Dr. Pappas is an Assistant Professor in the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Pappas earned his Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. in Physiology at Michigan State University. He pursued postdoctoral work at University of Michigan in the laboratory of Dr. William Dauer, where he studied novel animal models of inherited dystonia.

Dr. Pappas’ current work is focused on unraveling the mechanisms of selective neurodegeneration, defining the role cholinergic neuron dysfunction in dystonia, and identifying of novel therapeutic targets for movement disorders. To address these questions, his team uses animal and cell culture based disease models and a combination of molecular, cellular, neuroanatomical, and behavioral methods.

Research Interest

  • Dystonia
  • Mechanisms of neurodegeneration
  • Parkinson's disease


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Inherited dystonias: clinical features and molecular pathways.
Weisheit CE, Pappas SS, Dauer WT, Handb Clin Neurol 2018 147 241-254
Forebrain knock-out of torsinA reduces striatal free-water and impairs whole-brain functional connectivity in a symptomatic mouse model of DYT1 dystonia.
DeSimone JC, Pappas SS, Febo M, Burciu RG, Shukla P, Colon-Perez LM, Dauer WT, Vaillancourt DE, Neurobiol. Dis. 2017 Oct 106 124-132
Microfabrication and in Vivo Performance of a Microdialysis Probe with Embedded Membrane.
Lee WH, Ngernsutivorakul T, Mabrouk OS, Wong JM, Dugan CE, Pappas SS, Yoon HJ, Kennedy RT, Anal. Chem. 2016 Jan 88 2 1230-7
Alterations in cerebellar physiology are associated with a stiff-legged gait in Atcay(ji-hes) mice.
Luna-Cancalon K, Sikora KM, Pappas SS, Singh V, Wulff H, Paulson HL, Burmeister M, Shakkottai VG, Neurobiol. Dis. 2014 Jul 67 140-8
Mouse models of neurodevelopmental disease of the basal ganglia and associated circuits.
Pappas SS, Leventhal DK, Albin RL, Dauer WT, Curr. Top. Dev. Biol. 2014 109 97-169