David R. Wallace, PhD

Depatment of Pharmacology & Physiology
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA


Dr. Wallace joined Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in 1996 after fellowships at the University of Kentucky and University of Colorado Health Science Center. Since his arrival, Dr. Wallace has been actively involved in teaching 1st and 2nd year medical students as well as graduate students in the Biomedical Science, Forensic Science and Veterinary Biomedical Science graduate programs. Dr. Wallace has been extensively trained in basic pharmacological & toxicological methods such as radioligand binding, neurotransmitter uptake/release and intracellular assays. Current work focuses on the use of cellular model systems and determining molecular changes in cellular signaling cascades which would promote tumor formation and growth. The major foci and interests of the Wallace Laboratory are examining how environmental toxins work on a cellular/molecular level to promote cancer formation or effect neural development. Current work focuses on the role of heavy metals and pesticides in the development of cancer, breast cancer in particular. In addition to research endeavors, Dr. Wallace started a non-profit organization in 2009, the Tulsa Area Bioscience Education and Research Consortium (TABERC) and he served on the Executive Board [taberc.org] from 2009-2014. TABERCs mission is to improve the education and training of high school students/teachers and undergraduate students in the broad area of bioscience with the goal of producing a highly qualified workforce for biotechnology positions and to increase the competiveness for possible careers in graduate school. In early 2014 Dr. Wallace started Eyra Biotechnology, LLC as a small startup to further this development of biosciences in the Tulsa area. Part of the services provided include consultation for laboratories or other organizations who desire to develop their research enterprise. Eyra also offers small scale assay development and validation, as well as small scall product development and analysis.

Research Interest

His research interest includes: laboratory has multiple projects currently underway. Project #1 [Environmental Toxins and Development of Breast Cancer] examines the combined effects of low-level heavy metal and pesticide (organochlorine and organophosphate) exposure resulting in cellular changes in breast tissue leading to the development of breast cancer. Initial studies are examining the ability of environmental toxins to alter cellular function in breast cancer cells – promoting further growth and metastasis. Project #2[Neurotoxicity of NeuroAIDS] examines the interaction between gp120/Tat (HIV proteins associated with neurotoxicity), estrogen, and cocaine in female rats. Ultimately, the goal of this research is to provide insight into gender-related differences in AIDS-related central nervous system disorders leading to potential gender-specific treatment strategies for HIV and cocaine addiction. Current investigation is examining the activity of Tat protein fragments on dopamine transporter function. Project #3[Neurotoxicity of Environmental Toxins] examines the effects of low-level heavy metal exposure on the dopaminergic function in cell culture and whole animal. Low-level exposure to heavy metals may not cause overt CNS effects until much later. These studies have implications in forensic analysis and determining the potential cause of CNS damage. Of major concern is that low-level exposure may also lead to the development of diseases of the CNS such as autism.My laboratory hosted a Fulbright scholar who is extending our previous findings to include the mechanisms of lead acetate toxicity and the interactions of lead with the organophosphate pesticide, chlorpyrifos-methyl. Project #4[Novel Product Development Based on Folk Medicine and Natural Products] investigates the use of naturally occurring compounds as centrally acting agents. One series of studies has been examining the effects of Native American plants indigenous to Oklahoma and their potential analgesic effects. A second series is investigating the estrogenic effects of flavonoids found in soy and flaxseed. The ultimate goal of these studies is to identify novel compounds that may have therapeutic uses and to enter into entrepreneurial ventures to develop/market these agents.

Scientific Activities


• (1986) Teaching Assistant of the Year, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida
• (1988) Predoctoral Award for the purchase of 28-30-month-old Fischer-344 rats (NO-AG-3-2104) National Institutes on Aging
• (1989) Travel Award, Suncoast Workshop for the Neurobiology of Aging St Petersburg, Florida
• (1989) Research Award, Excellence in Research Award, College of Pharmacy University of Florida
• (1989) Fellowship, American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education: George V. Doerr Memorial Fellowship
• (1989) Travel Award, Junior Scientist Travel Award from the National Center for Toxicological Research
• (1989-1990) NIA Predoctoral Training Fellowship, Center for the Neurobiology of Aging, University of Florida Consists of stipend, travel, tuition, and supply monies (AG0019601)
• (1990) Research Award, Excellence in Research Award, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida
• (1993) Young Scientist Travel Award, 1993 ASPET meeting, San Francisco, CA
• (1995)Travel Award, attendance at the 1995 College of Physicians on Drug Dependence, Scottsdale, AZ
• (2004) American Osteopathic Association Research Council, 2004 Irvin Korr Award for excellence in basic science research at an Osteopathic Institution, 2004 American Osteopathic Association Meeting, San Francisco CA, November 9
• (2009) Regents Distinguished Research Award – Biomedical Science. Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa, OK
• (2013) Presidents Cup for Creative Interdisciplinarity [Third Place] – Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program. Oklahoma State University Stillwater OK, November


1. Dawson RJr, Wallace DR, Gabriel SM. A pharmacological analysis of food intake regulation in rats treated neonatally with monosodium-L-glutamate (MSG). Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1989; 32: 391-398. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(89)90168-8
2. Dawson RJr. Simpkins W, Wallace DR. Age- and dose-dependent effects of neonatal monosodium glutamate administration to female rats. Neurobehav Toxicol Teratol. 1989; 11: 331-337. doi: 10.1016/0892-0362(89)90003-2
3. Dawson RJr, Wallace DR, Meldrum MJ. Endogenous glutamate release from frontal cortex of adult and aged rats. Neurobiol. Aging. 1989; 10: 665-668.
4. Dawson RJr. Meldrum MJ, Wallace DR. Excitotoxin mediated neuronal loss and the regulation of excitatory amino acid release in the aging brain. In: EM Meyer, J.W. Simpkins, eds. Novel Approaches for the Treatment of Alzheimers Disease Advances in Behavioral Biology. 1989; 319-329.
5.Dawson RJrand , Wallace DR. Central and peripheral actions of alpha2-adrenergic agonists on renal function in Long-Evans and Brattleboro rats. Pharmacology . 1990; 39: 240-252.
6. Dawson RJr, Wallace DR. Neural-renal interactions in the hypertension induced by papillary necrosis: Role of dietary NaCl intake. Pharmacology. 1990; 40: 42-53. doi:
7. Dawson RJr, Wallace DR, King MJ. Monoamine and amino acid content in brain regions of the Brattleboro rat. Neurochem Res. 1990; 15:755-761.
8. Wallace DR, Dawson RJr. Decreased plasma taurine content in aged rats. Gerontology . 1990; 36:19-27.
9. Ulshafer RJ, Sherry DM, Dawson RJr, Wallace DR. Excitatory amino acid involvement in retinal degeneration. Brain Res 1990; 531: 350-354. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(90)90800-Q
10. Wallace DR, Dawson RJr. Effect of age and monosodium-L-glutamate treatment on neurotransmitter content in brain regions from male Fischer-344 rats. Neurochem. Res 1990; 15: 889-898.
11. Dawson RJr, Wallace DR. Taurine content in tissues from aged Fischer-344 rats. AGE. 1992; 15:73-81. doi: 10.1007/BF02435005
12. Wallace DR, Dawson RJr. Ammonia regulation of phosphate-activated glutaminase displays regional variation and impairment in the brain of aged rats. Neurochem Res. 1992; 17: 1113-1122.
13. Dawson RJr, Wallace DR. Kainic acid-induced seizures in aged rats: Neurochemical Correlates. Brain Res Bull. 1992; 29: 459-468.
14. Dawson RJr,Wallace DR. Regulation of phosphate-activated glutaminase (PAG) by glutamate analogues. Neurochem Res. 1993; 12: 125-132.
15. Wallace DR, Dawson RJr. Regional regulations of phosphate-activated glutaminase in rat brain by calcium and phosphate: Impairment in aged rats and implication for the existence of isozymes. Neurochem Res. 1993; 18: 1271-1279. doi: 10.1007/BF00975047
16. Wallace DR, Muskardin DT, Zahniser NR. Pharmacological characterization of 3H-idazoxan, 3H-RX821002 and para-125I-iodoclonidine binding to alpha2-adrenoceptors in rat cerebral cortex membranes. Eur J Pharmacol. 1994; 258: 67-76.
17. Wallace DR, Dawson RJr. Effect of the aging process on kinetics and activity of phosphate-activated glutaminase from various brain regions of adult and aged Fischer-344 rats. AGE. 1994; 17: 59-63. doi: 10.1007/BF02434895
18. Booze RM , Wallace DR. Dopamine D2 and D3 receptors in the rat striatum and nucleus accumbens: Use of 7-OH-DPAT and [125I] Iodosulpride. Synapse. 1995; 19: 1-13. doi: 10.1002/syn.890190102
19. Wallace DR, Booze RM. Identification of D3 and sigma receptors in the rat striatum and nucleus accumbens using (+/-)-7-hydroxy-N,N-di-n-[3H]propyl-2-aminotetralin and carbetapentane. J Neurochem. 1995; 64: 700-710. doi: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.1995.64020700.x
20. Wallace DR, Booze RM. Pramipexole, a D3-selective agonist that lacks sigma interactions in the rat brain. Neurosci Res Comm. 1995;17: 177-183.
21. Wallace DR, Mactutus CF, Booze RM. Repeated intravenous cocaine administration: Locomotor activity and dopamine D2/D3 receptors. Synapse. 1996; 23: 152-163. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2396(199607)
22. Wallace DR, Booze RM. Dopamine D3 receptor density elevation in aged Fischer-344 X Brown Norway (F1) rats. Eur J Pharmacol. 1996; 308: 283-285. doi: 10.1016/0014-2999(96)00354-8
23.Wallace DR, Booze RM. Upregulation of (+)-7-hydroxy-N,N-di-n-[3H]propylaminotetralin binding following intracerebroventricular administration of a nitric oxide generator. Neurochem Res. 1997; 22: 163-170.
24. Booze RM, Lehner AF, Wallace DR, Mactutus CF. Dose response cocaine pharmacokinetics and metabolite profile following intravenous administration and arterial sampling in unanesthetized freely moving male rats. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 1997; 19:7-15. doi: 10.1016/S0892-0362(96)00180-8
25. Bickford PC, Adams CE, Boyson SJ, et al. Long term treatment of male F344 rats with deprenyl: Assessment of effects on longevity, behavior, and brain function. Neurobiol Aging. 1997; 18: 309-318. doi: 10.1016/S0197-4580(97)80313-2
26. Green P, Dawson RJr ,Wallace DR, Owens J. Treatment of rat brain membranes with taurine increases radioligand binding. Adv Exp Med Biol . 1998; 442: 377-383 . doi: 10.1007/978-1-4899-0117-0_47
27. Wallace DR, Owens J, Booze RM. [3H] (+) 7-OH-DPAT and [3H] Pramipexole binding in the striatum and nucleus accumbens of Sprague-Dawley and Fischer-344 rats. Life Sci. 1998; 63: PL275-PL280. doi: 10.1016/S0024-3205(98)00446-9
28. Newman LC, Wallace DR, Stevens CW. Characterization of [3H]-diprenorphine binding in Rana pipiens: Observations of filter binding enhanced by naltrexone. J Pharmacol Toxicol Meth. 1999; 41: 43-48. doi: 10.1016/S1056-8719(99)00020-9
29. Coon AL, Wallace DR, Booze RM. [3H] PN200-110 L-type calcium channel antagonist binding in the hippocampus and cerebellum of Alzheimers disease. Neurobiol Aging. 1999; 20: 597-603 . doi: 10.1016/S0197-4580(99)00068-8
30. Wallace DR, Booze RM. Sigma binding sites identified by [3H] DTG are elevated in aged Fischer-344 X Brown-Norway (F1) rats. Synapse. 2000; 35: 311-313 . doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2396(20000315)
31.Newman LC, Wallace DR, Stevens CW. Selective opioid agonist and antagonist displacement of [3H]-Naloxone binding in amphibian brain. Eur J Pharmacol. 2000; 397: 255-262. doi: 10.1016/S0014-2999(00)00265-X
32. Newman LC, Wallace DR, Stevens CW. Selective opioid agonist and antagonist competition for [3H] naloxone binding in the amphibian spinal cord. Brain Res 2000; 884: 184-191 . doi: 10.1016/S0006-8993(00)02967-X
33. Newman LC, Wallace DR, Stevens CW. Binding characterization of selective opioids in Rana pipiens brain. J Pharm Exp Therap. 2002; 301: 364-370 . doi: 10.1016/S0006-8993(00)02967-X
34. Belofsky GN, French AF, Wallace DR, Dodson SL. New geranyl stilbenes from Dalea purpurea with in vitro opioid receptor affinity. J Nat Prod. 2004; 67: 26-30. doi: 10.1021/np030258d
35. Wallace DR. Overview of Molecular, Cellular and Genetic Neurotoxicology. Neurol Clin North Amer. 2005; 23: 307-320 . doi: 10.1016/j.ncl.2004.12.008
36. Wallace DR, Dodson SL, Nath A, Booze RM. Delta opioid agonists attenuate TAT1-72-induced oxidative stress in SK-N-SH cells. Neurotoxicol. 2006; 27: 101-107. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2005.07.008
37. Wallace DR, Dodson S, Nath A, Booze RM. Estrogen attenuates gp120- and tat1-72-induced oxidative stress and prevents loss of dopamine transporter function. Synapse. 2006; 59: 51-60 . doi: 10.1002/syn.20214
38. Silvers JM, Wallace DR, Harrod SB, Mactutus CF, Booze RM. Prenatal cocaine alters dopamine and sigma receptor binding in nucleus accumbens and striatum in dams and offspring. Neurotox Teratol. 2006; 28: 173-180 . doi: 10.1016/j.ntt.2006.01.009
39. Booze RM, Wallace DR, Silvers JM, Strupp BJ, Mactutus CF. Prenatal cocaine exposure alters alpha-2 receptor expression in adolescent rats. BMC Neuroscience. 2006; 7: 33. doi: 10.1186/1471-2202-7-33
40.Wallace DR. HIV Neurotoxicity. Mechanisms and potential protective mechanisms. J Biomed Biotech. 2006; 1-10 .doi:
41. Zhu J, Mactutus CF, Wallace DR, Booze RM. HIV-1 Tat protein-induced rapid and reversible decrease in [3H] dopamine uptake: dissociation of [3H] dopamine uptake and [3H] WIN35,428 binding in rat striatal synaptosomes. J Pharmacol Exp Therap. 2009; 329: 1071-1083. doi: 10.1124/jpet.108.150144
42. Curtis JT, Hood AN, Chen Y, Cobb GP ,Wallace DR. Chronic metals ingestion by prairie voles produces sex-specific deficits in social behavior.An animal model of autism Behav. Brain Res. 2010; 213: 42-49. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2010.04.028