Steve M. Simasko

  1. Professor Emeritus
  2. Integrative Physiology & Neuroscience
Email Address


Steven M. Simasko, Professor, earned a B.A. degree in chemistry from the Colorado College in 1977, and a Ph.D. degree in pharmacology at the University of Washington in 1983.  He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY prior to taking a faculty position in the Department of Physiology in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the State University of New York in Buffalo, NY.  In 1994 he returned to the west to take a faculty position in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University.

Department Affiliations

  • Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience


  • One area of my research is the molecular mechanisms by which nutrient relevant signals activate vagal afferent nerves that innervate the gastrointestinal track. This signaling is an important component in the control of food intake, which if dysregulated, can lead to obesity. The overarching goal of this research is to develop insights that can inform therapeutic interventions that improve body weight regulation and general health.
  • A second focus is investigating the neuronal basis by which chronic alcohol exposure leads to disruptions of circadian rhythms and sleep quality in a rodent model. Poor sleep in recovering alcoholics has been shown to be increase the likelihood of relapse to drinking. If we can determine the basis for this dysregulation, interventions can be designed that would help recovered alcoholics remain sober for greater periods of time.