Alcohol Research Training in Neuroscience

MSC 08 4740
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 272-4411
Fax: (505) 272-8082

Current Trainees of the ARTN Program

Johnny A. Kenton, Jr., B.Sc.

Lauren Topper

Mentor(s): Jonathan L. Brigman, Ph.D.

Graduate Program: Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

Project:  Impact of prenatal ethanol exposure on orbitofrontal cortex function

UNM-ARTN Support Period: August 2016-Current

Johnny is a Hispanic student who graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.Sc in Psychology. Johnny’s project focuses on rescuing the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on executive function using optogenetic stimulation of orbitofrontal cortex neurons coupled with in vivo electrophysiological recordings from these cells. He completed the Neurobiology of Alcoholism course in 2016 and the Developmental Neurotoxicology course in 2015. He passed his comprehensive exam in April of 2017 and advanced to candidacy.  He is planning to submit an F31 predoctoral fellowship application in August, 2017. Johnny is currently taking the Neurobiology of Disease mini-course and with this, he will complete all required coursework. Johnny is currently preparing a manuscript on the effects of GluN2B KO on a novel spatial discrimination touchscreen task.  For this study, he has contributed to experimental design, data analyses, and interpretation of results.  He is currently writing a manuscript reporting the findings of his study.  Johnny Attended a “Looking for a Postdoc” session at the Gordon Research Conference on Alcohol and the Nervous System, Galveston, TX, 2016.

Poster Presentations:

Kenton, J. A., Marquardt, K. and Brigman, J. L. Alterations in timing of neural activity in orbitofrontal projection neurons after prenatal alcohol exposure. Research Society on Alcoholism 2017, Denver, CO.

Kenton, J. A., Josey, M., Clark, B.J. and Brigman, J.L. Alterations in touchscreen pattern separation following moderate prenatal alcohol exposure in the mouse.  Society for Neuroscience Meeting 2016, San Diego, CA.

Kenton, J. A., Josey, M., Clark, B.J. and Brigman, J.L. Prenatal alcohol exposure impairs hippocampal-mediated pattern separation on touch-screen operant task.  Presented at: Gordon Research Conference Alcohol & the Nervous System Session: Alcohol and Decision Making, Galveston, TX, 2016.



Christy Magcalas, M.Sc.  

Kristin Marquardt

Mentor(s):  Derek Hamilton, Ph.D.

Graduate Program: Psychology

UNM-ARTN Support Period: February, 2014-Current

Project: Effects of moderate ethanol exposure on spatial navigation search strategies and hippocampal place cell firing.

Christy graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2012 with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Psychology and from the University of New Mexico in 2015 with a Master's Degree in Psychology. For her dissertation research, Christy is examining how prenatal exposure to moderate levels of ethanol alters spatial navigation search strategies and related hippocampal place cell firing fields. Christy formed her committee and took the Developmental Neurotoxicology course in the fall of 2013 and the Neurobiology of Alcoholism course in the fall of 2014. She submitted an F31 NRSA application in August 2015 and re-submitted in April 2016. The resubmission received a score of 24, but, unfortunately, it was not funded.  Psychology students complete a M.Sc. degree in-route to their Ph.D. degree. She defended her master’s thesis in May 2015 and passed with distinction. Additionally, she successfully defended her comprehensive exam in January 2016 and is now a doctoral candidate. She successfully proposed her dissertation project in August 2016 and is currently collecting her dissertation data.  While on the T32, Christy has been a co-first author on a paper (Behav Brain Res. 313:233-43, 2016); for this study, she designed and conducted experiments, analyzed and interpreted data, wrote parts of the paper, and edited the final version of the paper.  She has also been a co-author on 4 additional studies, contributing to experimental design, conduction of experiments, data analyses, interpretation of results, and final editing of the papers.   

 Selected Publications:

Hamilton DA, Barto D, Rodriguez CI, Magcalas CM, Fink BC, Rice JP, Bird CW, Davies S, Savage DD., 2014, Effects of moderate prenatal ethanol exposure and age on social behavior, spatial response perseveration errors and motor behavior. Behav Brain Res. 269:44-54.

Hamilton DA, Magcalas CM, Barto D, Bird CW, Rodriguez CI, Fink BC, Pellis SM, Davies S, Savage DD., 2014, Moderate prenatal alcohol exposure and quantification of social behavior in adult rats. J Vis Exp. Dec 14;(94).

Bird CW, Candelaria-Cook FT, Magcalas CM, Davies S, Valenzuela CF, Savage DD, Hamilton DA., 2015, Moderate prenatal alcohol exposure enhances GluN2B containing NMDA receptor binding and ifenprodil sensitivity in rat agranular insular cortex. PLoS One. 10:e0118721.

Rodriguez CI*, Magcalas CM*, Barto D, Fink BC, Rice JP, Bird CW, Davies S, Pentkowski NS, Savage DD, Hamilton DA., 2016,  Effects of sex and housing on social, spatial, and motor behavior in adult rats exposed to moderate levels of alcohol during prenatal development. Behav Brain Res. 313:233-43.  *Co-first author.

Bird CW, Barto D, Magcalas CM, Rodriguez CI, Donaldson T, Davies S, Savage DD, Hamilton DA. Ifenprodil infusion in agranular insular cortex alters social behavior and vocalizations in rats exposed to moderate levels of ethanol during prenatal development., 2017, Behav Brain Res. 320:1-11

Poster Presentations at Scientific Meetings:

Magcalas CM, Wagner JL, Davies S, Savage DD, Hamilton DA. Differential Spatial Extinction Behavior in Male and Female Rats Prenatally Exposed to Moderate Levels of Ethanol. Shared Knowledge Conference, Albuquerque, NM. April 2017.

Magcalas CM, Wagner JL, Davies S, Savage DD, Hamilton DA. Differential Spatial Extinction Behavior in Male and Female Rats Prenatally Exposed to Moderate Levels of Ethanol. Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, San Diego, CA. October 2016.

Magcalas CM, Wagner JL, Davies S, Savage DD, Hamilton DA. Differential Spatial Extinction Behavior in Male and Female Rats Prenatally Exposed to Moderate Levels of Ethanol. Research Society on Alcoholism annual meeting, New Orleans, LA. June 2016.

Magcalas CM, Barto D, Bird CW, Davies S, Savage DD, Hamilton DA. Female Rats Exposed to Moderate Levels of Ethanol During Gestation Display Modified Spatial Navigation Behavior. Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, Chicago, IL. October 2015.

Magcalas CM, Barto D, Bird CW, Davies S, Savage DD, Hamilton DA. Female Rats Exposed to Moderate Levels of Ethanol During Gestation Display Modified Spatial Navigation Search Patterns. Research Society on Alcoholism annual meeting, San Antonio, TX. June 2015.

Magcalas CM, Perrone-Bizzozero NI, Calhoun VD, Bustillo J, Perez EE, Hamilton DA. Examining the Effects of a Chronic Exposure to Phencyclidine on a Rodent System: An Analysis of Functional Network Connectivity, Behavioral Performance, and mRNA Expression. Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, Washington DC. November 2014.

Magcalas CM, Rodrigues CI, Barto D, Rice JP, Fink BC, Bird CW, Davies, S, Savage DD, Hamilton, DA. Effects of social environment on motor and spatial behavior in rats exposed to moderate levels of ethanol or saccharin during gestation. Research Society on Alcoholism annual meeting, Belleview, WA. June 2014.

Magcalas CM, Rodrigues CI, Barto D, Rice JP, Fink BC, Bird CW, Davies, S, Savage DD, Hamilton, DA. Effects of social environment on motor and spatial behavior in rats exposed to moderate levels of ethanol or saccharin during gestation. International Behavioral Neuroscience Society annual meeting, Las Vegas, NV. June 2014.

Magcalas CM, Perrone-Bizzozero NI, Calhoun VD, Bustillo J, Hamilton DA. Examining Resting State Functional Network Connectivity and Behavioral Performance in a Rat Chronically Exposed to Phencyclidine. Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, San Diego, CA. November 2013


John Pinner, M.Sc.

Robert Oliver

Mentor(s):  Julia Stephen, Ph.D. and James Cavanagh, Ph.D.

Graduate Program: Psychology

Project:  Cognitive dysfunction in patients with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) as measured with magnetoencephalography (MEG)

UNM-ARTN Support Period: August 2014-Current

John graduated from Adams State College, Alamosa, CO in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Music.  John is using multimodal neuroimaging (MEG, EEG and MRI) to better characterize structural and functional deficits with the goal of identifying sensitive and specific markers for developmental brain disorders.  In particularly, he is using joint Independent Component Analysis (jICA) of DTI and MEG in adolescents with FASD.  For this study, he has contributed to experimental design, data analyses, and interpretation of results.  He is currently writing a manuscript reporting the findings of his study.  John configured his committee of studies and took the Neurobiology of Alcoholism course in the Fall of 2014. John will take Developmental Neurotoxicology and Problem-Based Bioethics in the Fall of 2017. John completed his M.Sc. in May 2015. John is defending his Comprehensive Exam in May, 2017.  He is planning to submit an F31 application in August, 2017. 

Poster Presentations:

J.F.L Pinner; B.A. Coffman; A. Bolanos, P.W. Kodituwakku; J.M. Stephen.  Joint Independent Component Analysis (jICA) of DTI and MEG in adolescents with FASD. SFN Meeting, San Diego, CA (2016).

Pinner, J.F.L. & Cavanagh, J.F. (2015). The experience of conflict reduces risky decision making. Presented at Society for Psychophysiological Research Seattle, WA (October 2015).

A.D. Bolanos, B.A. Coffman, J.F.L. Pinner, P. Kodituwakku, J.M. Stephen, (2015, October). Magnetoencephalography study on multisensory integration in adolescents with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Presented at the 45th Annual Society for Neuroscience National Meeting, Chicago, IL.

A.D. Bolanos, B.A. Coffman, J.F.L. Pinner, P. Kodituwakku, J.M. Stephen, (2015, June) Multisensory Integration in Adolescents with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Presented at the 38th Annual RSA Scientific Meeting, San Antonio, TX.

A.D. Bolanos, B.A. Coffman, J.F.L. Pinner, P. Kodituwakku, J.M. Stephen, (2015, November) Altered Neural Oscillations during Multisensory Integration in Adolescents with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Presented at the 2015 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), Seattle, WA.

A.D. Bolanos, B.A. Coffman, J.F.L. Pinner, P. Kodituwakku, J.M. Stephen, (2015, October) Magnetoencephalography study on multisensory integration in adolescents with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Presented at the 45th Annual Society for Neuroscience National Meeting, Chicago, IL.

A.D. Bolanos, B.A. Coffman, J.F.L. Pinner, P. Kodituwakku, J.M. Stephen, (2015, June) Multisensory Integration in Adolescents with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Presented at the 38th Annual RSA Scientific Meeting, San Antonio, TX.

J.F.L Pinner; B.A. Coffman; A. Bolanos, P.W. Kodituwakku; J.M. Stephen.  Joint Independent Component Analysis (jICA) of brain structure and function in adolescents with FASD and healthy controls. RSA Meeting, San Antonio, TX, June 2015.


Joshua Sanchez, B.Sc.

j_sanchez

Mentor(s): Erin Milligan Ph.D.

Graduate Program: Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

Project:  Effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on spinal glial-immune responses underlying neuropathic touch hypersensitivity

UNM-ARTN Support Period: August 2015-Current

Joshua graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.Sc in Psychology. Joshua’s project focuses on determining the spinal glial and immune cell effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on chronic pain. His studies have demonstrated that prenatal alcohol exposure leads to a predisposition to developing peripheral neuropathy in middle-aged rats. For this study, he has contributed to experimental design, data analyses, and interpretation of results.  He is currently writing a manuscript reporting the findings of his study.  He has also been a co-author on 2 additional studies (Table 5A), contributing to experimental design, conduction of experiments, data analyses, interpretation of results, and final editing of the papers. He completed the Neurobiology of Alcoholism course in 2014 and the Developmental Neurotoxicology course in 2015. Joshua passed his comprehensive exam and advanced to candidacy in September of 2016. In addition, he was awarded a prestigious FASD study group 2016 travel award to attend and give an oral presentation at the annual FASD-SG meeting. As part of the award he was able to attend the student lunch where he had the opportunity to network with researchers in the field of alcohol. In April 2017, Joshua submitted an F31 predoctoral fellowship application.

Selected Publications:

Noor S, Sanchez JJ, Vanderwall AG, Sun MS, Maxwell JR, Davies S, Jantzie LL, Petersen TR, Savage DD, Milligan ED., 2017, Prenatal alcohol exposure potentiates chronic neuropathic pain, spinal glial and immune cell activation and alters sciatic nerve and DRG cytokine levels. Brain Behav Immun. 61:80-95.

Whitehead RA, Lam NL, Sun MS, Sanchez J, Noor S, Vanderwall AG, Petersen TR, Martin HB, Milligan ED., 2017, Chronic Sciatic Neuropathy in Rat Reduces Voluntary Wheel-Running Activity With Concurrent Chronic Mechanical Allodynia. Anesth Analg. 124:346-355

Oral Presentation:

J.J. Sanchez, M.S. Sun, N.W. Harris, S. Davies, D.D. Savage, E.D. Milligan. “Determining the long-term effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on spinal glial-immune responses underlying neuropathic touch hypersensitivity”. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Study Group Meeting, New Orleans, LA (2016). 

Poster Presentations at Scientific Meetings:

J. J. Sanchez, J. E. Sanchez, M.V. Nysus, S. Davies, J.P. Norenberg, D. D. Savage, E. D. Milligan. “Enduring pathological effects of     prenatal alcohol exposure on touch hypersensitivity following peripheral nerve damage via neuroimmune mechanisms in adult rat offspring”. Research Society on Alcoholism Conference, Denver, CO (2017).  

J. J. Sanchez, M. S. Sun, S. Davies, D. D. Savage, E. D. Milligan. “Prenatal alcohol exposure has enduring effects on spinal glial-immune responses following minor peripheral nerve damage leading to enhanced neuropathic touch hypersensitivity” Society for Neuroscience Conference, San Diego CA (2016).

J.J. Sanchez, S. Noor, M. S. Sun, N. W. Harris, S. Davies, A. G. Vanderwall, T. Anderson, J. P. Norenberg, D. D. Savage, E. D. Milligan. “Determining the long-term effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on spinal glial-immune responses underlying neuropathic touch hypersensitivity”. Research Society on alcoholism Conference, New Orleans, LA (2016).

J. J. Sanchez, A. G. Vanderwall, M. S. Sun, S. Davies, T. Anderson, J. P. Norenberg, D. D. Savage, E. D. Milligan. “Characterizing the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on glial-immune responses during chronic neuropathic pain”. Society for Neuroscience Conference, Chicago IL (2015).