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 an assistant professor whose research focuses on the bi-directional communication between the immune and nervous systems to regulate pain, depression, and energy homeostasis. With special interests in the influence of age and the endogenous cannabinoid system. Michael received his BS and PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He then moved to Dallas, TX to begin his postdoctoral work in the Division 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 peripheral neurons and immune cells influence mechanisms in the transition to chronic pain. It was the fusion of these 2 experiences that formed the basis of his NIH-Transition-to-Faculty (K) 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

Mody PH, Dos Santos NL, Barron LR, Price TJ, Burton MD. eIF4E phosphorylation modulates pain and neuroinflammation in the aged [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 1]. Geroscience. 2020;10.1007/s11357-020-00220-1. doi:10.1007/s11357-020-00220-1.

Milligan, AL, Szabo-Pardi, TA, Burton, MD Cannabinoid Receptor type 1 and it’s role as an analgesic: An opioid alternative? Journal of Dual Diagnosis 2020 Jan-Mar;16(1):106-119. doi: 10.1080/15504263.2019.1668100.

Rudjito R, Agalave NM, Farinotti AB, Lundbáck P, Szabo-Pardi T, Price TJ, Harris HE, Burton MD*, Svensson CI*. Sex- and cell-dependent contribution of peripheral HMGB1 and TLR4 in arthritis-induced pain. Pain. 2020 Aug 6. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002034. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32796317. *co-corresponding author.

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).

View more of Michael Burton’s publications