Igor Ponomarev

Research Interests

My research interests lie at the intersection of genetics, genomics and neuroscience. The broad focus of my research is understanding the molecular mechanisms of brain plasticity and brain pathology through systemic integration of large scale genomic data. My current research focuses on the interplay between genetic, epigenetic and environmental causes in controlling brain gene expression in alcoholism. I study gene expression profiles in human brain and animal models using microarrays and next generation sequencing and apply systems approaches to data analysis to provide an integrated view of brain changes associated with alcohol-related neuroplasticity and neuropathology. An important component of this effort is discovering and prioritizing molecular targets for medication development to treat human alcoholism and other CNS disorders. My collaborators and I validate functional significance of the most promising targets using a combination of approaches that include reverse genetics, chromatin assays and behavioral pharmacology.

Selected Publications

Ponomarev I, Wang S, Zhang L, Harris RA, Mayfield RD (2012). Gene Coexpression Networks in Human Brain Identify Epigenetic Modifications in Alcohol Dependence. J Neurosci, 32:1884-97. PubMed

Mulligan MK, Rhodes JS, Crabbe JC, Mayfield RD, Harris RA and Ponomarev I (2011). Molecular profiles of drinking alcohol to intoxication in C57BL/6J mice. Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 35:659-70. PubMed

Ponomarev I, Rau V, Eger EI, Harris RA, Fanselow MS (2010). Amygdala transcriptome and cellular mechanisms underlying stress-enhanced fear learning in a rat model of posttraumatic stress disorder. Neuropsychopharm 35:1402-11. PubMed

Mulligan MK, Ponomarev I, Boehm SL 2nd, Owen JA, Levin PS, Berman AE, Blednov YA, Crabbe JC, Williams RW, Miles MF and Bergeson SE (2008). Alcohol Trait and Transcriptional Genomic Analysis of C57BL/6 Substrains. Genes Brain Behav 7:677-689. PubMed

Maiya R, Ponomarev I, Linse KD, Harris RA, Mayfield RD (2007). Defining the dopamine transporter proteome by convergent biochemical and in silico analyses. Genes Brain Behav 6:97-106. PubMed

Ponomarev I, Maiya R, Harnett MT, Schafer GL, Ryabinin AE, Blednov YA, Morikawa H, Boehm II SL, Homanics GE, Berman A, Lodowski KH, Bergeson SE and Harris RA (2006). Transcriptional signatures of cellular plasticity in mice lacking the alpha 1 subunit of GABAA receptors. J Neuro 26:5673-5683. PubMed

Mulligan MK, Ponomarev I, Hitzemann RJ, Belknap JK, Tabakoff B, Harris RA, Crabbe JC, Blednov YA, Grahame NJ, Phillips TJ, Finn DA, Hoffman PL, Iyer VR, Koob GF and Bergeson SE (2006). Toward Understanding the Genetics of Alcohol Drinking Through Transcriptome Meta-analysis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103:6368-6373. PubMed

Igor Ponomarev

  • Research Assistant Professor
  • College of Pharmacy


  • Ph.D., 2002
  • Oregon Health & Science University

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