Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Visual Loss

Quick Links
Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

Dr. Russo

Andrew Russo, Ph.D.


Andrew Russo, Ph.D.

Investigator, Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Visual Loss

Phone: (319) 335-7872


601 HWY 6 West (151)

Iowa City, IA 52246-2208


BA, Biology, University of California, San Diego

PhD, Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley

Postdoc, Molecular Neurobiology, University of California, San Diego

Research Interests

My research interest is the molecular basis of migraine. A hallmark of migraine is altered sensory perception coupled with debilitating pain. To understand the mechanisms underlying these events, we have focused on the neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). CGRP levels are elevated during migraine and can induce migraine symptoms in people susceptible to migraine. Based on these clinical observations, we generated a CGRP-sensitized transgenic mouse as a preclinical model for testing pain and non-headache endpoints, such as light aversive behavior. We are currently identifying the cellular targets and mechanisms of CGRP action in the periphery and brain. In tandem, we are investigating potential causes of CGRP elevation in migraine. We have found that CGRP gene transcription is increased by positive feedback loops initiated by inflammatory signals and by cortical spreading depression, which is associated with the aura phase of migraine and occurs following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Because of the unexpectedly high frequency of migraine in Veterans with mild TBI, we initiated translational studies using two models of post-traumatic headache to test therapeutics, including CGRP-blocking antibodies. Our overall goals are to develop effective diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for migraine and post-traumatic headache.