Research Associate, Molecular Nutrition, University of Florida
PhD, Dept of Medicine, University of Chicago, 1993
MS, Dept of Nutrition, Florida State University, 1988
BA, Neurobiology, University of Virginia, 1984
Director, FSU Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Endeavors
FSU University Service
Director, Office of Undergraduate Research (2008–2010).
Faculty Advisor, Jewish Student Union (2007–2010).
Chair, Apparel Licensing Committee (2000–2002).
Faculty Representative, Title IX Committee for Women's Participation in Sports (1999–2003).
Faculty Representative, Athletic Board (1999–2003).
Member, University Teaching Award Selection Committee (1999–2001).
Faculty Representative, Provost's Travel Award Committee (1996–1999).
Panel Chair, Faculty Grievance Committee (1995–present).
Faculty Representative, Tuition Refund Committee (1994–1997).
FSU College Service
Member, Curriculum Redesign Committee (2011–present).
Facutly Advisor, Learning Community of 30 first-year medical students, College of Medicine Learning Communities (2010–present).
Member, College of Medicine Curriculum Committee (2009–present).
Member, Year 1 and 2 Course Directors Committee (2009–present).
Chair, College of Human Sciences Associate Dean Search Committee (2004).
Member, College of Human Sciences Mission Task Force (1999).
NFES Representative, College of Human Sciences, Graduate Policy Committee (1996–2008).
Faculty Representative, College of Human Sciences Structuring for Productivity Committee (1996–1997).
Faculty Representative, College of Human Sciences, Faculty Affairs & Policy Committee (1995–1998).
FSU Department Service
Member, Faculty Development & Evaluation Committee (2010–present).
Chair, Mission Statement Revision Committee (2010–present).
Member, Dept of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty Recruitment Committee (2010–present).
Member, Dept Biomedical Sciences, Graduate Committee (2009–2011).
Chair (2 terms) and member, NFES, Dept Executive Committee (2000–2008).
Chair, Scholarship Committee (1996).
Chair, NFES, Graduate Policy Committee (1996–2008).
Member, Undergraduate Policy Committee (1993–1996).
FSU Institute or Center Service
Participating Faculty, Center for Advancing Nutrition & Exercise Research on Aging (2008–present).
FSU Program Service
Member, Graduate Training Committee, Program in Neuroscience (2007–present).
Member, Neuroscience Program Faculty Search Committees (2003–2006).
Member, Neuroscience Program Executive Committee (2002–2003).
Chair, Neuroscience Graduate Recruitment Committee (2002–2004).
Chair, Rushton Neuroscience Symposium Organizing Committee (2001–2002).
Honors Thesis Mentor Award (2008).
University Teaching Award (2005).
Teaching Incentive Program (TIP) Award (1997).
University Teaching Award, Florida State University (1996).
Future Leader Award, International Life Sciences Institute (1995). ($30,000).
Society for Neuroscience
American Society for Nutrition
The recent discovery of stem cells in the adult human brain that are capable of proliferating and becoming new neurons is a promising new development for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and other conditions, such as traumatic brain injury, where neurons are lost and neurogenesis is needed. While we know that these stem cells are regulated by factors such as diet, exercise, antidepressant drugs, and stress, the mechanisms that govern these cells and their role in adult neurogenesis are not well understood. The Levenson lab uses rodent models as well as cultured human neuronal precursor cells to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that are responsible for proliferation, survival, and differentiation of adult stem cells in the brain.
Our lab has shown that the trace element zinc regulates adult stem cells in the subgranular zone of the adult dentate gyrus. Thus, we are working to identify and study the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern the role of zinc in adult stem cell survival, neuronal precursor proliferation, and neuronal differentiation. The importance of these cells in the hippocampus is illustrated by recent observations that antidepressant drugs enhance the survival of adult stem cells in this region of the brain. This information, coupled with our recent findings that zinc deficiency induces depression-like and anxiety-like behaviors and impairs the efficacy of the commonly prescribed antidepressant drug, fluoxetine, suggests an important role for zinc not only in adult neurogenesis, but also in the behaviors that it controls. Thus, our current work is designed to examine the zinc-regulated nuclear and mitochondrial factors, such as the tumor suppressor protein p53, that are responsible for the regulation of adult stem cells and neurogenesis.
Neuronal injury and death appears to be a trigger for stem cell proliferation and adult neurogenesis. Every year 1.5 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Among the long list of impairments that can result from TBI, including loss of both fine and gross motor skills as well as speech and language abilities, many patients also experience life-long impairment of learning, memory and cognitive function. The Levenson lab is exploring ways to promote neuronal survival after traumatic brain injury, induce neurogenesis, and improve behavioral outcomes. In collaboration with Dr. Jacob VanLandingham, of the College of Medicine, and Dr. Victor Schepkin at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory we have been using a variety of hormonal and dietary approaches to treat traumatic brain injury including caloric restriction, vitamin D, and progesterone. Not only have we shown significant improvements in learning and memory after brain injury, we are able to track changes in cytotoxic and vasogenic edema using novel diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging at 21 Tesla.
Cope, E. C., Morris, D. R., & Levenson, C. W. (in press). Improving treatment and outcomes: An emerging role for zinc in traumatic brain injury. Nutrition Reviews, 5 pages.
Cope, E. C., Morris, D. R., Scrimgeour, A. G., & Levenson, C. W. (in press). Use of zinc as a treatment for traumatic brain injury in the rat: Effects on cognitive and behavioral outcomes. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 7 pages.
Cope, E. C., Morris, D. R., Scrimgeour, A. G., Vanlandingham, J. W., & Levenson, C. W. (2011). Zinc supplementation provides behavioral resiliency in a rat model of traumatic brain injury. Physiology & Behavior, 104, 942-947.
Kuang, G. C., Allen, J. R., Baird, M. S., Hguyen, B. T., Zhang, L., Morgan, T. J., Levenson, C. W., Davidson, M. W., & Zhu, L. (2011). Balance between fluorescence enhancement and association affinity in fluorescent heteroditopic indicators for imagin zinc ion in living cells. Inorganic Chemistry, 17, 10493-504.
Schepkin, V. D., Bejarano, F. C., Morgan, T., Gower-Winter, S., Ozambela, M., Jr., & Levenson, C. W. (2011). In vivo magnetic resonance imaging of sodium and diffusion in rat glioma at 21.1 T. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Jul 11, DOI:10.1002.
Cope, E. C., & Levenson, C. W. (2010). Role of zinc in the development and treatment of mood disorders. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care, 13, 685-690.
Rich, N. J., VanLandingham, J. W., Figueiroa, S. M., Seth, R., Corniola, R. S., Morgan, T., & Levenson, C. W. (2010). Chronic caloric restriction reduces tissue damage and improves spatial memory in a rat model of traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 88, 2933-2939.
The data reported in this paper show the efficacy of low calorie diets for increasing resiliency in the event of a traumatic brain injury. The first author was a graduate student. Levenson is the senior/corresponding author. VanLandingham is a junior colleague at FSU. Other co-authors are graduate students and post-docs who contributed to the work.
Figueirôa, SM and Levenson CW. Gestational vitamin D deficiency has long-term effects on the brain. Nutrition Reviews, 66: 276-279, 2008.
Corniola RS, Tassabehji, NM, Hare J, Sharma, G, Levenson CW. Zinc deficiency impairs neuronal precursor cell proliferation and induces apoptosis via p53-mediated mechanisms. Brain Research, 1237:52-61, 2008.
Tassabehji, NM, Corniola, RS, Alshingiti, A, Levenson, CW. Zinc deficiency induces depression-like symptoms in adult rats. Physiology & Behavior, 95:365-369.
Levenson, CW and Somers, RC. Nutritionally regulated biomarkers for breast cancer. Nutrition Reviews 66:163-166, 2008.
Levenson, CW and Rich, N. Eat less, live longer? New insights into the role of caloric restriction in the brain. Nutrition Reviews, 65:412-415, 2007.
Levenson, C.W. and Tassabehji, N.M. Role and regulation of copper and zinc transport proteins in the central nervous system. In: Handbook of Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology. Eds. Lajtha, A, and Reith, MEA. 3rd Edition. pp 257-284, 2007.
Hooshmand S, Soung DY, Lucas EA, Madihally SV, Levenson CW, Arjmandi BH. Genistein reduces the production of proinflammatory molecules in human chondrocytes. J. Nutritional Biochemistry, 18:609-614, 2007.
Levenson, C.W. and Axelrad, D.M. Too Much of a Good Thing? Update on Fish Consumption and Mercury Exposure. Nutrition Reviews 64:139-45, 2006.
Levenson, CW. Zinc: The new antidepressant? Nutrition Reviews 64:39-42, 2006.
Blakemore, L., Levenson, C.W., Trombley, P.Q. Neuropeptide Y modulates excitatory synaptic transmission in the olfactory bulb. Neuroscience, 138:663-674, 2006.
Tassabehji, N.M, VanLandingham, J.W., Levenson, C.W. Copper alters the conformation and transcriptional activity of the tumor suppressor protein p53 in human Hep G2 cells. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 230:699-708, 2005.
VanLandingham, J.W., Tassabehji, N.M., Somers, R.C., Levenson, C.W. Expression Profiling of p53-Target Genes in Copper-Mediated Neuronal Apoptosis. NeuroMolecular Medicine, 7:311-324, 2005.
Levenson, CW. Trace metal regulation of neuronal apoptosis: from genes to behavior. Physiology and Behavior, 86:399-406, 2005.
Levenson, C.W. Zinc supplementation: neuroprotective or neurotoxic? Nutrition Reviews, 63:122-125, 2005.
Levenson, C.W. Cutler, R.G., Ladenheim, B., Cadet, J.L., Hare, J., Mattson, M.P. Role of dietary iron restriction in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease. Experimental Neurology, 190:506-514, 2004.
Levenson, C.W. and Tassabehji, N.M. Iron and ageing: An introduction to iron regulatory mechanisms. Ageing Research Reviews 3:251-263, 2004.
Evans, S.A., Overton, J.M., Alshingiti, A.M., Levenson, C.W. Regulation of metabolic rate and substrate utilization by zinc deficiency. Metabolism 56:727-732, 2004.