Mohtashem Samsam, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences (BSBS)
College of Medicine, University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd, HPA-II 320
Orlando, FL 32816, USA



• PhD in Neuroscience (1997-2002)
• Doctor of Medicine (MD) (1991-1996)
• Associate Degree of Radiology (1985-1987)
• Undergraduate studies: were done in Iran (1970-1982)

Positions and Professional Experiences

• Associate Professor of Medicine, (2013-present)
• Assistant Professor of Medicine, (2007-2013)
• Associate Professor of Medicine, (2006-present)
• Instructor of Anatomy, Clinical Neuroanatomy, Clinical Embryology, and Molecular Neuroscience (2004-2007)
• Associate Professor of Anatomy and Neuroscience (2003-2004)
• Academic senior post-doc in Developmental Neurobiology (1999-2002)

Research Interest

His research interests include: Pathomechanism of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Role of Inflammation in and Treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders, Mechanisms of primary headache disorders.

Scientific Activities


• American Association of Anatomists
• Society for Neuroscience
• Society for Simulation in Healthcare


• Distinguished Member Nomination of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, UCF, (2013)
• Teaching Incentive Program (TIP) Award, UCF, College of Medicine (COM), (2012-2013)
Keeper of the Creed Award in Scholarship, UCF, COM, (2011-2012) This is for leadership in teaching, medical research, and commitment to student success.
• Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Award, UCF, COM, (2011-2012)
• Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, UCF, COM (2009-2010)
• Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Award & Professor of the Year, UCF Premed-American Medical Student Association (AMSA) for 8 years in the row, (2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007- 2008, 2008- 2009, 2009- 2010, 2010- 2011, 2011- 2012)
• Hungarian national 3rd prize of graduate student award, Budapest, Hungary, (1991)


• Chair, Biology Curriculum Alignment Initiative, UCF and Partnering Central Florida Colleges & Regional Campuses, (2014-present)
• Chair, Teaching-Track Promotion Criteria and Procedures Evaluation Committee, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences (BSBS), College of Medicine (COM), UCF (2014-present)
• Member, COM Faculty Award Committee, COM, UCF, (2014-present)
• Member, COM Teaching Incentive Program Award Criteria Committee, COM, UCF, (2014-present)
• Coordinator, senior undergraduate STEM internship program, sponsored by Career Source of Central Florida, facilitated by UCF office of Experiential Learning, BSBS, COM, UCF, (2013- present)
• Member, Integrated Medical Sciences (IMS) and MD/PhD curriculum committee, developing a Masters Program called: IMS track in the Biomedical Science, BSBS, COM, UCF, (2013-present)
• Member (co-writer of white paper) of PhD track committee in Neuroscience, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences (BSBS), College of Medicine (COM), UCF, (2012-present)
• Chair, Task Force for Teacher Professional Development Program. I proposed the white paper of the program which is currently under review in graduate curriculum committee, BSBS, COM, UCF, (2012- present)
• Chair, Task Force for Pre-Collegiate Summer Program for high school students. I proposed the white paper of this tuition fee program that is designed to give 1-2 college credits to high school students for 1-2 weeks education in university during summer, BSBS, COM, UCF, (2012-2013)
• Member, University Faculty Advisory Council, Student Development and Enrollment Services (SDES), UCF, (2012-present)
• Member, Board of Directors, Florida Chapter of Neuroscience, UCF, (2012- present)
• Member of the UCF COM Students LCME Subcommittee (2012)
• Member, Online Studies Committee, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences (BSBS), COM, UCF, (2011)
• Chair, Teaching-Track Promotion Criteria and Procedures Committee, BSBS, COM, UCF, (2009- 2011)
• Member, Medical Program Curriculum Planning Committee at UCF, (2006-2008)
• Member, Human body 1 (HB1) subcommittee, we wrote the course contents of Biochemistry and Cell biology together with 4 other colleagues in HB1 subcommittee, UCF, COM, (2006-2007)
• Chair, of four subcommittees in 2nd year curriculum and with 7 other clinical faculty, we wrote the syllabi and detailed course contents of the gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, Urology/ Nephrology, Endocrine disorders, OB/GYN in S3 and S5 modules of our UCF COM
• Chair, GI tract disorders subcommittee
• Chair, nephrology/ urology subcommittee
• Chair, endocrine & nutritional disorders subcommittee
• Chair, reproductive system subcommittee, Curriculum Planning Committee, COM, UCF, (2007)
• Member, Advisory Board Committee, International Brain Conf., UCF, (2007-present)
• Member, Advisory Board, faculty center for teaching & learning, UCF, (2005-2011)
Reviewed numerous internal grant applications to this center annually, (2006-2011)
• Member, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Burnett School, COM, UCF, (2005-2007)
• Member, research committee, Saba Univ. School of medicine, Saba, Netherlands-Antilles (2003-2004)


1. Samsam M, Ahangari R, Naser SA. Pathophysiology of autism spectrum disorders: Revisiting gastrointestinal involvement and immune imbalance. World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20(29): 9942-9951. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i29.9942.
2. Samsam M. Central nervous system drugs in treatment of neurological disorders. Editorial, Cent Nerv Syst Agents Med Chem. 2012; 12: 153-157.
3. Samsam M. Central nervous system acting drugs in treatment of migraine headache. Cent Nerv Syst Agents Med Chem. 2012; 12: 158-172. doi: 10.2174/187152412802430147#sthash.NkybAmBU.dpuf
4. Samsam M. Role of inflammation in neurological and psychiatric disorders. Editorial AIAA-MC. 2010; 3: 166-169.
5. Samsam M, Coveñas R, Ahangari R, Yajeya J. Neuropeptides and other chemical mediators, and the role of anti-inflammatory drugs in primary headaches. AIAA-MC. 2010; 3: 170- 188. doi: 10.2174/1871523011009030170
6. Samsam M Coveñas R Ahangari R Yajeya J, Narváez JA. Role of neuropeptides in migraine; where do they stand in the latest expert recommendations in migraine treatment? Drug Development Research. 2007; 68: 298-314. doi: 10.1002/ddr.20193
7. Ruhlman T, Ahangari R, Devine A, Samsam M, Daniell H. Expression of cholera toxin B-proinsulin fusion protein in lettuce and tobacco chloroplasts – oral administration protects against development of insulitis in non-obese diabetic mice. Plant Biotechnol J. 2007; 5: 495-510. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7652.2007.00259.x
8. Limaye A, Koya V, Samsam M, Daniell H. Receptor mediated oral delivery of a bioencapsulated green fluorescent protein expressed in transgenic chloroplasts into the mouse circulatory system. FASEB J. 2006; 20: 959-961. doi:
9. Holtmann B, Wiese S, Samsam M, et al. Triple knockout of CNTF/ Lif/ CT1 defines cooperative and distinct roles of these neurotrophic factors for motoneuron maintenance and function. J Neurosc. 2005; 25: 1778-1787. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4249-04.2005
10. C sillik B, Mihaly A, Krisztin-Peva B, et al. GABAergic parvalbumin-immunoreactive large calyciform presynaptic complexes in the reticular nucleus of the rat thalamus. J Chem Neuroanat. 2005; 30: 17-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2005.03.010
11. Berghoff M, Samsam M, Müller M, et al. Neuroprotective effect of the immune system in a mouse model of severe dysmyelinating hereditary neuropathy: Enhanced axonal degeneration following disruption of the RAG-1 gene. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2005; 28: 118-127. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2004.09.001
12. Kobsar I, Berghoff M, Samsam M, et al. Immune deficiency preserves myelin integrity and reduces axonopathic changes in connexin32 deficient mice. Brain. 2003; 126: 804-813.
13. Samsam M, Weiqian M, Wessig C, et al. The Wlds mutation delays the severe axonal loss in a genetic model for myelin-related axonopathy. J Neurosci 2003; 23: 2833-2839.
14. Samsam M, Coveñas R, Ahangari M, et al. Implications of somatostatin, neurotensin and methionin-enkephalin in an experimental model of headache. Rev Neurol. 2002; 34: 724- 729.
15. Samsam M, Frei R, Marziniak M, Martini R , Sommer C. Impaired sensory function in heterozygous P0 knockout mice is associated with nodal changes in sensory nerves. J Neurosc Res. 2002; 67: 167-173.
16. Samsam M, Coveñas R, Csillik B, et al. Depletion of substance P, neurokinin A and calcitonin geme-related peptide from the contralateral caudal trigeminal nucleus following a unilateral electrical stimulation of the trigeminal ganglion; the functional neuroanatomy underlying the clinical manifestation of generalized migraine headaches. J Chem Neuroanatomy. 2001; 21: 161-169.
17. Samsam M, Coveñas R, Ahangari R, Yajeya J, Riquelme R, Narváez JA. Changes in neuropeptide distribution in the caudal trigeminal nucleus following electrical stimulation of the trigeminal ganglion: an experimental migraine model. Mapfre medicina espana. 2000; 11(2): 111-118.
18. Samsam M, Coveñas R, Ahangari R, Yajeya J, Narváez JA, Tramu G. Simultaneous depletion of neurokinin A, substance P and calcitonin gene related peptide immunoreactivities in the caudal trigeminal nucleus of the rat following electrical stimulation of the Gasserian ganglion: a possible co-release of neuropeptides. Pain. 2000; 84: 389-395.
19. Samsam M, Coveñas R, Ahangari R, Yajeya J, Narváez JA, Tramu G. Neurokinin A and Substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide immunoreactivities in the rat caudal trigeminal ganglion. Neuroscie Let. 1999; 261: 1-4.
20. Knyihar-Csillik E, Tajti J, Samsam M, Sary Gy, Buzas P, Vecsei L. Depletion of calcitonin gene-related peptide from the caudal trigeminal nucleus of the rat after electrical stimulation of the Gasserian ganglion. Exp Brain Res. 1998, 118: 111-114.
21. Knyihar-Csillik E, Tajti J, Samsam M, Sary Gy, Vecsei L. Effect of serotonin agonist(Sumatriptan) on the peptidergic innervation of the rat cerebral dura mater on the expresion of C-fos in the caudal trigeminal nucleus in an experimental migraine model. J Neurosci Res. 1997; 48: 449-464. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-4547(19970601)48:5<449::AID-JNR6>3.0.CO;2-E
22. Knyihar-Csillik E, Tajti J, Samsam M, Sary Gy Vecsei L. Electrical stimulation of the Gasserian ganglion induces structural alterations of the calcitonin gene related peptide-immunoreactive perivascular sensory nerve terminals in the rat cerebral dura mater: a possible model of migraine headache. Neuroscience Lett. 1995; 1984: 189-192. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(94)11203-U
23. Knyihar-Csillik E, Torok A, Samsam M, Csillik B. Regeneration of dorsal column pathways in peripheral bypass autografts implanted in the spinal cord of adult rats. Acta Biochim Biophysi Hung. 1992; 26: 97-103.
24.Samsam M. Drugs against calcitonin gene-related peptide and its receptor used in the treatment of migraine: What are the new progresses?. Neuro Open J. 2015; 2(3): 79-91. doi: 10.17140/NOJ-2-117