Teresa Hastings, PhD

Associate Professor of Neurology


  • Director, Honors College Health Sciences Fellowship Program

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Hastings was trained with a background in nutrition, oxidative toxicology and biochemistry specializing in protein chemistry and enzymology. The focus of her research has been investigating free radical formation and oxidative mechanisms associated with neurodegeneration as they relate to models of Parkinson’s disease and drugs of abuse, utilizing both animal and cellular models. Dopamine oxidation to reactive metabolites, protein modification, and the effect of the reactive dopamine quinone on mitochondrial function has been the specific focus of the Hastings’ lab. More recently, her laboratory has been investigating the neuroprotective role of selenoproteins in Parkinson’s disease.

Education & Training

  • MS, Pennsylvania State University, Biochemical Toxicology
  • PhD, Medical College of Ohio (Univ. Toledo School of Medicine), Biochemistry
  • Post Doc, University of Pittsburgh, Neurochemistry

Specialized Areas of Clinical, Research and/or Educational Interests

  • Research: Oxidative mechanisms in Neurodegeneration; Parkinson’s disease; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Selenoproteins
  • Education: Cell & Molecular Neurobiology, Protein chemistry, Nutrition, Career development

Professional Organization Membership

  • Society for Neuroscience
  • American Academy for Advancement of Science 
  • International Society for Neurochemistry 
  • Society for Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine
  • American Chemical Society

Honors & Awards

  • Robert H. and Lynnie Spahn Lectureship, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
  • Faculty Fellow, University Honors College (45 selected out of ~4,500 faculty)

Selected Publications

Zharikov AD, Cannon JR, Tapias V, Bai Q, Horowitz MP, Shah V, El Ayadi A, Hastings TG, Greenamyre JT, Burton EA. shRNA targeting α-synuclein prevents neurodegeneration in a Parkinson's disease model. J Clin Invest. 2015 Jul 1;125(7):2721-35. doi: 10.1172/JCI64502. Epub 2015 Jun 15. PMID: 26075822; PMCID: PMC4563670.

Van Laar VS, Berman SB, Hastings TGMic60/mitofilin overexpression alters mitochondrial dynamics and attenuates vulnerability of dopaminergic cells to dopamine and rotenone. Neurobiol Dis. 2016 Jul;91:247-61. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2016.03.015. Epub 2016 Mar 19. PMID: 27001148; PMCID: PMC5298082.

Di Maio R, Barrett PJ, Hoffman EK, Barrett CW, Zharikov A, Borah A, Hu X, McCoy J, Chu CT, Burton EA, Hastings TG, Greenamyre JT. α-Synuclein binds to TOM20 and inhibits mitochondrial protein import in Parkinson's disease. Sci Transl Med. 2016 Jun 8;8(342):342ra78. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf3634. PMID: 27280685; PMCID: PMC5016095.

Di Maio R, Hoffman EK, Rocha EM, Keeney MT, Sanders LH, De Miranda BR, Zharikov A, Van Laar A, Stepan AF, Lanz TA, Kofler JK, Burton EA, Alessi DR, Hastings TG, Greenamyre JT. LRRK2 activation in idiopathic Parkinson's disease. Sci Transl Med. 2018 Jul 25;10(451):eaar5429. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aar5429. PMID: 30045977; PMCID: PMC6344941.

Rocha EM, De Miranda BR, Castro S, Drolet R, Hatcher NG, Yao L, Smith SM, Keeney MT, Di Maio R, Kofler J, Hastings TG, Greenamyre JT. LRRK2 inhibition prevents endolysosomal deficits seen in human Parkinson's disease. Neurobiol Dis. 2020 Feb;134:104626. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2019.104626. Epub 2019 Oct 13. PMID: 31618685; PMCID: PMC7345850.