Research Foundation Board Member Dr. Alan R. Gintzler
Alan R. Gintzler, PhD. is a professor of biochemistry neurobiologyof pain and addiction research in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
Dr. Gintzler has been a SUNY Downstate faculty member since 1980. He runs a multidisciplinary research laboratory that has been continuously funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) for more than 30 years. Notably, in 2002, Dr. Gintzler, on behalf of SUNY Downstate, successfully spearheaded and directed the implementation of a Women's Health Research Training Grant, the first such grant in New York State.
Dr. Gintzler's approach to research emanates from the firm belief that the inductive approach of clinician researchers, which is steeped in evidence-based medicine, and the deductive, hypothesis-driven approach to research, which is predominantly utilized by preclinical researchers, are complementary, not antithetical or exclusionary. These approaches are synergistic and provide cross-validation of conclusions.
Dr. Gintzler has authored more than 100 publications and is a reviewer for more than 15 journals. He has served on numerous NIH Study Sections and editorial boards. Currently Dr. Gintzler is an associate editor for the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
On May 10, 2017, the SUNY Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Gintzler to the Distinguished Faculty Rank. The Distinguished Professorship is conferred upon individuals who have achieved national or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within a chosen field.
Dr. Gintzler is a recipient of the prestigious Irma T. Hirschl Career Scientist award and a Fogarty Fellowship, and served as an Aaron Diamond Postdoctoral mentor. In 2002, Dr. Gintzler received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research. He served as interim chair of the department of biochemistry from 2006 until the department was dissolved in 2009. He was subsequently invited to join the department of obstetrics and gynecology as its research director.
Dr. Gintzler, with his mentor Sydney Spector, was the first to demonstrate the naturally occurring presence of morphine in neuronal tissue. As an assistant professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Gintzler demonstrated that physiological hesitation is associated with a spinal opioidantinociception and subsequently elucidated the endocrine and opioid components underlying that antinociception. This line of research has expanded to include the molecular interface between ovarian sex steroids and pain/analgesic pain mechanisms, primarily focusing on the molecular underpinnings of the male/female dichotomy in the prevalence of chronic pain syndromes, analgesic responsiveness to narcotics and addiction mechanisms. Most recently, Dr. Gintzler and his collaborators discovered that the mu and kappa types of opioid receptor heterodimerize in spinal cord in a female-specific fashion, which is regulated by rapid signaling by membrane estrogen receptors.
Dr. Gintzler is a graduate of Hunter College, cum laude. He received his doctorate from New York University School of Medicine and postdoctoral research training at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology.
Dr. Gintzler serves on the following committees: