Bret Fajans Bessac

Bret Fajans Bessac

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Texas A&M Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy
1010 W. Ave. B
Kingsville, Texas   78363

Phone: 361.221.0733
Fax: 361.221.0793

Education and Training

Yale University, School of Medicine
Associate Research Scientist of Pharmacology, 2009-2010

Yale University, School of Medicine
Post-Doctoral Associate of Pharmacology, 2006-2009

University of Hawai`i, Medical School
PhD in Biomedical Sciences, Physiology, 2005

University of Montana, Pharmacy School
Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences, 1998

University of Montana
Bachelor of Arts in Zoology, 1993

University of Montana
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, 1993

Teaching Interests

  • Therapeutics, medicine and pharmaceutical sciences
  • Drug management and counseling
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Pathology
  • Biotechnology

Research Interests

  • Initiation and termination of neuronal, endocrine and immune signaling events
  • Homeostatic imbalances, chronic pain, and endocrine, atopic, mental, inflammatory and pulmonary diseases
  • Ion channels and hormone receptors
  • Cellular movement and the neuronal components of asthma, inflammation, reactive chemical toxicology, sleep-arousal cycles and glucocorticoid regulation

Research Areas

  • Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) ion channel physiology, pathology and pharmacology.
  • Chloride function in sensory neuron excitation.
  • Immune and neurogenic inflammation and associated disease states.
  • Mental illnesses
  • Pulmonary toxicology

Selected Publications

  • Bessac, B. F., & S. E. Jordt. (2010) "Sensory Detection and Responses to Toxic Gases: Mechanisms, Health Effects, and Countermeasures." Proc Am Thorac Soc, 7: 269-277.
  • Caceres, A., M. Brackmann, M. Elia, B. F. Bessac, D. del Camino , M. D'Amours, J. Witek, C. Fanger, J. Chong, N. Hayward, L. Cohn, X. Huang, M. Moran & S. E. Jordt. (2009) "A Sensory Neuronal Ion Channel Essential for Airway Inflammation and Hyperreactivity in Asthma."  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 106:9099-104.
  • Bessac, B. F., M. Sivula, C. A. von Hehn, A. I. Caceres, J. Escalera & S. E. Jordt. (2009) "TRPA1 antagonists block the noxious effects of toxic industrial isocyanates and tear gases." FASEB Journal, 23:1102-14.
  • Bessac, B. F., & S. E. Jordt. (2008) "Breathtaking TRP Channels: TRPA1 and TRPV1 in Airway Chemosensation and Reflex Control." Physiology (Bethesda), 23: 360-370.
  • Escalera, J., C. A. von Hehn, B. F. Bessac, M. Sivula & S. E. Jordt. (2008) "TRPA1 mediates the noxious effects of natural sesquiterpene deterrents." J Biol Chem, 283: 24136-44.
  • Bessac, B. F., M. Sivula, C. A. von Hehn, J. Escalera, L. Cohn & S. E. Jordt. (2008) "TRPA1 is a major oxidant sensor in murine airway sensory neurons." J Clin Invest, 118: 1899-910.
  • Bessac, B. F., & A. Fleig. (2007) "TRPM7 is sensitive to osmotic gradients in human kidney cells." J Physiol, 582: 1073-1086.

National Service and Recognition

  • Best Postdoctoral Publication of 2009, Society of Toxicology.