Curriculum Vitae (recent)

C U R R I C U L U M   V I T A E  (short) 
January, 2017
NAME                                                   Robert David ANDREW
CITIZENSHIP                                       Canadian
POSITIONS HELD                               Assistant Professor, appointed 1982
                                                                                                 MRC Scholarship, July 1983 - June 1988
                                                                Associate Professor, appointed 1988
                                                                                                Tenure awarded, 1988
                                                                Professor, appointed 1993
CONTACTS                                          Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences
                                                                      and the Centre for Neuroscience Studies
                                                                Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6.
                                                                                Tel: (613) 533-2860
                                                                                Fax:  (613) 533-2566                         
UNIVERSITY EDUCATION               B.Sc. (Hon.), University of Western Ontario, Dept. Zoology
                                                                                                London, Canada, 1973.
                                                                M.Sc., University of Western Ontario, Dept. Zoology
                                                                                                London, Canada, 1975.
                                                                Ph.D., Dept. Biology, York University,
                                                                                                Toronto, Canada, 1979.
POSTDOCTORAL                               Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. Zoology,
                                                                                University of Toronto, Toronto, July 1979 - June 1980.
                                                             Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. Physiology,
                                                                                Tulane Medical School, New Orleans, July 1980 - August 1982.
                                                                                MRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, July 1980 - June 1982
SCIENTIFIC AFFILIATIONS               Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
                                                                - Scientific Review Committee III, 2001-2005; 2007-2011; 2013-2016
                                                                - Funded by HSFC 1995 – 2012; 2014-2017
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
                                                                - Operating Grants Panel (Neuroscience A), 2010-11
                                                                - Funded by MRC/CIHR 1983 - 2007
Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation 
                                                                - Early Researcher Award Panel, 2007
Canadian Physiological Society
                                                                 - Councilor, 2002-2005
Editorial Board, Experimental Neurology, 1989 – 2000
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario                                                                        
                                                                                -  Research and Development Review Committee, 1994 – 96
Medical Research Council of Canada
                                                                    -  Operating Grants Committee (Neurosciences), 1989-90
Canadian Association of Anatomists
                                                                    -  Science Policy Committee, 1989-90
Society for Neuroscience

International Brain Research Organization
Canadian Association for Neuroscience
Canadian Epilepsy Consortium (CEC), Associate Member
EXTRACURRICULAR                        Triathlete since 1990.
                                                            Skiing, hockey, snowboarding, cycling, windsurfing, sailing

Andrew RD, Hsieh YT, Brisson CD (2016) Spreading depolarization triggered by elevated potassium is weak or absent in the rodent lower brain. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. (2016) Jul 5. pii: 0271678X16657344. [Epub ahead of print]

Spong KE, Andrew RD, Robertson RM (2016). Mechanisms of spreading depolarization in vertebrate and insect central nervous systems. J Neurophysiol; published ahead of print June 22, 2016, doi:10.1152/jn.00352.2016

Dreier JP…Andrew RD…et al. (2016). Recommendations of the COSBID study group on recording and analysis of spreading depolarizations in neurointensive care. J Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism DOI:10.1177/0271678X16654496.

Hartings JA…Andrew RD et al. (2016). The continuum of spreading depolarizations in acute cortical lesion development: Examining Leão's legacy. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab.  pii: 0271678X16654495. [Epub ahead of print]

Hubel N, Andrew RD, Ullah G (2016). Large extracellular space leads to neuronal susceptibility to ischemic injury in Na+/K+ pumps-dependent manner. J Comput Neurosci. 40(2):177-92. doi: 10.1007/s10827-016-0591-y. Epub 2016 Feb 6.

Andrew RD (2015).The Persistent Vegetative State: Evidence That the Lower Brain Survives Because Its Neurons Intrinsically Resist Ischemia. M.M. Monti, W.G. Sannita (eds.), Brain Function and Responsiveness in Disorders of Consciousness,© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016 DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-21425-2_10

Ventura NM, Jin AY, Tse MY, Peterson NT, Andrew RD, Pang SC (2015). Onset and Regression of Pregnancy-Induced Cardiovascular Alterations in Gestationally-Hypertensive Mice: The Role of the Natriuretic Peptide System. Biol. Reprod. 93(6):142. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.115.132696.

Ventura NM, Jin AY, Tse MY, Peterson NT, Andrew RD, Mewburn JD, Pang SC (2015). Maternal hypertension programs increased cerebral tissue damage following stroke in adult offspring. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 408(1): 223-233.

D'Souza Y, Elharram A, Soon-Shiong R, Andrew RD, Bennett BM (2015). Characterization of Aldh2-/- mice as an age-related model of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's Disease. Molecular Brain 8:27. doi: 10.1186/s13041-015-0117-y.

Brisson CD, Jin AY, Andrew RD (2014) Brainstem neurons resist the same acute ischemia that injures higher neurons: Insight to the persistent vegetative state.  PLoS ONE. 9(5): e96585.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096585
Ventura NM,  Jin AY,  Peterson NT, Tse MY, Andrew RD, Pang SC (2014) Molecular adaptations in vasoactive systems during acute stroke in salt-induced hypertension.  Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry: 399(1-2):39-47.

Brisson CD, Lukewich MK, Andrew RD (2013) A distinct boundary between the higher brain`s susceptibility to ischemia and the lower brain`s resistance. PLoS ONE. 8(11): e79589. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079589
Brisson CD, Andrew RD. (2012) A neuronal population that dramatically resists acute ischemic injury independent of blood supply. J Neurophysiol  108: 419-430.

White SH, Brisson CD, Andrew RD (2012) Examining protection from anoxic depolarization by the drugs dibucaine and carbetapentane using whole-cell recording from CA1 neurons. J Neurophysiol 107:2083-2095.

Douglas HA, Callaway JK, Sword J, Kirov SA, Andrew RD (2011) Potent inhibition of anoxic depolarization by the sodium channel blocker dibucaine. J Neurophysiol 105:1482-94. 


Gagolewicz P, Andrew RD (2016)  Still unidentified: The channel driving spreading depolarization during ischemia. Canadian Association for Neuroscience 2016, Toronto, Canada 

El-Kerdawy H, Carr J, Andrew RD (2016) Mechanisms underlying neuronal swelling during acute osmotic or acute ischemic stress. Canadian Association for Neuroscience 2016, Toronto, Canada 

Andrew RD, Hsieh Y-T, Brisson CD (2015) Spreading depression is weak or absent in the rodent lower brain. Canadian Association for Neuroscience 2016, Toronto, Canada 

Andrew RD (2015) Spreading Depression and Migraine Pain as Evolutionary Epiphenomena of TBI. Co-operative Studies on Brain Injury Depolarizations 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark 

Brisson CD, Andrew RD (2014) Spreading depolarization strength during ischemia determines higher brain susceptibility and lower brain resistance to acute injury. Society for Neuroscience 2014, Washington, United States 

Andrew RD, Kim D (2014) Does ischemia induce spreading depolarization by converting the Na+/K+ pump into a channel? Co-operative Studies on Brain Injury Depolarizations 2014, Boston, United States 

Andrew RD (2014) Spreading depolarization strength during ischemia determines higher brain susceptibility and lower brain resistance to acute injury. Workshop on Cortical Spreading Depression and Related Neurological Phenomena. Toronto, Canada 

Andrew RD, Britton R, McQueen SA, Kim D, Jin AY  (2013)  Could the failing Na+/K+ pump convert to a channel during stroke? Soc Neurosci Abstracts 2013 

Andrew RD, Brisson CD (2013) Single neuron properties promote onset of the persistent vegetative state. Canad Assoc Neurosci  2013. Toronto 

Petrin DA, Ventura NM,  Peterson N, Andrew RD, Tse MY, Pang SC, Jin AY (2013) Spreading depolarization is attenuated post-stroke and may involve isoform-specific altered sodium-potassium ATPase function. Canad Assoc Neurosci  2013. Toronto 

Petrin DA, Ventura NM,  Peterson N, Andrew RD, Tse MY, Pang SC, Jin AY (2013)   Spreading depolarization after stroke is supported by the alpha-1 isoform of Na+/K+-ATPase. Canadian Stroke Congress,  Montreal.  

Ventura NM, NT Peterson,  Tse MY, Wong PG,  Jin AY, Andrew RD, Pang SC (2013)  Molecular effects of salt-induced hypertension on the development of acute ischemic stroke in the heterozygous ANP+/- gene-disrupted mice. Canadian Stroke Congress,  Montreal. 

Petrin DA, Andrew RD, Jin AY (2013) Endogenous and exogenous alteration of spreading depolarization in the post-stroke brain.  European Stroke Conference 2013. 

Ventura NM, Peterson NT, Tse MY, Jin AY, Andrew RD, Pang SC. (2013) A novel model for ischemic stroke–the ANP gene disrupted (ANP−/−) mouse: molecular effects of hypertension in the development of stroke.  Exper Biol `13.  

Andrew RD, Hsieh Y-T, Brisson  CD (2012) Projection neurons in brainstem and hypothalamus intrinsically resist acute stroke injury while projection neurons in cortex, striatum and thalamus die. .Soc Neurosci Abstracts 2012 

Brisson  CD, Hsieh Y-T, Andrew RD (2012) Robust neuronal resistance to acute ischemic depolarization and swelling in midbrain-pons assessed with intracellular electrophysiology and two-photon microscopy. Soc Neurosci Abstracts 2012 

Foreman-Mackey A., Peterson, N., Andrew, RD, Kaur, J., Singh, S., Jin, AY (2011) Acute stroke opens neuronal pannexin1 channels. Int. Stroke Conf., New Orleans, Feb 2012. 

Andrew, RD, CD Brisson (2011) Trauma trumps stroke: Why is our higher brain inept at dealing with blocked blood flow? Vasospasm 2011: The 11th International Conference on Neurovascular Events after Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. Cincinatti, Ohio. 

Brisson CD, Andrew RD (2011) Brainstem neurons in solitary nucleus resist ischemic stress compared to cortical pyramidal neurons. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 2011. 

Andrew, R D (2010) When does `personhood`begin? Understanding neural development can inform the abortion issue. Neuroethics Society. 

Pang, S. C., C.W. Reifel, L.W. MacKenzie, R.A. Easteal, R.D. Andrew, R.E. Hunt, S. Virk. (2010) Establishment of an internet-accessible, scalable gross anatomy and histology image catalogue (SGAHIC) for modern medical and health science education. Annual meeting of the Canadian Health Libraries Association. 

Brisson, D.C., R. D. Andrew (2010) Magnocellular neuroendocrine cells dramatically resist stroke-like injury in live brain slices compared to neocortical pyramidal neurons. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 2010. 

Ranepura N, C.D. Brisson and R. D. Andrew (2010) Neurons that resist osmotic volume change in brain slices and when dissociated. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 2010.



Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario Operating Grant.  “Higher brain susceptibility and lower brain resiliency to ischemic injury.”  Funded July 2014-June 2017


Gibson Award from Kingston General Hospital, June  2015.    $9,000.

Dean`s Award in support of graduate student Steven Williams, September 2015.   $10,000.

RECENT INVITED Symposia or Worshop Participation 

Sept   2013. One-On-One Debate: "How Can Neurobiology Inform the Political Issue of Personhood?"       Aggiornamento Institute, Colorado State University.

July 2014. International Workshop Speaker.  Cortical Spreading Depression and Related Neurological Phenomena.  Fields Institute, University of Toronto.


October 2014.  Speaker.  Cooperative Studies on Brain Injury Depolarization   Annual meeting. Boston MA.


August 2016.  Speaker and Instructor. 4-day Summer Mini-School - Cortical Spreading Depression & Migraines, Florida International University.


December 2013. University of Arizona, Dept. of Basic Medical Sciences. Why is our brain so inept at dealing with blocked blood flow?  

December 2013. University of North Texas.  Dept. of Pharmacology and Neuroscience. Why is our brain so inept at dealing with blocked blood flow?  

May 2016.  Speaker.  Our brain: Wired for God and Country.  Biology Dept., York University, Toronto. 

Graduate Supervision 

Currently 2 doctoral students, 2 MSc students and one post-doc. 

Graduated a total of 7 doctoral students and 28 MSc students. 

Supervised  28 fourth-year project students.


ANAT 312/812*                    Functional Neuroanatomy

NSCI 429/829*                     Disorders of the Nervous System - Course Coordinator

NSCI 499                              Research Project in Neuroscience

NSCI 444/844*                     Controversies in Neuroscience - Course Coordinator


Research Interests
My interest in Neuroscience developed while carrying out electron microscopical studies comprising my M.Sc. studies at the University of Western Ontario with Dr. Richard Shivers. Subsequently during Ph.D. research at York University in Toronto with Dr. Saber Saleuddin, I utilized neuroanatomical techniques and electrical stimulation of nervous tissue to increase neurohormone release as studied ultrastructurally and biochemically. From that work I decided to learn more about neurophysiological techniques as research tools. As a post-doc at the University of Toronto and then at the Tulane Medical School in New Orleans with Dr. Ed Dudek, I studied the electrophysiology of mammalian neuroendocrine cells and used live hippocampal slices to examine electrotonic coupling among neurons.

This approach continued in my own lab, evolving into neurophysiological studies of neuronal swelling caused when neurons are osmotically challenged or when they become hyperactive (as during epilepsy). Neurons also swell and die  when they are metabolically challenged during stroke or head trauma. Recording intracellularly from neurons or astrocytes (or extracellularly from neuronal populations) can be combined with simultaneous imaging techniques. For example, imaging light transmittance through live brain slices is a dramatic way to monitor tissue swelling and injury. I have collaborated with Dr. Sergei Kirov using 2-photon scanning laser confocal microscopy that reveals volume changes and damage to single neurons and glial in real time. Individual brain cells can be imaged in transgenic rodents engineered so that a few cells are dramatically fluorescent on a dark background in the live state. We are particularly interested in how neurons and glia respond during the early period of simulated stroke or head trauma. We can then assess potentially therapeutic drugs that reduce or prevent acute neuronal injury.

One particular research interest is a phenomenon termed spreading depression (SD), a migrating depolarization of brain cells that can be imaged in neocortical and hippocampal brain slices. Spreading depression underlies the aura (e.g. flashing lights or numbness) preceding migraine headache and may actually be a cause of migraine pain, rather than just a symptom.  A related aspect is a process similar to spreading depression termed anoxic depolarization (AD). As soon as cortical tissue experiences severe metabolic stress (as during stroke or head trauma), AD generation contributes even more stress, damaging neurons wherever it propagates. AD-like events (peri-infarct depolarizations, PIDs) recur and expand brain damage in the hours following stroke or brain trauma. My Neurologist colleague Dr. Al Jin and I collaborate to investigate drugs that reduce such damage in brain slices by blocking the AD. They also inhibit SD. We consider AD and PID inhibition to be the key targets for improving patient outcome following stroke or traumatic brain injury.

Most recently my lab is investigating in why our higher brain is susceptible to global ischemia and occlusive stroke, while our brainstem is comparatively resistant. This should reveal clues as to why our cortex is so inept at dealing with blocked blood flow.