The University of Texas at Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Michael D. Burton

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience. How peripheral stimuli communicate to the CNS to elicit complex behaviors: An emphasis on pain, depression, and metabolism.

Curriculum Vitae


Email: [email protected]
Phone: 972-883-7273
Office: BSB_10.546
Campus Mail Code: BSB 14
Website: Neuroimmunology and Behavior Lab and Center for Advanced Pain Studies


Dr. Burton is a new Assistant Professor whose research focuses on how the immune system modulates peripheral sensory neurons to regulate pain and energy homeostasis. Michael received his BS and PhD in Animal Sciences with a focus on Immunophysiology and Behavior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He then moved to Dallas, TX to begin his postdoctoral fellowship work in the Department of Hypothalamic Research at UT Southwestern Medical Center. There Michael gained skills in molecular genetics, neuroendocrinology, and neuroanatomy; in studies that focused on how peripheral ganglia recognized dietary components. He then moved to the UT-Dallas campus to focus on how immune cells influence the transition to chronic pain. It was the fusion of these 2 experiences that formed the basis of a recently awarded NIH-Transition-to-Faculty Award. He believes in order to traverse the gap between basic research and clinical application to the patient, we must realize and appreciate pre-clinical research. He is excited at the notion to play a role in this process, and help humankind through his research in pain development, depression, and metabolic disorders that we deal with every day.

Recent and Selected Representative Publications

Recent Articles in Peer-Refereed Journals

Garner KM, Amin R, Johnson RW, Scarlett EJ, Burton, MD. Microglia priming by interleukin-6 signaling is enhanced in aged mice. Journal of Neuroimmunology. 2018 September 10; (online). doi:10.1016/j.jneuroim.20185.09.002

Udit, S., Burton M.D., Rutkowski, J.M., Lee, S., Bookout, A.L., Scherer, P.E., Elmquist, J.K., Gautron, L. Nav1.8 neurons are involved in limiting acute phase responses to dietary fat. Molecular Metabolism. 2017 Aug 4 (online).

Burton MD, Tillu DV, Mazhar K, Mejia GL, Asiedu MN, Inyang K, Hughes T, Lian B, Dussor G, Price TJ. Pharmacological activation of AMPK inhibits incision-evoked mechanical hypersensitivity and the development of hyperalgesic priming in mice. Neuroscience. 2017 Jul 17.

Burton MD, Rytych JL, Amin R, Johnson RW. Dietary Luteolin Reduces Proinflammatory Microglia in the Brain of Senescent Mice. Rejuvenation Res. 2016 Aug;19(4):286-92.

View more of Michael Burton’s publications