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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Department of Pathology


A. Iván Hernández, PhD

A. Iván Hernández, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Pathology

Tel: (718) 270-4561 • Fax: (718) 270-3313



Office location: BSB 4-109

Education and Training

Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
1992, Licenciate in Biochemistry with distinction. (M.S. equivalent).

SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Brooklyn, NY
2003, Doctor in Philosophy, State University of New York

Honors and Awards
  • 1997-1998 Treasurer of the Graduate School Student Council at SUNY-HSCB.
  • 2001 Research day Travel Fellowship award. School of Graduate Studies, SUNY-HSCB.
  • 2003-2004 Ruth L. Kirchstein National Research Service Award. Training fellowship (T32)
  • 2005-Dec 2006 Ruth L. Kirchstein National Research Service Award. Fellowship (T32).
Committees, Council, and Professional Society Memberships
  • 1998-Present, Society for Neuroscience
  • 2003-Present, New York Academy of Science.
Laboratory Members / Personnel
  • Natalia Kim
Research or Clinical Interest Summary

Understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating long-term synaptic plasticity and the alterations of those mechanisms associated with neurodegenerative disorders and drug addiction.

The persistence of synaptic plasticity requires gene expression and protein synthesis in both cell body and synaptic terminals. Identifying essential genes and studying their transcriptional and translational regulation are key steps to understanding how synaptic changes become long lasting. In the invertebrate Aplysia Californica the enzyme PARP1, commonly study in oxidative stress and DNA damage, has been shown to be necessary for long-term memory. In addition, it also has been shown to be necessary for the opening chromatin during development in Drosophila. My laboratory is interested in studying the role of PARP in synaptic plasticity and learning and memory, and how alterations of the enzyme PARP contribute to the process of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer, and drug addiction.

  • Arora K, Sequeira JM, Hernández AI, Alarcon JM, Quadros EV.( 2017)  Behavioral alterations are associated with vitamin B12 deficiency in the transcobalamin receptor/CD320 KO mouse. PLoS One. 2017 May 18;12(5):e0177156. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0177156.
  • Hsieh C, Tsokas P, Serrano P, Hernández AI, Tian D, James Cottrell JE, Shouval HZ, Fenton AA, Sacktor TC (2017). Persistent increased PKMζ in long-term and remote spatial memory, Neurobiology Learn Mem, 138 (2017) 135-144.
  • Tsokas P, Hsieh C, Yao Y, Lesburguères E, Wallace EGC, Tcherepanov A, Jothianandan D, Hartley BR, Pan L, Rivard B, Farese RV, Sajan MP, Bergold PJ, Hernández AI, Cottrell J, Shouval HZ, Fenton AA, Sacktor TC (2016). Compensation for PKMζ in LTP and spatial long-term memory in mutant mice. Elife. 2016 May 17;5. pii: e14846. doi: 10.7554/eLife.14846.
  • Zeng J., Libien J., Shaik FMD1, Wolk J, Hernández AI. (2016). “Nucleolar PARP-1 expression is decreased in Alzheimer’s disease; consequences for epigenetic regulation of rDNA and cognition”, Neural Plast. 2016;2016:8987928. doi: 10.1155/2016/8987928. Epub 2016 Feb 29.
  • Hernandez AI, Alarcon J.M., Allen K.D. (2015). “New Ribosomes for new memories?” Commun & Integr Biol. 8, e1017163.
  • Allen K.D., Gourov A.V., Harte C., Gao P., Lee C., Sylvain D., Splett J.M., Oxberry W.C., van de Nes P.S., Troy-Regier M.J., Wolk J., Alarcon J.M., Hernandez AI (2014). Nucleolar integrity is required for the maintenance of long-term synaptic plasticity. PLoS One 9:e104364.
  • Hernández A.I., Oxberry W.C., Crary J.F, Mirra S.S., Sacktor T.C. (2013). Cellular and subcellular localization of PKMζ. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 369:20130140.
  • Hernández A.I., Wolk J., Hu J.Y., Liu J., Kurosu T., Schwartz J.H., Schacher S. (2009). Poly-(ADP-ribose) Polymerase-1 is Necessary for Long-Term Facilitation in Aplysia. J. Neurosci. 29:9553-9562.
  • Moreno, H., Yu, E., Pigino, G., Hernández, A.I., Kim, N., Moreira, J., Sugimori, M., Llinas RR (2009). Synaptic transmission block by pre-synaptic injection of oligomeric amyloid beta. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 106(14):5901-6.
  • Kurosu T., Hernández A.I., Wolk J., Liu J.,Schwartz JH. (2009). α/β-tubulin are A kinase Anchor Proteins for Type I PKA in Neurons. Brain Res 1251:53-64.
  • Kurosu T, Hernández AI, Schwartz JH. (2007). Serotonin induces selective cleavage of the PKA RI but not RII subunit in Aplysia neurons. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 359 (2007):563–567.
  • Crary, J.F., Mirra, S.S., Shao, C.Y., Sheffield, L.G., Mirra, S.S., Hernandez, A.I., Sacktor, T.C. (2006). Atypical Protein Kinase C in Neurodegenerative Disease I: PKMζ aggregates with limbic neurofibrillary tangles and AMPA receptors in Alzheimer’s disease. J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. 265(4):319-326.
  • Muslimov I.A., Nimmrich V., Hernandez A.I., Tcherepanov A., Sacktor T.C., Tiedge H. (2004). Dendritic transport and localization of protein kinase Mζ mRNA: implications for molecular memory consolidation. J. Biol. Chem. 279(50):52613-22.
  • Hernandez, A.I., Blace, N., Crary, J.F., Serrano, P.A., Leitges, M., Libien, J.M., Weinstein, G., Tcherapanov, A., and Sacktor, T.C. (2003). PKMζ synthesis from a brain mRNA encoding an independent PKCζ catalytic domain: implications for the molecular mechanism of memory. J. Biol. Chem. 278 (41):40305-40316.
  • Polesskaya, O.O., Haroutunian. V., Davis, K.L., Hernandez I., Sokolov, B.P. (2003). Novel putative nonprotein-coding RNA gene from 11q14 displays decreased expression in brains of patients with schizophrenia. J. Neurosci. Res. 74(1):111-22.
  • Naik, M.U., Benedikz, E., Hernandez, I., Libien, J., Hrave, J., Valsamis, M., Dow-Edwards, D., Osman, M., and Sacktor, T.C., (2000). Expression of Protein Kinase Mζ and the Complete Protein Kinase C isoform Family in Rat Brain. J. Comp. Neuro. 426(2):243-258.
  • Hernandez, I. and Sokolov, B.P. (2000). Abnormalities in 5-HT2A receptor mRNA expression in Frontal Cortex of Chronic Elderly schizophrenics with varying histories of neuroleptic treatment. J. Neurosci. Res. 59:218-225.
  • Hernandez, I. and Sokolov, B.P. (1997). Abnormal Expression of Serotonin Transporter mRNA in the Frontal and Temporal Cortex in Schizophrenia. Molec. Psych. 2: 57-64.
  • Hernandez, I., Poblete, A., Amthauer, R., Pessot, R., and Krauskopf, M. (1992). Effect of seasonal acclimatization on estrogen induced vitellogenesis and on the hepatic estrogen receptor in the male carp. Biochem. Int. 28:557-559.