Paul Pistell

Associate Professor


Contact Info

LA 2124


Ph.D. in Experimental/
Biobehavioral Psychology,
The University of Vermont

M.A. in Experimental Psychology,
Cleveland State University

B.A. in Psychology & English,
Bucknell University

After the completion of his Ph.D., Dr. Pistell worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at both the National Institute of Mental Health and National Institute on Aging.

Areas of Expertise

Physiological Psychology


Ethology and Comparative Psychology

Research Methods


Before coming to Towson, Dr. Pistell spent four years at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center conducting research in the Laboratory of Nutritional Neuroscience and Aging, and supervising the behavioral core.


Research Interests

Over his 20 years involved in preclinical research, Dr. Pistell has had the opportunity to be involved a wide range of research topics utilizing a wide array of behavioral tasks. In recent years his research has focused on several areas. As an overarching theme, his lab conducts studies to evaluate behavioral outcomes and therapeutic interventions during normal and abnormal aging in rodent models. More specifically, they are interested in assessing the potential of nutritional or pharmacological interventions to improve functional outcomes during aging. As part of this process, they also are interested in the underlying neurobiological and biochemical mechanisms associated with learning/memory and motor function.


Selected Publications

Gupta A, Lacoste B, Pistell PJ, Ingram DK, Hamel E, Alaoui-Jamali MA, Szarek WA, Vlahakis JZ, Jie S, Song W, Schipper HM. (2014). Neurotherapeutic effects of novel HO-1 inhibitors in vitro and in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Neurochemistry, 131(6), 778-790. doi: 10.1111/jnc.12927.

Pistell PJ, Duffy KB, Kelley-Bell B, Spangler EL, Ingram DK. (2014). Phosphodiesterase inhibition facilitates cognitive restoration in rodent models of age-related memory decline. Neurorehabilitation, 34(1), 101-111. doi: 10.3233/NRE-131022.

Zhou J, Keenan MK, Fernandez-Kim SO, Pistell PJ, Ingram DK, Raggio AM, Shen L, Zhang H, McCutcheon KL, Tulley RL, Blackman MR, Keller JN, Martin RJ. (2013). Dietary resistant starch improves selected brain and behavioral functions in adult and aged rodents. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 57(11), 2071-2074. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201300135.

Pistell PJ, Spangler EL, Kelly-Bell B, Miller MG, de Cabo R, Ingram DK. (2012). Age-associated learning and memory deficits in two mouse versions of the Stone T-maze. Neurobiology of Aging, 33(10), 2431-2439. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2011.12.004.

Pistell PJ, Ingram DK. (2010). Development of a water-escape motivated version of the Stone T-maze for mice. Neuroscience. 166(1), 61-72. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.12.029.

Pistell PJ, Morrison CD, Gupta S, Knight AG, Keller JN, Ingram DK, Bruce-Keller AJ. (2010). Cognitive impairment following high fat diet consumption is associated with brain inflammation. Journal of Neuorimmunology, 219(1-2), 25-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2009.11.010.

Courses Taught

  • PSYC 309: Psychopharmacology
  • PSYC 314: Research Methods
  • PSYC 460: Ethology and Comparative Psychology
  • PSYC 465: Physiological Psychology