Barbara A. Horwitz

Barbara Horwitz

Position Title
Distinguished Professor Emerita

Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, College of Biological Sciences
Department of Physiology and Membrane Biology, School of Medicine

280A Briggs Hall

Profile Introduction

Genetic, neural, and hormonal regulation of energy balance; alterations with obesity/age; current research focuses on mechanisms utilized by mammalian hibernators that result in CNS neuroprotection and survival in extreme environments.

Research Interests

Extracellular signal reception/intracellular signal transduction and uncoupling proteins; physiological changes with obesity/aging; mechanisms of neuroprotection

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology


  • 280 Briggs Hall
    • Jock Hamilton, Sat Chu

Honors and Awards

  • Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award
  • Fellow AAAS (American Association for Advancement of Science)
  • UC Davis Prize for Teaching and Scholarly Achievement
  • UC Presidential Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research
  • Arthur C. Guyton Physiology Teacher of the year (American Physiological Society)
  • President of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine
  • Helen Cserr Memorial Lecturer
  • President of the American Physiological Society
  • Bodil M. Schmidt-Nielsen Distinguished Mentor and Scientist Award (American Physiological Society)
  • Distinguished Scientist of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine
  • Roy G. Daggs Award (American Physiological Society)
  • College of Biological Sciences Principles of Community Award (lifetime achievement)
  • Chancellor's Achievement Award for Diversity and Community
  • AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • Fellow American Physiological Society (inaugural class)

    Professional Societies

    • American Physiological Society (Past President)
    • Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine (Past President)
    • Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (Previously on Board of Directors)
    • New York Academy of Sciences


    • 0 BS (Zoology) University of Florida
    • 0 MS (Zoology) University of Florida
    • 0 PhD (Physiology) Emory University


    The publications listed below are selected from a total of 192.  The entire list can be accessed at:

    Hamilton, JS, SM Chau, KJ Malins, GG Ibanez, JM Horowitz, BA Horwitz.  Syrian hamster neuroplasticity mechanisms fail as temperature declines to 15°C, but histaminergic neuromodulation persists.  J Comp Physiol B – under review 2017.   

    Mikhailova, A, J Mack, N Vitagliano, JS Hamilton, JM Horowitz, BA Horwitz.  Recovery of Syrian hamster hippocampal signaling following its depression during oxygen-glucose deprivation is enhanced by cold temperatures and by hibernation.  Neurosci Lett 621:98-103, 2016. 

    Sekizawa, S-I, B Horwitz, J Horowitz, C-Y Chen.  2013. Protection of signal processing at low temperature in baroreceptive neurons in the nucelus tractus solitarius of Syrian hamsters, a hibernating species.  Am J Physiol Regul, Integr & Comp Physiol, 305 (10) R1153-62.

    Horwitz, BA, SM Chau, JS Hamilton, C Song, J Gorgone, M Saenz, JM Horowitz, C-Y Chen. 2013, Temporal relationships of blood pressure, heart rate, baroreflex function and body temperature change over a hibernation bout in Syrian hamsters.  Am J Physiol Regul, Integ & Comp Physiol 305 (7): R759-768.

    Sekizawa, S-I, JM Horowitz, BA Horwitz, C-Y Chen.  2012.  Realignment of signal processing within a sensory brainstem nucleus, the NTS, as brain temperature declines in the Syrian hamster, a hibernating species.  J Comp Physiol A (Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol) 198:367-282.

    Arant, RJ, MS Goo, PD Gill, YH Nguyen, KD Watson, JS Hamilton, JM Horowitz, BA Horwitz 2011.  Decreasing temperature switches hippocampal function from memory formation to modulation of hibernation bout duration in Syrian hamsters. Am J Physiol Regul, Integr & Comp Physiol 301 (2) R438-47.

    McDonald, RB, KM Walker, DB Warman, SM Griffey, CH Warden, JJ Ramsey, BA Horwitz. 2008.  Characterization of survival and phenotype throughout the lifespan in UCP2/UCP3 genetically altered mice.  Exp Gerontol 43: 1061-68.

    Asami, DK, RB McDonald, K Hagopian, BA Horwitz, D Warman, A Hsio, C Warden, JJ Ramsey. 2008. Effect of aging, caoric restriction, and uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) on mitochondria proton leak in mice.  Exp Gerontol 43:1069-76. 

    Bronson, NW, JP Piro, JS Hamilton, JM Horowitz, & BA Horwitz.  2006.  Temperature modifies potentiation but not depotentiation in bidirectional hippocampal plasticity of Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus).  Brain Res 1098: 61-70.

    Coppola, JD, BA Horwitz, J Hamilton, JE Blevins, RB McDonald.  2005.  Reduced feeding response to muscimol and neuropeptide Y in senescent F344 rats.  Am J Physiol Regul, Integr, & Comp 288:R1492-98.

    Bronson, NW, JS Hamilton, M. Han, P-A Li, I Hornstra, JM Horowitz, BA Horwitz.  2005.  LOXL null mice demonstrate selective dentate structural changes but maintain dentate granule cell and CA1 pyramidel cell potentiation in the hippocampus.  Neurosci Let 390: 118-122.

    Coppola, JD, BA Horwitz, J Hamilton, RB McDonald.  2004.  Expression of Neuropeptide Y1 and Y5 receptors in the hypothelamic paraventricular nucleus of aged Fischer 344 rats.  Am J Physiol Regul, Integr, & Comp 287: R69-75. 

    Ohliger-Frerking P, JM Horowitz, & BA Horwitz. 2003. Serotonergic dorsal raphe neurons from obese zucker rats are hyperexcitable. Neuroscience 120:627-634.

    Gabaldon AM, DA Gavel, JS Hamilton, RB McDonald, BA Horwitz. 2003. Norepinephrine release in brown adipose tissue remains robust in cold-exposed senescent Fischer 344 rats. Am J Physiol, Regul, Integ & Comp Physiol 285: R91-R98.

    Horvath, TK, S Diano, S Miyamoto, S Barry, S Gatti, D. Alberati, F. Livak, A Lombardi, M Moreno, F Goglia, G Mor, J Hamilton, D Kachinskas, B. Horwitz, & CH Warden. 2002. Uncoupling proteins-2 and 3 influence obesity and inflammation in transgenic mice. Int J Obesity 27: 433-442.

    Ohliger-Frerking P, JM Horowitz, & BA Horwitz. 2002. Enhanced adrenergic excitation of serotonergic dorsal Raphe neurons in genetically obese rats. Neurosci Lett. 31: 332:107-112.

    Horwitz, BA, CA Blanton and RB McDonald. 2002. Physiologic determinants of the anorexia of aging: Insights from animal studies. Ann Rev Nutr 22:417-438

    Blanton, CA, BA Horwitz, JE Blevins, JS Hamilton, EJ Hernandez and RB McDonald. 2001. Reduced feeding responses to neuropeptide Y in senescent Fischer 344 rats. Am J Physioll Regul, Integr, & Comp 280(4):R1052-60

    De Fanti BA, DA Gavel, JS Hamilton, and BA Horwitz. 2000. Extracellular hypothalamic serotonin levels after dorsal raphe nuclei stimulation of lean (Fa/Fa) and obese (fa/fa) Zucker rats.  Brain Research. 869:6-14