Dr. Christopher Divito completed his doctoral studies on conducting states of neurotransmitter transporters at the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Neurobiology in 2013. He then continued at the University of Pittsburgh as a post-doctoral scholar researching how alteration in glutamatergic transmission through loss of VGLUT3 created a neuroprotective plasticity in mouse models of Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Divito then moved to Duquesne University’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2016 studying chemical modification of glycine channels using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Dr. Divito then transitioned into biotechnology industry where he employed at MolecularDx, LLC (MDx) as a research scientist and assistant director. During his time at MDx, Dr. Divito served as the operations director, quality assurance director, and then interim director of business development. Dr. Divito continued research while at MDx, studying the use of alternative matrices and instrumental methods in postmortem toxicology. In 2022, Dr. Divito re-joined academia as an Assistant Professor of Basic Science at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, located at the Seton Hill campus. Dr. Divito facilitates OMS-II problem-based learning and lectures on occasion on topics in neuropharmacology.

Research Interests

  1. Investigations into the use of alternative matrices and methods in postmortem toxicological analysis.

These projects focus on comparison between concentrations and frequency of observation between whole blood samples and alternative specimens from postmortem forensic casework. These alternative specimens include vitreous fluid, cerebral spinal fluid, liver, and others. Additionally, we are studying the use of alternative data collection and identification techniques and parameters for toxicological analysis using chromatography and mass spectrometry.


  1. Pharmacokinetics and dynamics of novel psychoactive substances.

This project aims to elucidate the interactions and metabolism of novel psychoactive substances (NPS). NPS are newly developed and synthesized derivatives to know drugs of abuse. Due to their novelty, they are typically unscheduled, and little is know about their toxicity and detection parameters. We plan to used heterologous expression systems and liver hepatocytes cultures to assay for interaction with drug targets (receptors, transporters, etc.) as well as metabolism through cytochrome P450 enzymes isoforms. Identification of metabolites with also allow for the development of robust detection and quantification assays for toxicological analysis.

Recent Publications

Outer Hair Cell Glutamate Signaling through Type II Spiral Ganglion Afferents Activates Neurons in the Cochlear Nucleus in Response to Nondamaging Sounds.

Weisz CJC, Williams SG, Eckard CS, Divito CB, Ferreira DW, Fantetti KN, Dettwyler SA, Cai HM, Rubio ME, Kandler K, Seal RP.

J Neurosci. 2021 Mar 31;41(13):2930-2943. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0619-20.2021. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

PMID: 33574178 Free PMC article.

Glial and Neuronal Glutamate Transporters Differ in the Na+ Requirements for Activation of the Substrate-Independent Anion Conductance.

Divito CB, Borowski JE, Glasgow NG, Gonzalez-Suarez AD, Torres-Salazar D, Johnson JW, Amara SG.

Front Mol Neurosci. 2017 May 29;10:150. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2017.00150. eCollection 2017.

PMID: 28611584 Free PMC article.

Loss of VGLUT3 Produces Circadian-Dependent Hyperdopaminergia and Ameliorates Motor Dysfunction and l-Dopa-Mediated Dyskinesias in a Model of Parkinson’s Disease.

Divito CB, Steece-Collier K, Case DT, Williams SP, Stancati JA, Zhi L, Rubio ME, Sortwell CE, Collier TJ, Sulzer D, Edwards RH, Zhang H, Seal RP.

J Neurosci. 2015 Nov 11;35(45):14983-99. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2124-15.2015.

PMID: 26558771 Free PMC article.

A Mutation in Transmembrane Domain 7 (TM7) of Excitatory Amino Acid Transporters Disrupts the Substrate-dependent Gating of the Intrinsic Anion Conductance and Drives the Channel into a Constitutively Open State.

Torres-Salazar D, Jiang J, Divito CB, Garcia-Olivares J, Amara SG.

J Biol Chem. 2015 Sep 18;290(38):22977-90. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M115.660860. Epub 2015 Jul 22.

PMID: 26203187 Free PMC article.

Cysteine transport through excitatory amino acid transporter 3 (EAAT3).

Watts SD, Torres-Salazar D, Divito CB, Amara SG.

PLoS One. 2014 Oct 2;9(10):e109245. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109245. eCollection 2014.

PMID: 25275463 Free PMC article.

Excitatory amino acid transporters: roles in glutamatergic neurotransmission.

Divito CB, Underhill SM.

Neurochem Int. 2014 Jul;73:172-80. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2013.12.008. Epub 2014 Jan 10.

PMID: 24418112 Free PMC article. Review.

Structure of the pentameric ligand-gated ion channel GLIC bound with anesthetic ketamine.

Pan J, Chen Q, Willenbring D, Mowrey D, Kong XP, Cohen A, Divito CB, Xu Y, Tang P.

Structure. 2012 Sep 5;20(9):1463-9. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2012.08.009.

PMID: 22958642 Free PMC article.

Close encounters of the oily kind: regulation of transporters by lipids.

Divito CB, Amara SG.

Mol Interv. 2009 Oct;9(5):252-62. doi: 10.1124/mi.9.5.8.

PMID: 19828832 Free PMC article. Review.

Relative stability of formamidine and carbamate groups in the bifunctional pesticide formetanate hydrochloride.

Divito CB, Davies S, Masoudi S, Muhoro CN.

J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Jul 11;55(14):5377-82. doi: 10.1021/jf0637527. Epub 2007 Jun 7.

PMID: 17552536

PubMed-indexed Publications

Google Scholar-indexed Publications