Randy Blakely, PhD

PhD, Professor of Biomedical Science, Florida Atlantic University


Randy D. Blakely, a native of Columbus, Georgia, is Professor of Biomedical Science in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University and the founding Executive Director of the FAU Brain Institute.

Prior to his arrival at FAU in 2016, Blakely held the Allan D. Bass Chair in Pharmacology & Psychiatry at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine for 21 years (1995-2016) and when appointed, was the youngest to hold an endowed chair in university history. At Vanderbilt, Blakely directed the Center for Molecular Neuroscience, the Vanderbilt/NIMH Silvio O. Conte Center for Neuroscience Research, and the Vanderbilt/NIMH Postdoctoral Training Program in Functional Neurogenomics.

In 1998, Blakely and Dr. Elaine Sanders-Bush launched the Vanderbilt Brain Institute and generated a nationally-prominent Ph.D. Program in Neuroscience.

Over the past 30 years, Blakely’s laboratory has investigated the genetics, structure, regulation and pathophysiology of these and other synaptic transporters, and was the first to identify clinical syndromes associated with heritable mutations in neurotransmitter transporter genes, linking these mutations to cardiovascular, behavioral, and neuromuscular disorders. Blakely’s research has appeared in more than 330 publications in high-impact journals including Science, Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, Neuron and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. He has served on multiple editorial boards including the Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Molecular Pharmacology.

His expertise has also drawn appointments to multiple federal, foundation advisory scientific advisory boards including appointment as Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), as well as his current position as a member of the NIMH National Advisory Mental Health Council where he advises the NIMH Director and program staff on national research and funding priorities.

BRAIN Funded Projects

Pharmacologically Remediable Traits of ASD in a Mouse Model Implicate a Serotonin – Neuroinflammatory Connection

Recent & Selected Publications

Stilley SE, Blakely RD. Rare Opportunities for Insights Into Serotonergic Contributions to Brain and Bowel Disorders: Studies of the SERT Ala56 Mouse. Front Cell Neurosci. 2021;15:677563. Published 2021 Jun 3. doi:10.3389/fncel.2021.677563

Quinlan MA, Robson MJ, Ye R, Rose KL, Schey KL, Blakely RD. Ex vivo Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of Serotonin Transporter Interactome: Network Impact of the SERT Ala56 Coding Variant. Front Mol Neurosci. 2020;13:89. Published 2020 Jun 8. doi:10.3389/fnmol.2020.00089

Areal LB, Blakely RD. Neurobehavioral changes arising from early life dopamine signaling perturbations. Neurochem Int. 2020;137:104747. doi:10.1016/j.neuint.2020.104747

Veenstra-VanderWeele J, Blakely RD. Networking in autism: leveraging genetic, biomarker and model system findings in the search for new treatments. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2012;37(1):196-212. doi:10.1038/npp.2011.185

BRAIN Synchrony Symposia presentations

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