Kazuhito Nakao, Ph.D., serves as a scientist in the lab of Dr. Kazutoshi Nakazawa, studying the mechanisms of psychiatric disorders. Nakao obtained his bachelor’s in Pharmaceutical Science from Tokyo University of Pharmacy & Life Science in 1997. After working as a pharmacist for three years, Nakao transitioned into studies in neuroscience, obtaining his master’s in 2002 and doctorate in 2005 from the University of Tokyo in Japan, focusing on learning and memory, particularly synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus in the rat rodent model using in vivo electrophysiology. After serving as an assistant professor in the medical department at the University of Tokyo, where he investigated the mechanisms of epilepsy in the hippocampus of genetically-manipulated animal models using in vivo electrical recordings, he joined the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Intramural Research Program and began in vivo oscillation research in animal models of schizophrenia under Dr. Nakazawa, establishing a new recording method from the auditory cortex of conscious mice and found a decrease in auditory response in the schizophrenia. In 2013, Nakao moved to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to continue studying in Dr. Nakazawa’s lab. There, he mastered the technique to measure neurotransmitter levels from free moving animals and he identified schizophrenia-like dopamine release abnormalities in a mouse model of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor hypofunction.
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