Rainald Schmidt-Kastner, M.D.


Associate Professor of Clinical Neuroscience

Florida Atlantic University 777 Glades Road

Boca Raton, FL 33431

Office Building One, Room 225

p: 561-297-1360


Department: Clinical Neurosciences


Rainald Schmidt-Kastner, M.D., serves as Associate Professor of Clinical Neuroscience. He holds an MD degree through thesis (neuroanatomy) from University of Duesseldorf and a research-teaching degree in physiology (Habilitation) from Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. He serves as Course Director for Neuroscience and Behavior; teaches medical students in neuroscience, neuroanatomy, physiology, embryology and macro-anatomy of internal organs; serves as facilitator for group teaching; and instructs graduate students in integrated morphology. He serves as member of the editorial board for an international neuroscience journal and continues to perform scholarly activity in the area of brain ischemia-hypoxia.


  • 1992: Qualification to Lecture in Physiology and Evidence for Scholarly Research ("Habilitation" and "Privat-Dozent" - PD), Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany
  • 1984: MD-Doktor der Medizin (Dr.med.) by thesis (summa cum laude), Medical Faculty, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 1977-1983: Studies of Human Medicine, Medical Faculty, Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany, completed by "Staatsexamen" (National Exam in Medicine)

Work History

  • 2011-Present: Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida
  • 2008-2011: Clinical Assistant Professor of Integrated Medical Science
  • 2006-2008: Visiting Assistant Professor of Integrated Medical Science
  • 2005-2006: Visiting Scholar, Scientist, College of Science, 2005-2006
  • 2002-2004: Research Associate Professor, Dept. of Neurology, University of Miami School of Medicine
  • 1997-2002: Research Assistant Professor, Dept. of Neurology, University of Miami School of Medicine
  • 1994-1996: Visiting Scientist, Neuroscience Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
  • 1990-1994: Visiting Scientist, Karolinska Institute, Depts. Clinical Neurophysiology, Histology-Neurobiology, and Neuroscience, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 1987-1992: Scientific Assistant (postdoctoral), Ruhr-University Bochum, Dept. Neurophysiology, Germany
  • 1983-1987: Scientific Assistant (postdoctoral), Max-Planck-Institute for Neurological Research, Cologne, Germany

Scholarly Activity

Research Interests

Brain ischemia and hypoxia; selective vulnerability of the hippocampus; status epilepticus; retinal ischemia; optic nerve atrophy; gene x hypoxia interactions in neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegeneration; teaching tools in medical neuroscience

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Hamper, M., Schmidt-Kastner, R. Sleep disorder Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS) joins the list of polygenic brain disorders associated with obstetric complications. Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology 43: 3393-3403, 2023 
  • Kravetz, Z., Schmidt-Kastner, R. New aspects for the brain in Hartnup disease based on mining of high-resolution cellular mRNA expression data for SLC6A19. IBRO Neuroscience Reports 14:393-397, 2023
  • Schmidt-Kastner, R., Guloksuz, S., Kietzmann, T., van Os, J., Rutten, B.P.F. Analysis of GWAS-derived schizophrenia genes for links to ischemia-hypoxia response of the brain. Front Psychiatry 11:393, 2020. PMID: 32477182; doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00393.
  • Schmidt-Kastner, R. Genomic approach to selective vulnerability of the hippocampus in brain ischemia-hypoxia. Neuroscience, 309: 259-279, 2015
  • Schmidt-Kastner, R., van Os, J., Esquivel, G., Steinbusch, H.W.M., Rutten, B.P.F.  An environmental analysis of genes associated with schizophrenia: hypoxia and vascular factors as interacting elements in the neurodevelopmental model. Molecular Psychiatry, 17 (12) 1194-1205, 2012 (Advance Online Publication, Jan. 31, 2012)
  • Schmidt-Kastner, R., Kreczmanski, P., Preising, M., Diederen, R., Schmitz, C., Reis, D., Blanks, J., Dorey, C.K. Expression of the diabetes risk gene wolframin (WFS1) in the human retina. Experimental Eye Res. 89: 568-574 (June 12 Epub ahead of print), 2009. 
  • Schmidt-Kastner, R., Aguirre-Chen, C., Kietzmann, T., Saul, I., Busto, R., Ginsberg, M.D. Nuclear localization of the hypoxia-regulated pro-apoptotic protein BNIP3 after global brain ischemia in the rat hippocampus. Brain Res. 1001: 133-142, 2004 
  • Schmidt-Kastner, R., Truettner, J., Zhao, W., Saul, I., Busto, R., Ginsberg, M.D. Transient changes of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression in hippocampus during moderate ischemia induced by bilateral common carotid artery occlusions in the rat. Mol. Brain Res. 92: 157-166, 2001.
  • Schmidt-Kastner, R., Truettner, J., Zhao, W., Belayev, L., Krieger, C., Busto, R., Ginsberg, M.D. Differential changes of bax, caspase-3 and p21 mRNA expression after transient focal brain ischemia in the rat. Mol. Brain Res.79: 88-101, 2000.
  • Schmidt-Kastner, R., Fliss, H., Hakim, A.M. Subtle neuronal death in striatum after short forebrain ischemia in rat detected by in situ end-labelling for DNA damage. Stroke 28:  163-170, 1997.
  • Wolf, H.K., Buslei, R., Schmidt-Kastner, R., Schmidt-Kastner, P.K., Pietsch, T., Wiestler, O.D., Blümcke, I. NeuN: A useful neuronal marker for diagnostic histopathology. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 44: 1167-1171, 1996.
  • Schmidt-Kastner, R., Wetmore, C., Olson, L. Comparative study of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA and protein at the cellular level suggests multiple roles in hippocampus, striatum and cortex.  Neuroscience 74: 161-183, 1996.
  • Schmidt-Kastner, R., Freund, T.F. Selective vulnerability of the hippocampus in brain ischemia. Commentary. Neuroscience 40: 599-636, 1991

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Teaching Interests

  • neuroscience, neuroanatomy, anatomy and embryology of internal organs, physiology (GI, kidney)

Honors and Awards

  • Heisenberg fellowship (1993-97), Dwight W.Warren Award for Excellence in Teaching (2007/08), 2014 Outstanding Course Director


  • Member of the Editorial Board of "Neuroscience" (IBRO Journal), 2011-present

Additional Information
The Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine offers students a variety of educational programs and degrees.
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road, BC-71
Boca Raton, FL 33431