Thomas Heinbockel

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Howard University College of Medicine

Fields of interest:

Neural Processing in Olfactory and Limbic System, Synaptic Transmission, Synaptic Plasticity, Drug Discovery & Development, Neuromodulation, Metabotropic glutamate receptors, Cannabinoid receptors, Neurophysiology, Sensory Biology, Neuropharmacology.

Recent publications:


Heinbockel T (ed) (2017) Synaptic Plasticity, ISBN 978-953-51-3234-9.  Rijeka, Croatia: InTech Open Access Publisher, 220 pages.  Available from:

Heinbockel T (ed) (2014) Neurochemistry, ISBN 978-953-51-1237-2.  Rijeka, Croatia: InTech Open Access Publisher.  414 pages.  Available from:

Heinbockel T (ed) (2012) Neuroscience, ISBN 978-953-51-0617-3.  Rijeka, Croatia: Intech Open Access Publisher.  138 pages.  Available from:

Selected Articles:

Wang Z-J, Tabakoff B, Levinson SR, Heinbockel T (2015) Inhibition of Nav1.7 channels by methyl eugenol as a mechanism underlying its antinociceptive and anesthetic actions. Acta Pharmacol Sin, 36:791-799. doi: 10.1038/aps.2015.26

Wang Z-J, Sun L, Heinbockel T (2014) Resibufogenin and cinobufagin activate central neurons through an ouabain-like action. PLoS One, 9(11): e113272. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113272

Wang Z-J, Levinson SR, Sun L, Heinbockel T (2014) Identification of both GABAA receptors and voltage-activated Na+ channels as molecular targets of anticonvulsant a-asarone. Front Pharmacol 5:40. doi:10.3389/fphar.2014.00040

Zhan X, Yin P-B, Heinbockel T (2013) The basal forebrain modulates spontaneous activity of principal cells in the main olfactory bulb of anaesthetized mice. Front Neural Circuits 7: 00148. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2013.00148

Young JK, Heinbockel T, Gondre-Lewis MC (2013) Astrocyte fatty acid binding protein-7 is a marker for neurogenic niches in the adult rat brain. Hippocampus 23:1476-1483

Wang Z-J, Sun L, Heinbockel T (2012) Cannabinoid receptor-mediated regulation of neuronal activity and signaling in glomeruli of the main olfactory bulb. J Neurosci 32:8475-8479

Wang Z-J, Sun L, Peng W, Ma S, Zhu C, Fu F, Heinbockel T (2011) Ginseng derivative ocotillol enhances neuronal activity through increased glutamate release: a possible mechanism underlying increased spontaneous locomotor activity of mice. Neuroscience, 195:1-8

Wang Z-J, Sun L, Jackson PL, Scott KR, Heinbockel T (2011) A substituted anilino enaminone acts as a novel positive allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors in the mouse brain. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 336: 916-924. Epub 2010 Dec 16

Selected Chapters/Reviews:

Heinbockel T (2017) Introductory chapter: Mechanisms and function of synaptic plasticity. In: Synaptic Plasticity. Thomas Heinbockel (ed.), Rijeka, Croatia, InTech Publisher, 3-13,

Heinbockel T, Wang ZJ, Brown EA, Austin PT (2016) Endocannabinoid signaling in neural circuits of the olfactory and limbic system. In: Cannabinoids in Health and Disease. Rosaria Meccariello and Rosanna Chianese (ed.), Rijeka, Croatia, InTech Publisher, ch. 2, pp. 11-37, ISBN 978-953-51-2429-0

Wang ZJ, Heinbockel T (2016) Ginsenosides as brain signaling molecules and potential cures for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. In: Horizons in Neuroscience Research, vol 24. Costa A, Villalba E (eds), Nova Science Publishers, New York, ch. 4, pp. 83-100, ISBN: 978-1-63484-325-6

Heinbockel T, Wang ZJ (2016) Cellular mechanisms of action of drug abuse on olfactory neurons. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 13, 0005; doi:10.3390/ijerph13010005

Heinbockel T (2015) Anandamide is a fast retrograde signaling molecule in neural circuits. In: Endocannabinoids: Chemical Structure, Role in Physiological Processes and Therapeutic Effects. Garza T (ed), Series: Neuroscience Research Progress, Nova Science Publishers, New York, ch. 2, pp. 25-42, ISBN: 978-1-63483-642-5

Heinbockel T, Wang ZJ, Jackson-Ayotunde PL (2014) Allosteric modulation of GABAA receptors by an anilino enaminone in an olfactory center of the mouse brain. Pharmaceuticals 7, 1069-1090; doi:10.3390/ph7121069 (peer-reviewed)

Heinbockel T (2014) Neurochemical communication: The case of endocannabinoids. In: Neurochemistry. Thomas Heinbockel (ed), ISBN 978-953-51-1237-2, Rijeka, Croatia, InTech Open Access Publisher, ch. 6, p 179-198. Available from:

Heinbockel T, Wang ZJ (2014) Cannabinoid receptor- and metabotropic glutamate receptor-mediated signaling in neural circuits of the main olfactory bulb. In: Horizons in Neuroscience Research, vol 13. Costa A, Villalba E (eds), Nova Science Publishers, New York, ch. 2, pp. 37-62, ISBN: 978-1-62948-426-6

Heinbockel T, Shields VDC, Reisenman CE (2013) Glomerular interactions in olfactory processing channels of the antennal lobes. J Comp Physiol A 199:929-46. doi: 10.1007/s00359-013-0842-6. Epub 2013 Jul 28. (peer-reviewed)

Shields VDC, Heinbockel T (2012) Neurophysiological recording techniques applied to insect chemosensory systems. In: Zoology. Maria-Dolores Garcia (ed.), ISBN 978-953-51-0360-8, Rijeka, Croatia, Intech Open Access Publisher, chapter 7, pp. 123-162.  Available from:

Heinbockel T (2012) Electrophysiological recording and imaging of neuronal signals in brain slices. In: Neuroscience. Thomas Heinbockel (ed.), ISBN 978-953-51-0617-3, Rijeka, Croatia, Intech Open Access Publisher, chapter 2, pp. 19-48.  Available from: