Department of Otolaryngology

Thanos Tzounopoulos, PhD

  • Professor and Vice Chair of Research, Department of Otolaryngology
  • UPMC Endowed Professor of Auditory Physiology
  • Director, Pittsburgh Hearing Research Center


Education & Training

  • PhD: Vollum Institute, Oregon Health and Science University

Representative Publications

Anderson CT, Kumar M, Xiong S, Tzounopoulos T (2017). Cell-specific gain modulation by synaptically released zinc in cortical circuits of audition. Elife. 2017 Sep 9;6. pii: e29893. doi: 10.7554/eLife.29893. [Epub ahead of print]

Kalappa BI, Tzounopoulos T (2017). Context-Dependent Modulation of Excitatory Synaptic Strength by Synaptically Released Zinc. eNeuro. 2017 Mar 3;4(1). pii: ENEURO.0011-17.2017. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0011-17.2017. eCollection 2017 Jan-Feb.

Ankur Joshi, Bopanna I. Kalappa, Charles T. Anderson and Thanos Tzounopoulos (2016). Cell-Specific Cholinergic Modulation of Excitability of Layer 5B Principal Neurons in Mouse Auditory Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 2016 Aug 10;36(32):8487-99.

Bopanna I. Kalappa, Charles T. Anderson, Jacob M. Goldberg, Stephen J. Lippard, Thanos Tzounopoulos (2015). AMPA Receptor Inhibition by Synaptically Released Zinc. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (PNAS), 2015 Dec 8. pii: 201512296

Shuang Li, Bopanna I. Kalappa and Thanos Tzounopoulos (2015). Noise-Induced Plasticity of KCNQ2/3 and HCN Channels Underlies Vulnerability and Resilience to Tinnitus. eLife 2015;10.7554/eLife.07242.

Bopanna I. Kalappa, Heun Soh, Kevin Duignan, Takeru Furuya, Scott Edwards, Anastassios V.Tzingounis and Thanos Tzounopoulos (2015). Potent Kv7.2/3 (KCNQ2/3)-specific channel activator suppresses in vivo epileptic activity and prevents the development of tinnitus. Journal of Neuroscience, 2015 Jun 10;35(23):8829-42. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5176-14.2015.

Charles T. Anderson, Robert J. Radford, Daniel Y. Zhang, Ulf-Peter Apfel, Stephen J. Lippard, Thanos Tzounopoulos (2015). Modulation of Extrasynaptic NMDA Receptors by Synaptic and Tonic Zinc. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2015 May 19;112(20):E2705-14. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1503348112.

Ankur Joshi, Jason W. Middleton, Charles T. Anderson, Gordon M. G. Shepherd and Thanos Tzounopoulos (2015). Cell-Specific, Activity-Dependent Fractionation of Layer2/3à5B Excittaory Signaling in Mouse Auditory Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 2015 Feb 18;35(7):3112-23. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0836-14.2015.

Shuang Li, Veronica Choi, Thanos Tzounopoulos (2013). Pathogenic Plasticity of Kv7.2/3 Channel Activity is Essential for the Induction of Tinnitus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2013 June 11; 110 (24) 9980- 9985.

Perez-Rosello T, Anderson CT, Schopfer FJ, Zhao Y, Gilad D, Salvatore SR, Freeman BA, Hershfinkel M, Aizenman E, Thanos Tzounopoulos (2013). Synaptically Released Zn2+ Inhibits Neurotransmitter Release by Promoting Endocannabinoid Synthesis. Journal of Neuroscience, 2013 May 29;33(22):9259-72.

View Dr. Tzounopoulos's most current publications.

Research Interest Summary

Synaptic and Intrinsic Mechanisms Involved in Normal and Pathological Auditory Processing, Drug Discovery and Translational Research in Hearing-Related Disorders

Research Interests

Dr. Tzounopoulos's Research Interests include:

  • Synaptic and Ion Channel Physiology in the Brain
  • Synaptic and Ion Channel Mechanisms in Normal and Pathological Auditory Processing
  • Drug Discovery and Translational Research in Hearing-Related Disorders

Research Grants

U.S. Army-DOD, Tzounopoulos, Development of Therapeutic Drugs that Prevent the Triggering of Tinnitus, W81XWH-14-1-0117, July 2014 - July 2017

NIH, Tzounopoulos, Cell-Specific Synaptic Plasticity in the Auditory Brainstem, 5R01 DC007905, March 20076 - February 2022 

Allergan, Tzounopoulos, Cortical Mechanisms Underlying Tinnitus, 5910001-20012000358, August 2016 - August 2019

NSF, Tzounopoulos, NSF-IOS-BSF: Influence of neuronal zinc homeostasis on cortical responses to sound, IOS-1655480, September 2017- July 2021