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Jeff Edwards

Physiology & Developmental Biology

3046 LSB
Provo, UT 84602

Research Interests

Learning and Memory as well as Reward/Addiction pathways- Using electrophysiology in combination with pharmacology and molecular biology techniques the lab studies synaptic plasticity, the cellular mechanism allowing our brains to learn and adapt. We study synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, the primary region involved in learning and memory and the ventral tegmental area, which is the reward pathway of the brain. The goal is to understand normal brain function and as a result apply this to abnormal states such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s in the hippocampus and addiction in the ventral tegmental area.


Academic - Post-Secondary

  • Associate Director, BYU Neuroscience Center, 2015-Present
  • Faculty, BYU Neuroscience Center, 2007-Present
  • Full Professor, Brigham Young University, -2018
  • Associate Professor, Brigham Young University, 2013-2018


  • President, Society for Neuroscience Intermountain Branch, 2012-2015


  • International Cannabinoid Research Society, 2012-Present
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2007-Present
  • Neuroscience Center, 2007-Present
  • Society for Neuroscience, 2004-Present
  • Intermountain Chapter Society for Neuroscience, 2000-Present
  • American Physiological Society, 1998-Present
  • Idaho Academy of Sciences, 2005-2006
  • Association for Chemoreception Sciences, 1999-2004

Honors and Awards

  • Brigham Young University : Graduate Mentoring Award
  • PDBio : PDBio Award for Outstanding Achievement and Service
  • Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience : Honors Award
  • Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience : Honors Award
  • Brigham Young University : Graduate Mentoring Award
  • Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience : Honors Award
  • Faculty Center : Course Development Project Grant
  • BYU-Idaho : Thomas E. Ricks Award
  • NIH : National Service Research Award- Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Association for Chemoreception Sciences : Don Tucker Memorial Award Nominee
  • Assocation for Chemoreception Sciences : Assocation for Chemoreception Sciences Travel Awards
  • Association for Chemoreception Sciences : Don Tucker Memorial Award Nominee
  • Intermountain Chapter Society for Neuroscience : Most outstanding presentation

Courses Taught

Winter 2019

  • NEURO 449R: Neuro Research Experience Section 006
  • PDBIO 295R: Introductory Undgrad Research Section 005
  • PDBIO 349R: PDBio Teaching Experience Section 006
  • PDBIO 362: Advanced Physiology Section 002, 003
  • PDBIO 495R: Adv Undergraduate Research Section 005
  • PDBIO 550R: Advanced Topics in PDBio Section 006
  • PDBIO 649R: Laboratory Research Section 005
  • PDBIO 689R: Practicum LfSci Tchg or Resrch Section 001

Fall 2018

  • NEURO 449R: Neuro Research Experience Section 005
  • PDBIO 295R: Introductory Undgrad Research Section 005
  • PDBIO 495R: Adv Undergraduate Research Section 005
  • PDBIO 568: Biophysics Section 001
  • PDBIO 601: Cell & Molecular Physiology Section 001
  • PDBIO 649R: Laboratory Research Section 005

Summer 2018

  • NEURO 449R: Neuro Research Experience Section 006

Spring 2018

  • NEURO 449R: Neuro Research Experience Section 006
  • NEURO 799R: Doctoral Dissertation Section 003
  • PDBIO 295R: Introductory Undgrad Research Section 005
  • PDBIO 495R: Adv Undgraduate Research Section 005


Journal Articles

Miller RM, Marriott D, Trotter J, Hammond T, Lyman D, Call T, Walker B, Christensen N, Haynie D, Badura Z, et al. 2018. Running exercise mitigates the negative consequences of chronic stress on dorsal hippocampal long-term potentiation in male mice. 149:28-38. doi:10.1016/j.nlm.2018.01.008

Friend L, Weed J, Sandoval P, Nufer T, Ostlund I, Edwards JG. 2017. CB1-Dependent Long-Term Depression in Ventral Tegmental Area GABA Neurons: A Novel Target for Marijuana. 37(45):10943-10954. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0190-17.2017

Steffensen SC, Shin SI, Nelson AC, Pistorius SS, Williams SB, Woodward TJ, Park HJ, Friend L, Gao M, Gao F, et al. 2017. α6 subunit-containing nicotinic receptors mediate low-dose ethanol effects on ventral tegmental area neurons and ethanol reward. Addiction Biology. doi:10.1111/adb.12559

Hurst K, Badgley C, Ellsworth T, Bell S, Friend L, Prince B, Welch J, Cowan Z, Williamson R, Lyon C, et al. 2017. A putative lysophosphatidylinositol receptor GPR55 modulates hippocampal synaptic plasticity. 27(9):985-998. doi:10.1002/hipo.22747

Cordner RD, Friend LN, Mayo JL, Badgley C, Wallman A, Stallings CN, Young PL, Miles DR, Edwards JG, Bridgewater LC. 2017. The BMP2 nuclear variant, nBMP2, is expressed in mouse hippocampus and impacts memory. Scientific Reports. 7:46464. doi:10.1038/srep46464

Merrill CB, Friend LN, Newton ST, Hopkins ZH, Edwards JG. 2015. Ventral tegmental area dopamine and GABA neurons: Physiological properties and expression of mRNA for endocannabinoid biosynthetic elements. 5:16176. doi:10.1038/srep16176

Taylor DH, Burman PN, Hansen DM, Wilcox RS, Larsen BR, Blanchard JK, Merrill CB, Edwards JG, Sudweeks SN, Wu J, et al. 2013. Nicotine enhances the excitability of GABA neurons in the ventral tegmental area via activation of alpha 7 nicotinic receptors on glutamate terminals. Biochemistry and Pharmacology. ePub ahead of print.

Merrill C, McNeil M, Williamson R, Poole B, Nelson B, Sudweeks SN, Edwards JG. 2012. Identification of mRNA for endocannabinoid biosynthetic enzymes within hippocampal pyramidal cells and CA1 stratum radiatum interneuron subtypes using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Neuroscience. 218:88-99.

Jensen T, Edwards JG. 2012. Calcineurin is required for TRPV1-induced long-term depression of hippocampal interneurons. Neuroscience Letters. 510(2):82-87.

Bennion D, Jensen T, Wallther C, Hamblin J, Wallmann A, Couch J, Blickenstaff J, Castle M, Dean L, Beckstead S, et al. 2011. Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 agonists modulate hippocampal CA1 LTP via the GABAergic system. Neuropharmacology. 61(4):730-738.

Steffensen SC, Bradley K, Hansen DM, Wilcox JD, Wilcox RS, Allison DW, Merrill CB, Edwards JG. 2010. The role of connexin-36 gap junctions in alcohol intoxication and consumption. Synapse. 65(8):695-707.

Edwards JG, Gibson H, Jensen T, Nugent F, Walther C, Blickenstaff J, Kauer J. 2010. A novel non-CB1/TRPV1 endocannabinoid-mediated mechanism depresses excitatory synapses on hippocampal CA1 interneurons. Hippocampus. DOI: 10.1002/hipo.20884.

Wang Z, Edwards JG, Riley N, Provance DW, Karcher R, Li XD, Davison IG, Ikebe M, Mercer JA, Kauer JA, et al. 2008. Myosin Vb mobilizes recycling endosomes and AMPA receptors for postsynaptic plasticity. Cell. 135:535-548.

Gibson HE, Edwards JG, Page RS, Van Hook MJ, Kauer JA. 2008. TRPV1 Channels Mediate Long-Term Depression at Synapses on Hippocampal Interneurons. Neuron. 57:746-759.

Park M, Penick EC, Edwards JG, Kauer JA, Ehlers MD. 2004. Recycling Endosomes Supply AMPA Receptors for LTP. Science. 305:1972-1975.

Edwards JG, Michel WC. 2003. Pharmacological characterization of ionotropic glutamate receptors within the zebrafish olfactory bulb. Neuroscience. 122:1037-1047.

Book Chapter

Edwards JG. 2014. TRPV1 in the Central Nervous System: Synaptic Plasticity, Function, and Pharmacological Implications. Omar M.E., editor. Progress in Drug Research: Capsaicin as a Therapeutic Molecule. VIIIth ed. vol. 68 p. 321


Mayo JL, Nichols BA, Olsen DS, Cordner RD, Hancock CR, Weber KS, Wilson E, Edwards JG, Barrow JR, Bridgewater LC. The nBMP2 mutant mouse shows defects in intracellular calcium transport-regulated pathways. Southwest Regional Meeting of the Society for Developmental Biology. Aurora, Colorado. 2014 .

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