New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA


Professor of Swine Production Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Research Areas: Swine production, Neurotransmitter release–auditory system, Synaptic mechanisms in auditory system, Swine health
PubMed Link
Contact Information:
University of Pennsylvania
School of Veterinary Medicine
Dept of Clinical Studies
New Bolton Center
382 West Street Road

Cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurotransmitter release

exocytosis, endocytosis, synaptic transmission, neurotransmitter release

time-resolved detection of neurotransmitter release from single cells: cell membrane capacitance, amperometric voltametry, and voltage clamp of detector cells or sniffer patches; optical monitoring and modulation of intracellular calcium; fluorescent indicator dyes of calcium, and photolabile chelators of calcium; cell culture and brain slice-like preparations.

My laboratory focuses on pre-synaptic mechanisms of neurotransmitter release. Hearing dictates that the inner hair cell of the cochlea must release transmitter for prolonged periods and with exquisite temporal fidelity. Mechanisms of neurotransmitter release are being studied to understand the cellular and molecular specializations utilized by different parts of the nervous system to meet their unique requirements for neurotransmission.

Primary area of research:
Basic sciences – Neuroscience with a special emphasis on synaptic mechanisms in the auditory system.
Clinical science – Swine health and well-being

Peng, X., E.G. Hughes, E. H. Moscato, T.D. Parsons, J. Dalmau, R.J. Balice-Gordon Cellular plasticity induced by anti-AMPA receptor encephalitis antibodies Annals of Neurology 77: 381-98, 2015.

Moscato, E.H., X. Peng, J. Ankit, T.D. Parsons, J. Dalmau, R.J. Balice-Gordon Acute mechanisms underlying antibody effects in anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis Annals of Neurology 76: 108-19, 2014.

Avissar, M., J.H. Wittig, Jr., J.C. Saunders, T.D. Parsons Refractoriness enhances temporal coding by auditory nerve fibers J Neurosci 33: 7681-90, 2013.

Peng, X., T.D. Parsons, R.J. Balice-Gordon Determinants of synaptic strength vary across an axon arbor J Neurophysiol 107: 2430-41, 2012.

Hughes, E.G., X. Peng, A.J. Gleichman, M. Lai, L. Zhou, R. Tsou, T.D. Parsons, D.R. Lynch, J. Dalmau, R.J. Balice-Gordon Cellular and synaptic mechanisms of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis J Neurosci 28: 5866-75, 2010.

Bell, T.J., K.Y. Miyashiro, J.Y. Sul, P.T. Buckley, M.T. Lee, R. McCullough, J. Jochems, J. Kim, C.R. Cantor, T.D. Parsons, J. Eberwine Intron retention facilitates splice variant diversity in calcium-activated big potassium channel populations Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107: 21152-7, 2010.

*Wittig, J.H. Jr., T.D. Parsons Synaptic ribbon enables temporal precision of hair cell afferent synapse by increasing the number of readily releasable vesicles: A modeling study J Neurophysiol 100: 1724-1739, 2008.

Bell, T.J., K.Y. Miyashiro, J.Y. Sul, J. Jochems, P.G. Haydon, T.D. Parsons, J. Eberwine, Cytoplasmic BKCa channel pre-mRNAs contribute to the excitability of hippocampal neurons Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 12: 1901-6, 2008.

*Avissar, M., A.C. Furman, J.C. Saunders, T.D. Parsons Adaptation reduces spike count reliability, but not spike timing precision, of auditory nerve responses J Neurosci 13: 6461-72, 2007.

Parsons, T.D. Auditory fidelity Nature 444: 1013-4, 2006.

B.A. (Biology & Neuroscience, Magna Cum Laude) Amherst College, 1982

V.M.D. (Veterinary Medicine) University of Pennsylvania, 1986

Ph.D. (Neuroscience) University of Pennsylvania, 1989

University of Pennsylvania, Veterinary Medical Scientist Training Program (1982 to 1988)
Pre-Doctoral Fellow

University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Pennsylvania Muscle Institute, Supervisor: Brian M. Salzberg (1988 to 1989)
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Solid State and Quantum Physics Research Dept., AT&T Bell Labs (1988 to 1989)
Resident Visitor

School of Medicine, Emory University, Anatomy and Cell Biology, Supervisor: H. Criss Hartzell (1989 to 1992)
Research Associate

Abteilung Molekulare Zellforschung Max-Planck-Institut f. Medizinische Forschung, Heidelberg, Germany, Supervisors: Wolfhard Almers & Bert Sakmann (1993 to 1995)
Research Associate