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PhD - Cornell University (Pharmacology) MS - Universidad de Puerto Rico (Biochemistry) BS - Universidad de Puerto Rico (General Sciences)
Research Projects in my department:
Planarian flatworms show a lot of promise in neuropharmacological research; they have a well-developed nervous system, including a rudimentary brain, which use every major neurotransmitter system described in mammals, including humans. Additionally, its nervous system shares many structural similarities with vertebrate nervous systems. We use planaria as a model organism to screen for psychoactive naturally-occurring or synthetic compounds.
Synthetic local anesthetics as alleviators of cocaine inhibition of the human dopamine transporter
Field of Pharmacology and Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (August, 2005).
Advisor: George P. Hess, PhD
Effects of cembranoids and anesthetic agents on [3H]-tenocyclidine binding to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor from Torpedo californica
Department of Biochemistry, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus San Juan, Puerto Rico (June, 1998).
Advisors: Vesna A. Eterovic, PhD; Carlos M. Basilio, MD
Pagán OR (2014) The First Brain: The Neuroscience of Planarians. Oxford University Press, 2014.
Pagán OR (2014) Chapter 1. Why do Plants Contain Biologically Active Compounds? In: Kratom and Other Mitragynines: The Chemistry and Pharmacology of Opioids from a Non-Opium Source. Edited by Dr. Robert B. Raffa. CRC Press.
19. Pagán OR, Deats S, Baker D, Montgomery E, Wilk G, Tenaglia M, Semon J (2013) Planarians require an intact brain to behaviorally react to cocaine, but not to react to nicotine. Neuroscience. 246:265-70.
18. Pagán OR, Baker D, Deats S, Montgomery E, Tenaglia M, Randolph C, Kotturu D, Tallarida C, Bach D, Wilk G, Rawls S, Raffa RB (2012) Planarians in pharmacology: parthenolide is a specific behavioral antagonist of cocaine in the planarian Girardia tigrina. Int J Dev Biol. 2012;56(1-3):193-6.
17. Baker D, Deats S, Boor P, Pruitt J, Pagán OR (2011) Minimal structural requirements of alkyl γ-lactones capable of antagonizing the cocaine-induced motility decrease in planarians. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2011 Aug 22. [Epub ahead of print]
16. Schwarz D, Bloom D, Castro R, Pagan OR and Jimenez-Rivera CA (2011) Parthenolide Blocks Cocaine's Effect on Spontaneous Firing Activity of Dopaminergic Neurons in the Ventral Tegmental Area. Current Neuropharmacology. 9(1):17-20.
15. Sivaprakasam K, Pagán OR, Hess GP (2010) Minimal RNA aptamer sequences that can inhibit or alleviate noncompetitive inhibition of the muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. J Membr Biol. 233(1-3):1-12.
14. O.R. Pagán, T. Coudron, T. Kaneria (2009) The Flatworm Planaria as a Toxicology and Behavioral Pharmacology Animal Model in Undergraduate Research Experiences The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education (JUNE) 7(2):A48-A52
13. O.R. Pagán, A.L. Rowlands, A.L. Fattore, T. Coudron, K.R. Urban, A.H. Bidja, V.A. Eterović (2009) A cembranoid from tobacco prevents the expression of nicotine-induced withdrawal behavior in planarian worms. Eur J Pharmacol. 615(1-3):118-24.
12. P.A. Ferchmin, O.R. Pagán, H. Ulrich, A.C. Szeto, R.M. Hann, V.A. Eterović (2009) Actions of octocoral and tobacco cembranoids on nicotinic receptors. Toxicon 54(8):1174-82.
11. A.L. Rowlands and O.R. Pagán (2008) Parthenolide prevents the expression of cocaine-induced withdrawal behavior in planarians. European Journal of Pharmacology 583(1):170-172.
10. O.R. Pagán, A.L. Rowlands, M. Azam, K.R. Urban, A.H. Bidja, D.M. Roy, R.B. Feeney and L.K. Afshari (2008) Reversal of cocaine-induced planarian behavior by parthenolide and related sesquiterpene lactones. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 89(2):160-170.
9. O.R. Pagán, K. Sivaprakasam and R.E. Oswald (2007) Molecular properties of local anesthetics as predictors of affinity for nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Journal of Neuroscience Research 85(13):2943-2949
8. O.R. Pagán, A.L. Rowlands and K.R. Urban (2006) Toxicity and behavioral effects of dimethylsulfoxide in planaria. Neuroscience Letters 407(3):274-8.
7. O.R. Pagán, V.A. Eterovic, M. Garcia, D. Vergne, C.M. Basilio, A.D. Rodriguez and R.M. Hann (2001) Cembranoid and long-chain alkanol sites on the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and their allosteric interaction. Biochemistry 40(37):11121-30.
6. P.A. Ferchmin, R.J. Lukas, R.M. Hann, J.D. Fryer, J.B. Eaton, O.R. Pagán, A.D. Rodríguez, Y. Nicolau, M. Rosado, S. Cortés and V.A. Eterovic (2001) Tobacco cembranoids block behavioral sensitization to nicotine and inhibit neuronal acetylcholine receptor function. Journal of Neuroscience Research 64:18-25.
5. H. Ulrich, J.E. Ippolito, O.R. Pagán, V.A. Eterovic, R.M. Hann, H Shi., J.T. Lis, M.E. Eldefrawi and G.P. Hess (1998) In vitro selection of RNA molecules that displace cocaine from the membrane-bound nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Proceedings of the National Academy of sciences USA 95: 14051-14056.
4. R.M. Hann, O.R. Pagán, T. Jácome, L.M. Gregory, A.D. Rodríguez and V.A. Eterovic (1998) Characterization of cembranoid interaction with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 287: 253-260.
3. R.M. Hann, O.R. Pagán, T. Jácome, L.M. Gregory and V.A. Eterovic (1997) The 9-arginine residue of alpha-conotoxin GI is responsible for its selective high affinity for the alpha/gamma agonist site on the electric organ acetylcholine receptor. Biochemistry 36: 9051-9056.
2. M.J. Eaton, O.R. Pagán, R.M. Hann and V.A. Eterovic (1997) Differential effects of dimethylsulfoxide on acetylcholine-induced current from Xenopus oocytes expressing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors from mouse muscle and Torpedo electrocytes. Neuroscience Letters 230: 163-166.
1. R.M. Hann, O.R. Pagán and V.A. Eterovic (1994) The α-conotoxins GI and MI distinguish between the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist sites while SI does not. Biochemistry 33: 14058-14063.
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