Eric Gruenstein

Eric Ian Gruenstein , PhD


Office 2980 Cardiovascular Center
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati, Ohio 45267
Phone (513)558-5531
Fax (513)558-8474

Professional Summary

Research in my lab is focused on understanding the mechanisms by which neurons regulate synaptic strength. These processes are thought to provide the basis for learning and memory. In particular, we are interested in how neurons decode cytoplasmic calcium oscillations that are associated with the long term potentiation of synaptic signaling.


PhD: Duke University Durham, NC, 1970 (Biochemistry)

Post Doc: NIH Bethesda, 1972

MDA Association Fellow: MIT Boston, 1974

Research and Practice Interests

Learning and memory are a result of changes in the efficiency with which neurons are able to communicate with each other at structures called synapses. Over the past 2-3 decades we have learned that the strength of synapses can be increased as a result of mental activity and that such increases are often required for memory. One of the most active areas in modern neuroscience research is trying to understand at the cellular and molecular level just what causes the increased synaptic strength and how it can last for hours, days, weeks or even years. It is known that specific signaling molecules within neurons, such as calcium and cyclic AMP, must be elevated. And some of the enzymes that are affected by these signals have been identified. In my lab we are studying neurons which organize themselves into networks and which then spontaneously undergo synchronized calcium oscillations.  We have asked (and largely answered) questions about why the cells exhibit calcium oscillations and why the oscillations are synchronized. Now we are asking whether these oscillations control synaptic strength and whether they do so in a frequency dependent manner. We hope that these studies will help us understand at a fundamental level how we learn and remember and why these processes often decline as we grow older.

Research Support

Grant: #UN11.00017 Investigators:Gruenstein, Eric 06-02-2011 -06-30-2013 Greater Cincinnati Foundation Consultants for Harvesting Rainwater Project Role:PI $18,000.00 Closed Level:Private Non-Profit

Grant: #UN14-00088 Investigators:Gruenstein, Eric 07-01-2014 -06-30-2015 Greater Cincinnati Foundation Rainwater Harvesting for Indoor Non-Potable Use Phase 2 Role:PI $50,000.00 Awarded Level:Private Non-Profit


Peer Reviewed Publications

French, D A; Gruenstein, E I (2006. ) An integrate-and-fire model for synchronized bursting in a network of cultured cortical neurons. Journal of computational neuroscience, , 21 (3 ) ,227-41

Kutcher, Louis W; Beauman, Shirelyn R; Gruenstein, Eric I; Kaetzel, Marcia A; Dedman, John R (2003. ) Nuclear CaMKII inhibits neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells without affecting MAPK or CREB activation. American journal of physiology. Cell physiology, , 284 (6 ) ,C1334-45

Wang, X; Gruenstein, E I (1997. ) Mechanism of synchronized Ca2+ oscillations in cortical neurons. Brain research, , 767 (2 ) ,239-49

Wang, X-S., and E. Gruenstein (1997. ) The Rapid Elevation of Neuronal Cytoplasmic Calcium by Apolipoprotein E Peptide .J. Cell. Physiol , , 173 ,73 -83

Wang, X-S., G. Ciraolo, R. Morris, and E. Gruenstein (1997. ) Identification of a Neuronal Endocytic Pathway Activated by an Apolipoprotein E Receptor Binding Peptide .Brain Res, , 778 ,6 -15

Wang, X-S, E. Gruenstein, and F. Zemlan (1998. ) Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) Peptide Regulates Tau Phosphorylation via Two Different Signaling Pathways .J Neurosci. Res, , 51 ,658 -665

Gruenstein, Eric I; Schlemm, Donna J; Bethi, Mridula; Keller, Stephen J (2018. ) The early signaling pathway of live yeast cell derivative in THP-1 monocytes.Cell calcium, , 73 ,112-120 More Information

Honors and Awards

2011 Dean’s Medical School Teaching Award

2010 University of Cincinnati Just Community Award

2004 University of Cincinnati Established Entrepreneur Award

1993 Prize for Excellence in Teaching Medical Biochemistry

Member, National Academy of Inventors

1992 Fogarty Senior International Fellow

1983 Distinguished Teacher of Research Award


Image Analysis, Intracellular Signaling,Software Development, Company Startup and Development ,Technology, Industry, and Agriculture(MeSH J01),Cells(MeSH A11),Biological Phenomena, Cell Phenomena, and Immunity(MeSH G04)

Contact Information

Academic - Office 2980 Cardiovascular Center
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati  Ohio, 45267
Phone: (513)558-5531
Fax: (513)558-8474