Erick Tatro, Ph.D. 

Assistant Adjunct Professor


Contact Information

T: (858) 246-0653
F: (858) 534-4484


Dr. Tatro received his B.S. from The Ohio State University double majoring in Chemistry and Biology. While earning his Ph.D. from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Molecular and Cellular Pathology, he illustrated the role of FK506 binding proteins in trafficking of the glucocorticoid receptor in neurons as it relates to major depressive disorder. During post-doctoral study at UC San Diego, he expanded his research repertoire to include study of microRNA-mediated regulation of gene expression in depression and drug abuse, particular of methamphetamine. He joined the Department of Psychiatry as Assistant Adjunct Professor in Fall of 2010 and continues to research the molecular genetic basis of mood disorders in the context of HIV infection and drug abuse.

Research Interests

Research Focus

I started working in the field of HIV/AIDS and mental health as a post-doctoral scholar at UCSD with the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center and the Translational Methamphetamine AIDS Research Center. The mission of my laboratory is to discover the molecular basis for mental health disorders, mainly major depression and depressive symptomology, in the HIV-infected and aging population through characterization of the consequences of genetic variation of specific genes that regulate hormone receptor function. I am interested in discovering how genetic variants interact with regulatory cellular regulatory elements, including microRNAs, which have downstream consequences on hormone function and behavior. I hope to use this knowledge to develop diagnostic and therapeutic modalities.


  • Tatro ET, Soontornniyomkij B, Letendre SL, Achim CL. Cytokine secretion from brain macrophages infected with human immunodeficiency virus in vitro and treated with raltegravir. BMC Infect Dis. 2014 Jul 11;14(1):386.
  • Rush AM, Nelles DA, Blum AP, Barnhill SA, Tatro ET, Yeo GW, Gianneschi NC. Intracellular mRNA regulation with self-assembled locked nucleic acid polymer nanoparticles. J Am Chem Soc. 2014 May 28;136(21):7615-8. doi: 10.1021/ja503598z.
  • Tatro ET. Brain-wide imaging of neurons in action. Front Neural Circuits. 2014 Apr 3;8:31. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2014.00031. eCollection 2014.
  • Tatro ET, Purnajo I, Richman DD, Smith DM, Gianella S. Antibody response to Achromobacter xylosoxidans during HIV infection is associated with lower CD4 levels and increased lymphocyte activation. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2014 Jan;21(1):46-50. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00553-13. Epub 2013 Oct 30.
  • Gianella S, Morris SR, Tatro E, Vargas MV, Haubrich RH, Daar ES, Dube MP, Richman DD, Little SJ, Smith DM. Virologic correlates of anti-CMV IgG levels in HIV-1-infected men. J Infect Dis. 2014 Feb 1;209(3):452-6. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jit434.
  • Tatro ET, Risbrough V, Soontornniyomkij B, Young J, Shumaker-Armstrong S, Jeste DV, Achim CL. Short-term recognition memory correlates with regional CNS expression of microRNA-138 in mice. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013 May;21(5):461-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2012.09.005.
  • Tatro ET, Hefler S, Shumaker-Armstrong S, Soontornniyomkij B, Yang M, Yermanos A, Wren N, Moore DJ, Achim CL. Modulation of BK channel by MicroRNA-9 in neurons after exposure to HIV and methamphetamine. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2013 Dec;8(5):1210-23. doi: 10.1007/s11481-013-9446-8.
  • Soontornniyomkij V, Moore DJ, Gouaux B, Soontornniyomkij B, Tatro ET, Umlauf A, Masliah E, Levine AJ, Singer EJ, Vinters HV, Gelman BB, Morgello S, Cherner M, Grant I, Achim CL. Cerebral β-amyloid deposition predicts HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders in APOE ε4 carriers. AIDS. 2012 Nov 28;26(18):2327-35. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e32835a117c.
  • Soontornniyomkij V, Everall IP, Moore DJ, Gouaux B, Tatro ET, Gospodarev V, Masliah E, Yin NS, Vinters HV, Achim CL. Increased cortical expression of FK506 binding protein-51 in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. J Neurovirol. 2012 Aug;18(4):313-22. doi: 10.1007/s13365-011-0076-8.
  • Tatro ET, Nguyen TB, Bousman CA, Masliah E, Grant I, Atkinson JH, Everall IP. Correlation of major depressive disorder symptoms with FKBP5 but not FKBP4 expression in human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals. J Neurovirol. 2010 Oct;16(5):399-404. doi: 10.3109/13550284.2010.504248.
  • Tatro ET, Scott ER, Nguyen TB, Salaria S, Banerjee S, Moore DJ, Masliah E, Achim CL, Everall IP. Evidence for Alteration of Gene Regulatory Networks through MicroRNAs of the HIV-infected brain: novel analysis of retrospective cases. PLoS One. 2010 Apr 26;5(4):e10337. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010337.
  • Glatt SJ, Chandler SD, Bousman CA, Chana G, Lucero GR, Tatro E, May T, Lohr JB, Kremen WS, Everall IP, Tsuang MT. Alternatively Spliced Genes as Biomarkers for Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Psychosis: A Blood-Based Spliceome-Profiling Exploratory Study. Curr Pharmacogenomics Person Med. 2009 Sep;7(3):164-188.
  • Nguyen TB, Lucero GR, Chana G, Hult BJ, Tatro ET, Masliah E, Grant I, Achim CL, Everall IP; HIV Neurobehavioral Research Group. Glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta) inhibitors AR-A014418 and B6B3O prevent human immunodeficiency virus-mediated neurotoxicity in primary human neurons. J Neurovirol. 2009 Sep;15(5-6):434-8. doi: 10.1080/13550280903168131.
  • Bousman CA, Chana G, Glatt SJ, Chandler SD, Lucero GR, Tatro E, May T, Lohr JB, Kremen WS, Tsuang MT, Everall IP. Preliminary evidence of ubiquitin proteasome system dysregulation in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: convergent pathway analysis findings from two independent samples. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2010 Mar 5;153B(2):494-502. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.31006.
  • Tatro ET, Everall IP, Kaul M, Achim CL. Modulation of glucocorticoid receptor nuclear translocation in neurons by immunophilins FKBP51 and FKBP52: implications for major depressive disorder. Brain Res. 2009 Aug 25;1286:1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2009.06.036. Epub 2009 Jun 21.
  • Tatro ET, Everall IP, Masliah E, Hult BJ, Lucero G, Chana G, Soontornniyomkij V, Achim CL; HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center. Differential expression of immunophilins FKBP51 and FKBP52 in the frontal cortex of HIV-infected patients with major depressive disorder. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2009 Jun;4(2):218-26. doi: 10.1007/s11481-009-9146-6. Epub 2009 Feb 6.