Stephen Asmus headshot -man with glasses wearing red gingham dress shirt

Stephen E. Asmus

H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Biology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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BS: Cleveland State University
PhD: University of Michigan
Postdoctoral fellowship, Case Western Reserve University


Steve Asmus has taught in the biology and biochemistry and molecular biology programs since 1996. He received the Kirk Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2001 and again in 2016, and was named a Centre Scholar in 2002 and 2011. Prior to joining the college, he held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University.


Asmus has special expertise in the field of developmental neurobiology, which focuses on how the brain develops. He describes his research as a study of the development of neurons, which are specialized types of cells found in the nervous system. The neurons produce chemicals known as neurotransmitters that make it possible for the neurons to communicate with each other.

Asmus is interested in how neurons produce the correct neurotransmitter during development. Earlier in his career, he analyzed the neurotransmitters produced in developing sympathetic neurons, addressing the question of whether different target tissues influence this “decision” process during development. More recently, Asmus has studied the neurotransmitters that are produced in the cerebral cortex of the developing and adult brain to examine whether some cortical neurons may change the neurotransmitter that they produce as they mature. Asmus uses a variety of cell staining and microscopy techniques in his laboratory research.

Asmus encourages Centre students to collaborate with him on research. His research has been published in journals including the Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy (2016), Brain Research (2008 and 2011), and the Journal of Neuroscience (2000), and these articles were co-authored with numerous student collaborators. His research has been supported by two grants from the National Institutes of Health. Asmus also engages in pedagogy research and has published articles coauthored with student collaborators in the Journal of Biological Education (2019 and 2020) and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education (2023).

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