Dr. Robert Dantzer employs both basic science and clinical research to investigate the mechanisms of inflammation-induced sickness and depression, with the objectives of understanding how the immune message propagates from the periphery to the brain and how brain cytokines can ultimately affect behavior. He incorporates neuroanatomy, cellular and molecular biology, and behavioral pharmacology approaches in wild-type and transgenic mice. In his studies of the mechanisms of the dissociation between sickness and depression, he discovered that the tryptophan-degrading enzyme indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase plays a causal role in the transition from sickness to depression. Today, he continues his work in studies of the pathophysiology and treatment of cancer-related fatigue and depression.
Dr. Dantzer holds adjunct affiliations with Rice University and UT Health Science Center Houston. He earned doctoral degrees in veterinary science and behavioral neuroscience from the University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.
Dr. Dantzer is one of the original founders of the Neuroimmunology Laboratories as a new basic science effort alongside the existing clinical research within the Department of Symptom Research. The Neuroimmunology Labs have grown into four separate, full-fledged labs within the department.