Elias K. Michaelis

School of Pharmacy - Pharmacology & Toxicology
Research Professor
University Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Primary office:
Simons Biosciences Research Laboratories
Room 107
University of Kansas
2099 Constant Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66047

Over the years, I have devoted my energies to training undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral associates to become highly respected neuroscientists, neuropharmacologists, or neurobehavioral scientists.


I have taught on a broad range of topics in the neurosciences, neurobiology, neurochemistry, neuropharmacology, basic pharmacological principles, pharmacology of anti-infective agents. I have taught both undergraduate and graduate courses over many years at the University of Kansas, both in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and in the School of Pharmacy. For the most part, students felt that they were exposed to interesting and new material and liked both the style and content of my lectures or discussions.

Teaching Interests

  • Pharmacology, Antibiotics Neuroscience, Neurochemistry, Neurotransmission, Channel Characteristics


The primary areas of my research interests are: (1) Purification, molecular characterization, cloning and expression of receptors for the excitatory amino acid L-glutamic acid and related amino acids; (2) development of cellular and molecular systems for the characterization of new drugs that act on the excitatory amino acid receptors; (3) exploration of the activity of transport carriers, enzymes and receptor-regulated ion channels in brain synaptic membranes; (4) reconstitution of isolated membrane receptors and ion channels and determination of activated channel responses; (5) determination of the effects of ethanol on synaptic membrane glutamate receptor and calcium transport activities; (6) development of programmatic research on the molecular genetics of alcoholism, including the development of transgenic mice; (7) determination of molecular mechanisms for neurodegeneration; (8) characterization of the effects of oxidative stress on receptor function and signal transduction in neurons; (9) characterization of molecular and cellular events associated with aging and Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Research Interests

  • Neurotransmission, Glutamate, Receptors, Alcoholism, Aging, Neurodegeneration, Oxidative Stress


My career at the University of Kansas is fairly replete with service and administrative duties that I have fulfilled.

Selected Publications

Badawi, Y. (2015). Ischemic tolerance in an in vivo model of glutamate preconditioning. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 93(4), 623–632. DOI: 10.1002/jnr.23517 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jnr.23517/epdf

Wang, X. (2014). Gene Expression Patterns in the Hippocampus during the Development and Aging of Glud1 (Glutamate Dehydrogenase 1) Transgenic and Wild Type Mice. BMC Neuroscience, 15(1). DOI:10.1186/1471-2202-15-37 http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2202-15-37.pdf http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2202-15-37.pdf

Wilkins, H. M (2014). Oxaloacetate activates brain mitochondrial biogenesis, enhances the insulin pathway, reduces inflammation and stimulates neurogenesis. Hum. Mol. Genet., 23(24), 6528-6541. DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddu371 http://hmg.oxfordjournals.org/content/23/24/6528.long

Choi, I. Y, Lee, P., Wang, W. T, Hui, D., Wang, X., Brooks, W. M, & Michaelis, E. K (2014). Metabolism changes during aging in the hippocampus and striatum of glud1 (glutamate dehydrogenase 1) transgenic mice. Neurochemical research, 39(3), 446-55. DOI:10.1007/s11064-014-1239-9

KU Today
2nd among all schools of pharmacy in National Institutes of Health funding
Brings more than $20 million in external funding into the state each year
7 of 19 cancer drugs formulated through the National Cancer Institute were developed at the KU School of Pharmacy
3,000 free flu shots given to needy Kansans during the past 5 years
4,000 living alumni, 63 percent of them living and working in Kansas
KU pharmacists practice in 95 of Kansas’ 105 counties
20th among public schools of pharmacy.
—U.S. News & World Report
$20.2 million NIH research grant earned by Distinguished Professor Jeff Aubé was 2nd largest in Kansas history
100 percent placement after graduation for KU Pharm.D. students
Established in 1885 as the 1st professional program at KU