Baylor College of Medicine

Paul Pfaffinger, Ph.D.
Dr. Paul Pfaffinger named Chair of the Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Paul Pfaffinger named Chair of the Department of Neuroscience

Graciela Gutierrez


Houston, TX -

Dr. Paul Pfaffinger has been named the new chair of the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. He has been a Baylor faculty member for more than 30 years and has been serving as interim chair of the department.

Pfaffinger is a professor of neuroscience and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Integrative Physiology. He is a member of the graduate programs in neuroscience and quantitative and computational biosciences as well as a member of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center and the Center for Drug Discovery.

“Dr. Pfaffinger has been an essential part of the Department of Neuroscience for many years. During his tenure as interim chair, the faculty have been extremely successful in expanding their research funding. In collaboration with neuroscience leaders at Baylor, several outstanding new faculty members have also been recruited,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean at Baylor. “I look forward to seeing the continued growth of the department.”

His lab focuses on understanding the regulation of ion channels and their roles in native neurons.  Currently, research in his lab is focusing on understanding the roles of channel diversity in information processing as well as the biophysical mechanisms underlying ion channel regulation by small peptide modulators and the role of this regulation in the brain.

Before joining BCM, Pfaffinger earned a Bachelor of Science from Loyola Marymount University and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington, studying under Dr. Bertil Hille. He then continued his postdoctoral training in molecular neuroscience at Columbia University under Dr. Eric Kandel before joining BCM as an assistant professor.

Pfaffinger has a long-standing commitment to education and has served as graduate program director in neuroscience as well as course director for both the graduate school and school of medicine. He has won numerous teaching awards for his didactic teaching and mentoring.


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