Renée Layton

  • Interim Associate Dean, School of Health and Natural Sciences
  • Associate Professor and Program Director, Biology
Renee Haskew-Layton Profile Picture

Dr. Renee Haskew-Layton is the Biology Program Director and Undergraduate Research Coordinator. She is the faculty advisor for the Biomedical Sciences Club and interim faculty advisor for the Tri-Beta National Honor Society in Biology. She is the Program Director for the HHMI Inclusive Excellence Initiative, Co-Principle Investigator for the NSF STEM Scholars in Biology Program and Co-Activity Director for the STEM Ready Summer Research Institute. She runs a neuroscience lab with undergraduate research assistants.

BS - Psychology with Biology minor, 1999; State University of New York at Albany

MS - Biomedical Sciences, Neuropharmacology and Neuroscience, 2003; Albany Medical College

PhD - Biomedical Sciences, Neuropharmacology and Neuroscience, 2005; Albany Medical College

Dr. Renee Haskew-Layton researches brain protection from oxidative stress, a major contributing factor to neuronal death in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases. Her work focuses on the ability of astrocytes, a support cell in the brain, to provide antioxidant protection to neurons via the tripeptide glutathione. Her lab investigates pathways contributing to glutathione release from astrocytes and mechanisms that contribute to glutathione breakdown, precursor uptake and resynthesis by neurons.


BIOL 105 - Pathways in Biology

BIOL 275 - Cell Biology

BIOL 370 - Research in Biology I

BIOL 440 - Advanced Research in Neurodegeneration

BIOL 460 - Research Capstone in Biology

Herrera J, Haskew-Layton RE, Narayanan M, Porras-Alfaro A, Jumpponen A, Chung YA, Rudgers JA (2020). Improving Instructional Fitness Requires Change. BioScience, 70(11): 1027–1035.  

Haskew-Layton, RE and Minkler, JR (2020). Chick Embryonic Primary Astrocyte Cultures Provide an Effective Model for Course Based Research. The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 18(2):A86-A92.  

Aleyasin H, Karuppagounder SS, Kumar A, Sleiman S, Basso M, Ma T, Siddiq A, Chinta S, Brochier C, Langley B, Haskew-Layton R, Bane SL, Riggins GJ, Gazaryan I, Starkov AA, Andersen JK, Ratan RR (2015). Antihelminthic benzimidazoles are novel HIF activators that prevent oxidative neuronal death via binding to tubulin. Antioxid and Redox Signal, 10;22(2):121-34.  

Alim I, Haskew-Layton RE, Aleyasin H, Guo H, Ratan RR (2014). Spatial, temporal, and quantitative manipulation of intracellular hydrogen peroxide in cultured cells. Methods in Enzymology, 547:251-73.  

Guo H, Aleyasin H, Dickinson BC, Haskew-Layton RE, Ratan RR (2014). Recent advances in hydrogen peroxide imaging for biological applications. Cell Biosci. 27;4(1):64.  

Guo H, Aleyasin H, Howard SS, Dickinson BC, Lin VS, Haskew-Layton RE, Xu C, Chen Y, Ratan RR (2013). Two-photon fluorescence imaging of intracellular hydrogen peroxide with chemoselective fluorescent probes. J of Biomedical Optics, 18(10).  

Haskew-Layton RE, Payappilly JB, Bennett SAL, Ratan RR (2013). 15-Deoxy-Δ12,14-prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2) protects neurons from oxidative death via an Nrf2 astrocyte-specific mechanism independent of PPARγ. J Neurochem, 124(4):536-47.  

Bao Y, Qin L, Kim E, Bhosle S, Guo H, Febbraio M, Haskew-Layton RE, Ratan R, Cho S (2012). CD36 is involved in astrocyte activation and astroglial scar formation. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 32(8):1567-77.   

Basso M, Berlin J, Xia L, Sleiman SF, Ko B, Haskew-Layton R, Kim E, Antonyak MA, Cerione RA, Iismaa SE, Willis D, Cho S, Ratan RR (2012). Transglutaminase inhibition protects against oxidative stress-induced neuronal death downstream of pathological ERK activation. J Neurosci. 9;32(19):6561-9.   

Smirnova NA, Haskew-Layton RE, Basso M, Hushpulian DM, Payappilly JB, Speer R, Ahn YH,  Rakhman I, Cole PA, Ratan RR, Gazaryan IG (2011). Development of Neh2-luciferase reporter and its application for high throughput screening and real-time monitoring of Nrf2 activators. Chem Biol. 2011 24;18(6):752-65.   

Hyzinski-Garcia MC, Vincent MY, Haskew-Layton RE, Dohare P, Keller RW Jr., Mongin AA (2011). Hypoosmotic swelling modifies glutamate-glutamine cycle in the cerebral cortex and in cultured astrocytes. J Neurochem. 118(1):140-52.  

Mongin AA, Hyzinski-Garcia MC, Vincent MY, Haskew-Layton RE (2011). Impact of cellular swelling on neurotransmitter transport and metabolism in the central nervous system. Cellular Physiology and Biocemistry. 28 (6), 1324-1324  

Haskew-Layton RE, Ma TC, Ratan RR (2011). Reply to Bell et al.: Nrf2-dependent and -independent mechanisms of astrocytic neuroprotection. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 108 (1) E3-E4.   

Haskew-Layton RE, Payappilly JB, Smirnova N, Ma TC, Chan KK, Murphy TH, Langley B,  Sultana R, Butterfield DA, Santagata S, Alldred MJ, Gazaryan I, Bell GW, Ginsberg SD, Ratan RR (2010).  Controlled Enzymatic Production of Astrocytic Hydrogen Peroxide Protects Neurons From Oxidative Stress via an Nrf2 Independent Pathway. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 107 (40):17385-90.   

Haskew-Layton RE, Rudkouskaya A, Jin Y, Feustel PJ, Kimelberg HK, Mongin AA (2008) .Two distinct modes of hypoosmotic medium-induced release of excitatory amino acids and taurine in the rat brain in vivo. PLoS ONE. 3(10):e3543.   

Rudkouskaya A, Chernoguz A, Haskew-Layton RE and Mongin AA (2008). Two conventional PKC isoforms, alpha and beta*I, are involved in the ATP-induced regulation of VRAC and glutamate release in cultured astrocytes. J Neurochem. 105(6):2260-70.   

Ratan RR, Siddiq A, Smirnova N, Karpisheva K, Haskew-Layton RE, McConoughey S, Langley B, Estevez A, Huerta PT, Volpe B, Roy S, Sen CK, Gazaryan I, Cho S, Fink M, LaManna J (2007). Harnessing hypoxic adaptation to prevent, treat, and repair stroke. J Mol Med. 85(12):1331-8.   

Haskew-Layton RE, Ratan RR (2007).  The janus faces of hypoxia-sensitive transcription factors in promoting cell survival or death in the central nervous system.  In “Hypoxia in the central nervous system”, (pp.20-35), editor Charanjit Kaur. Transworld Network, Kerala, India.   

Haskew-Layton RE, Mongin AA, Kimelberg HK (2005). Hydrogen peroxide potentiates volume-sensitive excitatory amino acid release via a mechanism involving Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II. J Biol Chem. 280(5): 3548-3554.    

Haskew RE, Mongin AA, Kimelberg HK (2002). Peroxynitrite enhances astrocytic volume-sensitive excitatory amino acid release via a src tyrosine kinase-dependent mechanism. J Neurochem. 82: 903-912.   

Szumlinski KK, Haskew RE, Balogun MY, Maisonneuve IM, Glick SD (2001). Iboga compounds reverse the behavioural disinhibiting and corticosterone effects of acute methamphetamine: Implications for their antiaddictive properties. Pharm Biochem Behavior. 69: 485-491.   

Carlson JN, Haskew RE, Wacker J, Maisonneuve IM, Glick SD, Jerussi TP (2001). Sedative and anxiolytic effects of zopiclone's enantiomers and metabolite. Eur J Pharmacol. 415: 181-189.   

Glick SD, Haskew RE, Maisonneuve IM, Carlson JN, Jerussi TP (2000). Enantioselective behavioral effects of sibutramine metabolites. Eur J Pharmacol. 397: 93-102. 


External Grants  


Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Sept 2018 – Aug 2025  

Science Education Program  

Inclusive Excellence  

Role: Program Director (current); Co-PI (Oct 2018 – June 2021)  

Lead co-author of grant narrative  

$1 million award, 5 years with two years extension  


National Science Foundation Jan 2018 – Dec 2023

S-STEM, STEM Scholars in Biology Award  

Collaborative Research: Institutional Collaboration to Recruit,   

Retain, and Graduate Low-Income Students in Bio   

Role: Co-Director  

$2.3 million award, 5 years with one year extension