School of Biomedical Sciences

George “Gef” Farmer, Ph.D.

Gef Photo

Research Assistant Professor 


  • Ph.D. Cognition and Neuroscience, University of Texas at Dallas (2012)
  • M.S. Applied Cognition and Neuroscience, University of Texas at Dallas (2007)
  • B.S. Neuroscience, University of Texas at Dallas (2005)
  • B.A. Psychology, University of Texas at Dallas  (2005) 


Personal Bio 

I earned my Ph.D. in Cognition and Neuroscience in 2012 from the University of Texas at Dallas where my research focused on learning dependent plasticity in the hippocampus and amygdala following an emotionally arousing task. It was here that I described the time course for changes in post burst afterhyperpolarizations (AHPs) in the hippocampus and amygdala following the acquisition of an emotionally arousing task as well as demonstrating that plasticity in hippocampal AHPs following such a task is dependent on an intact amygdala. My first post doc appointment (2012-2014) was a joint appointment with the University of South Florida and the James A Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, Florida where my research focused on the effects of stress on memory in an animal model of post-traumatic stress disorder. Additionally, I was involved in developing an in vitro model of the stress responses and its time dependent effects on hippocampal plasticity. 

Research Interests 

My current research interests involve the study of the brain renin-angiotensin system and the role it plays in neural plasticity. Currently, my work focuses on understanding the mechanisms that regulate the synthesis and release of angiotensin II within the brain in response to chronic intermittent hypoxia, an animal model that simulates the hypoxemia associated with sleep apnea. Furthermore, I investigate how dysregulation of angiotensin signaling can contribute to pathogenesis such as the development of hypertension commonly associated with sleep apnea. In my research group, we have developed the use of sniffer cell line to detect the spontaneous and evoked release of angiotensin II in an in vitro preparation. Additionally, our research group has shown that angiotensin II signaling can influence the excitability of neurons in the median preoptic nucleus, an integrative brain structure that contributes to the sustained hypertension associated with sleep apnea, through the regulation of potassium-chloride co-transporters. 

Current Projects 

Role of the brain renin-angiotensin system in the development of hypertension. Plasticity of vasopressin secreting neurons following osmotic challenge  Neuroplasticity and neurovascular changes in responses to hemorrhage 

Selected Publications 

Sumien N, Cunningham JT, Davis DL, Engelland R, Fadeyibi O, Farmer GE, Mabry S, Mensah-Kane P, Trinh OTP, Vann PH, Wilson EN, Cunningham RL (2021). Neurodegenerative Disease: Roles for Sex, Hormones, and Oxidative Stress. Endocrinology. 2021 Sep 1:bqab185. doi: 10.1210/endocr/bqab185. Online ahead of print. PMID: 34467976   

Farmer GE, Little JT, Marciante AB, Cunningham JT (2021). AT1a dependent GABAA inhibition in the MnPO following chronic intermittent hypoxia. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2021 Jun 30. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00030.2021. PMID: 34189959   

Aikins AO, Nguyen DH, Paundralingga O, Farmer GE, Shimoura CG, Brock C, Cunningham JT (2021). Cardiovascular Neuroendocrinology: Emerging Role for Neurohypophyseal Hormones in Pathophysiology. Endocrinology. 2021 Aug 1; 162(8). doi: 10.1210/endocr/bqab082. PubMed PMID: 33891015 

Marciante AB, Shell B, Farmer GE, Cunningham JT (2021). Minireview: The Role of Angiotensin II in in Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia-Induced Hypertension and Cognitive Decline. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2021 Feb 17. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00222.2020. PMID: 33595364 

Marciante AB, Farmer GE, Cunningham JT (2020). Gq DREADD activation of CaMKIIa MnPO neurons stimulates nitric oxide activity. J Neurophysiol. 2020 Aug 1;124(2):591-609. doi: 10.1152/jn.00239.2020. Epub 2020 Jul 22. PMID: 32697679 

Farmer GE, Amune A, Bachelor ME, Yuan JP, Cunningham JT (2019). Sniffer cells for the detection of neural Angiotensin II in vitro. Scientific Reports. 2019 Jun 19;9(1):8820. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-45262-4. PMID: 31217439 

Balapattabi K, Farmer GE, Knapp BA, Little JT, Bachelor ME, Yuan JP, Cunningham JT (2019) Intracellular Chloride Regulation of Supraoptic Vasopressin Neurons from Salt Loaded Rats. J. Neuroendocrinology. 2019 May 28. doi: 10.1111/jne.12752 PMID: 31136029 

Shell B, Farmer GE, Nedungadi TP, Wang LA, Alexandria B. Marciante, Snyder B, Cunningham RL, and Cunningham JT (2019). Angiotensin Type 1a Receptors in the Median Preoptic Nucleus Support Intermittent Hypoxia-Induced Hypertension. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2019 Mar 20. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00393.2018 PMID: 30892911 

Marciante AB, Wang LA, Farmer GE, and Cunningham JT (2019). Selectively inhibiting the median preoptic nucleus attenuates angiotensin II and hyperosmotic-induced drinking behavior and vasopressin release in adult male rats. eNeuro. 2019 March 7. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0016-19.2019 PMID: 30923740   

Farmer GE, Balapattabi K, Bachelor ME, Little JT, Cunningham JT (2018). AT1a influences GABAa mediated inhibition through the regulation of KCC2 expression. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2018 Aug 29. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00105.2018 PMID: 30156863 

Balapattabi K, Little JT, Farmer GE, Cunningham, JT (2018). High Salt Loading Increases Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Supraoptic Vasopressin Neurons. J. Neuroendocrinology. 2018 Aug 21. :e12639. doi: 10.1111/jne.12639. PMID: 30129982 

UNTHSC Service 

IACUC member, 2018-Current