Edward M. Stricker, Ph.D.

  • University Professor, Neuroscience

Professor Stricker came to the University of Pittsburgh in 1971, having spent four years as a faculty member at McMaster University in Ontario. He was promoted to full professor in 1976 and was named University Professor of Neuroscience in 1986. At first, he held joint appointments in the Psychology and Biology Departments, and he served as director of the Psychobiology Program that bridged the two departments from 1983 until 1986, at which time he became the founding chairman of the Department of Neuroscience; he served in that position until 2002. In addition, he was co-director of the University’s Center for Neuroscience from 1996 to 2002, and he has been a visiting professor of Psychiatry at the medical schools of Johns Hopkins and Cornell Universities. He served as dean of the University Honors College from 2011 to 2017.

Professor Stricker had an active research laboratory for 41 years (1967-2008), during which time his work was funded continuously by grants from Canadian and U.S. federal agencies. His research focused on the brain mechanisms that integrated control of water and NaCl consumption with complementary neuroendocrine secretions and kidney function. He also helped formulate and published widely on a popular model of recovery of function following brain damage that relates closely to Parkinson’s disease. His publications include 274 research articles, reviews, and book chapters. For this work, he received both the prestigious Research Scientist Award and the MERIT Award from the National Institute of Mental Health. He also was elected president of the International Congress on the Physiology of Food and Fluid Ingestion (1987-91, 1991-94) and of the Association of Neuroscience Departments and Programs (2000-01), and he has served on the editorial boards of several journals in his research field. In 2015, he received the Distinguished Career Award from the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, the international organization of scientists who study the biological bases of food and fluid intake.

In addition to his administrative and research activities, Professor Stricker has taught at Pitt each academic year since 1971, including honors courses plus advanced undergraduate and graduate courses. These courses have been very well received by students and, in this regard, he has received both the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award (1992) and the Bellet Teaching Excellence Award (2001).

Education & Training

  • 1957-60 University of Chicago B.S.
  • 1960-61 University of Chicago M.S. (Chemistry)
  • 1961-65 Yale University Ph.D. (Psychology; NE Miller, mentor)
  • 1965-66 U. Colorado Medical Center Postdoctoral Fellow (JH Holmes, sponsor)
  • 1966-67 University of Pennsylvania Postdoctoral Fellow (AN Epstein, sponsor)

Representative Publications

Stricker EM.  Extracellular fluid volume and thirst.  American Journal of Physiology 211: 232 238, 1966.

Stricker EM.  Osmoregulation and volume regulation in rats: Inhibition of hypovolemic thirst by water.  American Journal of Physiology 217: 98-105, 1969.

Stricker EM, Jalowiec JE.  Restoration of intravascular fluid volume following acute hypovolemia in rats.  American Journal of Physiology 218: 191-196, 1970.

Zigmond MJ, Stricker EM.  Deficits in feeding behavior after intraventricular injection of 6-hydroxydopamine in rats.  Science 177: 1211-1214, 1972.

Zigmond MJ, Stricker EM.  Recovery of feeding and drinking by rats after intraventricular 6-hydroxydopamine or lateral hypothalamic lesions.  Science 182: 717-720, 1973.

Stricker EM, Zigmond MJ.  Effects on homeostasis of intraventricular injection of 6-hydroxy- dopamine in rats.  Journal of Comparative & Physiological Psychology 86: 973-994, 1974.

Stricker EM.  Drinking by rats after lateral hypothalamic lesions: A new look at the lateral hypothalamic syndrome.  Journal of Comparative & Physiological Psychology 90: 127-143, 1976.

Friedman MI, Stricker EM.  The physiological psychology of hunger: A physiological perspective. Psychological Review 83: 409-431, 1976.

Stricker EM, Zigmond MJ.  Recovery of function following damage to central catecholamine-containing neurons: A neurochemical model for the lateral hypothalamic syndrome.  In Progress in Psychobiology and Physiological Psychology, vol. 6, edited by JM Sprague, AN Epstein.  New York: Academic Press, 1976, pp. 121-188.

Stricker EM, Verbalis JG.  Interaction of osmotic and volume stimuli in regulation of neurohypophyseal secretion in rats.  American Journal of Physiology 250: R267 R275, 1986.

Verbalis JG, McCann MJ, McHale CM, Stricker EM.  Oxytocin secretion in response to cholecystokinin and food intake: Differentiation of nausea from satiety.  Science 232: 1417 1419, 1986.

Verbalis JG, McHale CM, Gardiner TW, Stricker EM.  Oxytocin and vasopressin secretion in response to stimuli producing learned taste aversions in rats.  Behavioral Neuroscience 100: 466 475, 1986

Stricker EM, Verbalis JG.  Central inhibitory control of sodium appetite in rats: Correlation with pituitary oxytocin secretion.  Behavioral Neuroscience 101: 560-567, 1987.

Stricker EM, Verbalis JG.  Hormones and behavior: The biological bases of thirst and sodium appetite.  American Scientist 76: 261-267, 1988. 

Zigmond MJ, Stricker EM. Animal models of Parkinsonism using selective neurotoxins: Clinical and basic implications.  In International Review of Neurobiology, vol. 31, edited by JR Smythies and RJ Bradley.  New York: Academic Press, 1989, pp. 1-79.

Zigmond MJ, Abercrombie ED, Berger TW, Grace AA, Stricker EM. Compensations after lesions of central dopaminergic neurons: some clinical and basic implications.  Trends in Neuroscience 13: 290-296, 1990.

Olson BR, Drutarosky MD, Stricker EM, Verbalis JG.  Brain oxytocin receptor antagonism blunts the effects of anorexigenic treatments in rats: Evidence for central oxytocin inhibition of food intake.  Endocrinology 129: 785-791, 1991.

Stricker, EM.  Neurochemical and behavioral analyses of the lateral hypothalamic syndrome: A look back.  Behavioural Brain Research 231: 286-288, 2012.

Stricker EM. 2015 Distinguished career award. Reflections on a career in science. Physiology & Behavior 162: 196-200, 2016.

Edited Books and Journal Volumes

Stricker EM (editor):  Handbook of Behavioral Neurobiology, volume 10, Food and Fluid Intake.  New York: Plenum Press, 1990.

Tuma AH, Stricker EM, Gershon S (editors):  Advances in Neuroscience and Schizophrenia. Journal of Neural Transmission supplement 36. Wien: Springer-Verlag, 1992

Stricker EM, Strick PL. (editors):  The Pittsburgh Special Issue.  Physiology & Behavior, volume 77, Numbers 4-5.  Shannon, Ireland: Elsevier, 2002.

Stricker EM, Woods SC (editors):  Handbook of Behavioral Neurobiology, volume 14, Food and Fluid Intake.  New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum, 2004.

Research Interest Summary

Central control of homeostatic regulatory systems