and neuropeptides important for arousal and homeostasis (such as the hypothalamic orexin/hypocretin system) regulate the activity of the basal forebrain cholinergic system, which is classically associated with age-related cognitive decline. We combine anatomical, neurochemical, molecular and behavioral approaches to understand how these systems interact and how they change with aging. In addition, we use these same tools in collaboration with colleagues to study the neural underpinnings of stress and anxiety.


  • Fadel, J. and Burk, J.A. (2010) Orexin/hypocretin modulation of the basal forebrain cholinergic system: role in attention. Brain Research 1314:112-123.
  • Fadel, J. (2011) Regulation of cortical acetylcholine release: insights from in vivo microdialysis studies. Behavioural Brain Research, 221:527-536.
  • Kessler, B.K., Stanley, E.M., Frederick-Duus, D. and Fadel, J. (2011) Age-related loss of orexin/hypocretin neurons. Neuroscience, 178:82-88.
  • Stanley, E.M., Fadel, J.R. and Mott, D.D. (2012).  Interneuron loss reduces dendritic inhibition and GABA capacity in hippocampus of aged rats. Neurobiology of Aging, 33:431.e1-431.e13.
  • Stanley, E.M., Wilson, M.A. and Fadel, J (2012). Hippocampal neurotransmitter efflux during one-trial novel object recognition in rats. Neuroscience Letters, 511:38-42.
  • Fadel, JR, Jolivalt, CG and Reagan, L. (2013). Food for thought: the role of appetitive peptides in age-related cognitive decline.  Ageing Research Reviews 12:764-776.
  • Zajo KN, Fadel JR, Burk JA (2016) Orexin A-induced enhancement of attentional processing in rats: role of basal forebrain neurons. Psychopharmacology 233(4):639-47 .
  • Fadel JR, Reagan LP (2016) Stop signs in hippocampal insulin signaling: the role of insulin resistance in structural, functional and behavioral deficits.  Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 9:47-54.
  • Wilson M and Fadel JR.  (2017) Cholinergic regulation of fear learning and extinction. Journal of Neuroscience Research. 95:836-852..
  • Hagar JM, Macht VA, Wilson SP and Fadel JR (2017)  Upregulation of orexin/hypocretin expression in aged rats: effects on feeding latency and neurotransmission in the insular cortex.  Neuroscience. 350:124-132.
  • Calva CB, Fayyaz H, Fadel JR (2018) Increased acetylcholine and glutamate efflux in the prefrontal cortex following intranasal orexin-A (hypocretin-1). Journal of Neurochemistry 145:232-244.
  • Calva CB, Fadel JR (2018) Intranasal administration of orexin peptides: Mechanisms and therapeutic potential for age-related cognitive dysfunction. Brain Research.
  • Macht VA, Woodruff JL, Maissy ES, Grillo CA, Wilson MA, Fadel JR, Reagan LP (2019) Pyridostigmine bromide and stress interact to impact immune function, cholinergic neurochemistry and behavior in a rat model of Gulf War Illness. Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 80:384-393.
  • Carrero JP, Kaigler JF, Hartshorn GH, Fadel JR and Wilson MA (2019) Mu opioid receptor regulation of glutamate efflux in the central amygdala in response to predator odor. Neurobiology of Stress, 11:10097.
  • Calva CB, Fayyaz H, Fadel JR (2020) Effects of intranasal orexin-A (hypocretin-1) administration on neuronal activation, neurochemistry and attention in aged rats.  Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.  In press.
  • Macht VA, Woodruff JL, Burzynski HE, Grillo CA, Reagan LP and Fadel JR (2020) Interactions between pyridostigmine bromide and stress on glutamatergic neurochemistry: insights from a rat model of Gulf War Illness. Neurobiology of Stress, in press.
  • Kellis DM, Kaigler KF, Witherspoon E, Fadel JR and Wilson MA (2020) Cholinergic neurotransmission in the basolateral amygdala during cued fear extinction. Neurobiology of Stress, in press.

Find Dr. Fadel on Pubmed.

Lab Members

Graduate Students
Jennifer Erichsen - Graduate Research Student
Marla Frick - Undergraduate Student


Primary teaching responsibilities:

  • Medical Neuroscience (Course Director)
  • Fundamental Neuroscience I and II (Course Faculty)

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.