William Christopher Wetsel

William Christopher Wetsel

Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

External Address: 
354 Sands Bldg, Durham, NC 27710
Internal Office Address: 
Box 103203 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710


Last Updated: 27 October 2020

My laboratory uses genetically-modified mice to study the roles that certain genes and gene products play in the presentation of abnormal neuroendocrine, neurological, and psychiatric responses. Traditionally, the identification of neuroendocrine dysfunction has involved biochemical analyses of hormonal responses, those for neurological disorders have relied upon behavioral and postmortem analyses, and those for psychiatric conditions have depended upon phenomenology.  The use of genetic technologies has allowed specific genes in selected cells and in neural pathways to be related to certain molecular, biochemical, cellular, physiological, and behavioral dysfunctions. As the Director of the Mouse Behavioral and Neuroendocrine Analysis Core Facility at Duke University (http://sites.duke.edu/mousebehavioralcore/), we have phenotyped many different lines of inbred and mutant mice for my own work as well as for investigators at Duke and at other research institutions. As a consequence, we have helped to develop many different mouse genetic models of neuroendocrine and neuropsychiatric illness. We are working also with academic medicinal chemists and/or certain pharmacological/biotechnological companies to identify novel compounds that will ameliorate abnormal responses in various mutant mouse models. Some of these preclinical studies have formed a basis for clinical trials in humans.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1983

Wetsel, W. C., and J. D. Fernstrom. “In vivo biosynthesis of arginine vasopressin and oxytocin in hypothalami from intact and hypophysectomized rats.Endocrinology, vol. 120, no. 6, June 1987, pp. 2562–68. Pubmed, doi:10.1210/endo-120-6-2562. Full Text

Culler, M. C., et al. “Orchidectomy induces temporal and regional changes in the synthesis and processing of the LHRH prohormone in the rat brain.Adv Exp Med Biol, vol. 219, 1987, pp. 623–28. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/978-1-4684-5395-9_32. Full Text

Wetsel, W. C., and J. D. Fernstrom. “Effect of hypophysectomy on somatostatin-14 and somatostatin-28 biosynthesis in the rat hypothalamus.Brain Res, vol. 370, no. 2, Apr. 1986, pp. 315–20. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/0006-8993(86)90486-5. Full Text

Wetsel, W. C., and A. E. Rogers. “Hepatic prolactin binding in female Sprague-Dawley rats fed a diet high in corn oil.Journal of the National Cancer Institute, vol. 73, no. 2, Aug. 1984, pp. 531–36. Epmc, doi:10.1093/jnci/73.2.531. Full Text

Wetsel, W. C., and A. E. Rogers. “Hepatic prolactin binding in female rats fed control or high corn oil diets.” Federation Proceedings, vol. 43, no. 3, Jan. 1984.

Rogers, A. E., and W. C. Wetsel. “Mammary Carcinogenesis In Rats Fed Different Amounts And Types Of Fat.” Cancer Research, vol. 41, Sept. 1981, pp. 3735–37.

Rogers, A. E., and W. C. Wetsel. “Mammary carcinogenesis in rats fed different amounts and types of fat.Cancer Research, vol. 41, no. 9 Pt 2, Sept. 1981, pp. 3735–37.

Wetsel, W. C., et al. “Dietary fat and DMBA mammary carcinogenesis in rats.Cancer Detect Prev, vol. 4, no. 1–4, 1981, pp. 535–43.

Wetsel, W. C., and A. E. Rogers. “Effect of dietary fat on mammary carcinogenesis and serum prolactin in rats.” Federation Proceedings, vol. 39, no. 3 II, Jan. 1980, p. 3248.