Lori M. Buhlman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Midwestern University
College of Health Sciences
Department of Biomedical Sciences
19555 N 59th Avenue
Glendale, AZ 85308

Office: (623) 572 3668
Contact me


Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Studies (Program in Neuroscience) University of Arizona 2007
B.S. Psychology Michigan State University 1999


Evidence suggests that abnormalities in mitochondrial function play an important role in pathogenesis of sporadic and inherited forms of Parkinson's disease. We use Drosophila melanogaster and human cell culture approaches to explore how the loss of Parkin protein function causes Parkinson's disease pathology.

Research Projects

  1. Exploring the effects of Parkin loss of function on mitochondrial network morphology and abundance in Drosophila dopaminergic neurons
  2. Exploring the effects of Parkin loss of function on mitochondrial respiratory chain Complex I function in Drosophila heads
  3. Exploring the effects of Parkin loss of function on behaviors that require activity in the Drosophila Central Complex
  4. Exploring the mechanism(s) by which nicotine protects against Parkin loss of function in Drosophila


Vulnerable Parkin Loss-of-Function Drosophila Dopaminergic Neurons Have Advanced Mitochondrial Aging, Mitochondrial Network Loss and Transiently Reduced Autophagosome Recruitment.
Cackovic J, Gutierrez-Luke S, Call GB, Juba A, O'Brien S, Jun CH, Buhlman LM.
Front Cell Neurosci. 2018 Feb 15;12:39. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2018.00039. eCollection 2018.
PMID: 29497364

Parkin loss-of-function pathology: Premature neuronal senescence induced by high levels of reactive oxygen species?
Buhlman LM.
Mech Ageing Dev. 2017 Jan;161(Pt A):112-120. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2016.06.008. Review.
PMID: 27374431

Functional interplay between Parkin and Drp1 in mitochondrial fission and clearance. 
Buhlman L, Damiano M, Bertolin G, Ferrando-Miguel R, Lombès A, Brice A, Corti O.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Sep;1843(9):2012-26. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2014.05.012. Epub 2014 May 27.
PMID: 24878071

Nicotine increases lifespan and rescues olfactory and motor deficits in a Drosophila model of Parkinson's disease.
Chambers RP, Call GB, Meyer D, Smith J, Techau JA, Pearman K, Buhlman LM.
Behav Brain Res. 2013 Sep 15;253:95-102. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2013.07.020. Epub 2013 Jul 16.
PMID: 23871228

Functional nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing α6 subunits are on GABAergic neuronal boutons adherent to ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons. 
Yang K, Buhlman L, Khan GM, Nichols RA, Jin G, McIntosh JM, Whiteaker P, Lukas RJ, Wu J.
J Neurosci. 2011 Feb 16;31(7):2537-48. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3003-10.2011.
PMID: 21325521