Skip to main content

Arshad Mahmood Khan

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-1501
Office: HNB 416

Personal PubMed Search
Our research in the news
USC article about our collaboration with the Donovan laboratory


Ph.D. Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, 2002
M.S. Biochemistry, University of California, Riverside, 1996

Postdoctoral Training

Posdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Southern California, 2004-05/31/2007  
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Southern California, 2002-2004  

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Research Assistant Professor, University of Southern California, 06/2007-  

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

My research interests involve investigating the neurobiology of hypothalamic systems underlying ingestive behavior, energy balance, and neuroendocrine function. I am particularly interested in the interactions among neurotransmitter systems and the intracellular signaling mechanisms serving such systems. I also collaborate on neuroinformatics projects related to the modeling and management of neuroscientific data pertaining to these systems. As part of my interests in homeostatic mechanisms underlying energy balance, I also maintain an active research interest in the history of neurochemistry and thermodynamics.

Research Keywords

signal transduction, protein kinases, phosphorylation, homeostatic systems, neuroendocrine systems, neural basis of behavior, behavioral control systems, motivated behavior, feeding, hunger, energy balance, stress

Research Specialties

Neurochemistry / Neuroendocrinology / Functional neuroanatomy / Behavioral neuroscience / History of neuroscience / Neuroinformatics

Funded Research

Contracts and Grants Awarded

From Glucosensing Neurons to CRH Neuroendocrine Neurons: Circuits and Signals (NIDDK, NIH), Arshad M. Khan, $490,360, 08/01/2008-07/31/2012  

Other Funded Research

National Institute of Mental Health, NIH, NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship, $130,000, 06/01/2004-05/31/2007  

Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions

Center for Neuro-Metabolic Interactions, University of Southern California
Laboratory of Alan G. Watts, University of Southern California, Collaborator

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"Identification of putative microglial cells in the hypothalamus and thalamus that display phosphotyrosine-like immunoreactivity", American Society for Neurochemistry, Poster, Refereed Abstract, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Spring 2010   
"Noradrenergic Control of HPA Responses", 43rd Winter Conference on Brain Research, Roundtable/Panel, Abstract, Breckenridge, Colorado, WCBR, Invited, Spring 2010   
"Identification of a novel population of neurons displaying immunoreactive phosphorylated MAP kinases in the lateral hypothalamic area: histochemical relationship to the hypocretin/orexin system", Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Poster, Abstract, Chicago, IL, NIDDK, Fall 2009   
"Identifying functional hypothalamic circuits using in vivo targeted toxin/drug injections and ex vivo slice imaging studies", Can New Tools Revolutionize Studies of Hypothalamic Circuits?, Poster, Abstract, Janelia Farm, Virginia, HHMI, Janelia Farm, Invited, Fall 2009   
"Visualizing Nature and Science: A Perspective from a Neuroscientist", Ninth Annual Department of Psychology Research Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, University of California, Riverside, California, Department of Psychology, Invited, Fall 2009   
"A.V. Hill, war and British biophysics: Glimpses into the life of a scientist and a statesman", 14th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Abstract, Charleston, South Carolina, ISHN, Spring 2009   
"A high spatial resolution immunocytochemical study of agouti-related peptide (AGRP) and hypocretin/orexin (ORX) within the lateral hypothalamic area", Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Poster, Abstract, Washington, D.C., NINDS, NIMH, Fall 2008   
"From soldiering to soldering: restoring and re-staffing the biophysics unit at University College London after world war II", History section of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Poster, Abstract, Washington, D.C., NIMH, Fall 2008   
"Stimulus-, circuit- and intracellular-level determinants of MAP kinase and CREB activation in parvicellular hypothalamic paraventricular neurons", Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Poster, Abstract, Washington, D.C., NINDS, Fall 2008   
"Signal Transduction in CRH Neuroendocrine Neurons", American Neuroendocrine Society Annual Meeting, Symposium lecture, Abstract, San Rafael, California, NIMH, NINDS, Invited, Spring 2008   
"Measuring the energy of nervous impulses: the friendship (1911-1950) of Hill and Meyerhof and the emergence of neurochemistry.", 12th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences, Talk and Accompanying Poster, Refereed UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, ISHN, NIMH, Fall 2007   

Other Presentations

"When the Sweet Chariot Swings Low: Tracking Neuroendocrine Activation Following Hypoglycemia", Grand Rounds, Department of Neurology, Keck School of Medicine, Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, University of Southern California, Spring 2010   

Other Research

Archives Research - (August, 2007); Arranged Visit, Archives Centre, Churchill College,Cambridge, UK; A.V. Hill Papers., Fall 2007   
Archives Research - (June, 2006); Arranged Visit, University of Pennsylvania Archives; Otto Meyerhof Papers., Spring 2006   


Book Chapter

Stanley, B. G., Gillard, E. R., Khan, A. M. (1998). Physiological Controls of Eating and Body Weight. (Vol. 2). San Diego, CA: Encyclopedia of Mental Health / Academic Press Publishers.

Journal Article

Khan, A. M. (2009). Nerve, muscle, blood, toil, tears and sweat: England’s pioneering biophysicist, soldier and statesman. The Journal of the History of the Neurosciences. Vol. 18 (1), pp. 80-81, 98-105. PubMed Web Address
Gorton, L. M., Khan, A. M., Bohland, M., Sanchez-Watts, G., Donovan, C. M., Watts, A. G. (2007). A major role for the forebrain in mediating time-of-day differences in glucocorticoid counterregulatory responses to hypoglycemia. Endocrinology. Vol. 148 (12), pp. 6026-6039.
Khan, A. M., Ponzio, T. A., Sanchez-Watts, G., Stanley, B. G., Hatton, G. I., Watts, A. G. (2007). Catecholaminergic control of MAP kinase signaling in paraventricular neuroendocrine neurons in vivo and in vitro: A proposed role during glycemic challenges. The Journal of Neuroscience. Vol. 27 (27), pp. 7344-7360. PubMed Web Address
Khan, A. M., Hahn, J. D., Cheng, W., Watts, A. G., Burns, G. A. (2006). NeuroScholar's electronic laboratory notebook and its application to neuroendocrinology. Neuroinformatics. Vol. 4 (2), pp. 139-160. PubMed Web Address
Watts, A. G., Khan, A. M., Sanchez-Watts, G., Salter, D., Neuner, C. M. (2006). Activation in neural networks controlling ingestive behaviors: What does it mean and how do we map and measure it?. Physiology & Behavior. Vol. 89 (4), pp. 501-510. PubMed Web Address
Khan, A. M., Cheung, H. H., Gillard, E. R., Palarca, J. A., Welsbie, D. S., Gurd, J. W., Stanley, B. G. (2004). Lateral hypothalamic signaling mechanisms underlying feeding stimulation: Differential contributions of Src family tyrosine kinases to feeding triggered either by NMDA injection or by food deprivation. The Journal of Neuroscience. Vol. 24, pp. 10603-10615. PubMed Web Address
Khan, A. M., Watts, A. G. (2004). Intravenous 2-deoxy-D-glucose injection rapidly elevates levels of the phosphorylated forms of p44/42 mitogen activated protein kinases (ERK1/2) in rat hypothalamic parvicellular paraventricular neurons. Endocrinology. Vol. 145 (1), pp. 351-359. PubMed Web Address
Burns, G. A., Khan, A. M., Ghandeharizadeh, S., O'Neill, M. A., Chen, Y. (2003). Practical tools and approaches for the construction of knowledge models from the neuroscientific literature. Neuroinformatics. Vol. 1 (1), pp. 81-109.
Khan, A. M., Stanley, B. G., Bozzetti, L., Chin, C., Stivers, C., Curras-Collazo, M. C. (2000). N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit NR2B is widely expressed throughout the rat diencephalon: An immunohistochemical study. The Journal of Comparative Neurology. Vol. 428, pp. 428-449. PubMed Web Address
Khan, A. M., Curras, M. C., Jamal, F. A., Turkowski, C. A., Goel, R. K., Dao, J., Gillard, E. R., Stanley, B. G. (1999). Lateral hypothalamic NMDA receptor subunits NR2A and/or NR2B mediate eating: Immunochemical/behavioral evidence. American Journal of Physiology. Vol. 276, pp. R880-R891.
Gillard, E. R., Khan, A. M., Mouradi, B., Nalamwar, O., Stanley, B. G. (1998). Eating induced by perifornical cAMP is behaviorally selective and involves protein kinase activity. American Journal of Physiology. Vol. 275, pp. R647-R653.
Miyata, S., Khan, A. M., Hatton, G. I. (1998). Colocalization of calretinin and calbindin-D28k with oxytocin and vasopressin in rat supraoptic nucleus neurons: A quantitative study. Brain Research. Vol. 785, pp. 178-182. PubMed Web Address
Gillard, E. R., Khan, A. M., Grewal, R. S., Mouradi, B., Wolfsohn, S. D., Stanley, B. G. (1998). The second messenger cyclic AMP elicits eating by an anatomically specific action in the perifornical hypothalamus. The Journal of Neuroscience. Vol. 18, pp. 2646-2652.
Gillard, E. R., Khan, A. M., Haq, A. U., Grewal, R. S., Mouradi, B., Stanley, B. G. (1997). Stimulation of eating by the second messenger cAMP in the perifornical and lateral hypothalamus. American Journal of Physiology. Vol. 273, pp. R107-R112.
Visscher, P. K., Khan, A. M. (1995). A trap for bees remaining after swarm and colony removal. American Bee Journal. Vol. 135, pp. 567-572.
Visscher, P. K., Vetter, R. S., Khan, A. M. (1995). The use of insecticidal soap in abatement of honey bee swarms. Bee Science. Vol. 3, pp. 179-184.

Guest Lectures in Courses

BISC 221L: Advanced General Biology: Cell Biology & Physiology. Topics of guest lectures taught over Spring semester (2003-2010): glycolysis, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, membranes, mitosis, nervous systems, metabolism, meiosis and sexual life cycles, Mendelian genetics, synapse structure and function, ionic basis of resting membrane potential, synaptic and action potentials, cellular communication, animal reproduction, human fertilization & reproduction, cells & organelles, reproductive endocrinology and parturition, 2003-2010  
BISC 230L: Brain, Mind, and Machines: Topics in Neuroscience Guest lectures on the electrophysiology of neurons, principles of action potential generation and synaptic transmission, Spring 2010   
Neuro 499: Special Topics in Neuroscience Guest lecture: "Interoceptive Signals of the CNS: An Introduction", Spring 2010   
BISC 462: Diabetes, Obesity and the Brain Guest lecture and group discussion on the topic of "Circadian rhythms, arousal mechanisms and metabolism", Fall 2009   
BISC 421: Neurobiology. Topics of guest lectures: synaptic release, B. Katz’s experiments with the squid giant synapse, Fall 2003   

Honors and Awards

Travel Fellowship Award - 43rd Winter Conference on Brain Research, Breckenridge, CO, 2009-2010   

Service to the University

Other Service to the University

Invited Panelist - informal discussion with Neuroscience Graduate Forum on seeking postdoctoral appointments, Spring 2008   
Invited Speaker and Panelist, Symposium on "Academic Grant Writing for the Life Sciences"; hosted by the USC Neuroscience Graduate Forum , Spring 2006   

Service to the Profession


Member, Membership Committee, American Society of Neurochemistry, 03/2010-03/2014  

Conferences Organized

Co-organizer, Spring 2003 Workshop on the Behaving Brain, Hedco Neurosciences Building, A weekly workshop with a total of seventeen speakers from UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside, USC and Caltech. , Spring 2003   

Professional Memberships

American Society for Neurochemistry, 2010-  
International Society for the History of the Neurosciences, 2008-  
American Society for Neuroendocrinology, 2005-  
American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1996-  
Society for Neuroscience, 1996-  
Faculty may update their profile by visiting