My dissertation work focuses on tinnitus, the perception of sound when no external stimulus is present. The goal of my project is to understand the underlying mechanisms that produce neuroplastic changes in the central nervous system following sound damage induced tinnitus and to investigate why many individuals with tinnitus suffer from depression. Using an animal model of sound induced tinnitus, this project will evaluate both early and long-term changes in behavior, neuronal activity and early changes to neuroplastic protein marker expression in various auditory and non-auditory brain regions.
Academic year joined the NS program: 2012
Mentor: Dianne Durham, PhD
Mentor’s Academic Department: Anatomy and Cell Biology, KUMC
Andrea Nuckolls (maiden name), Cole Worley, Christopher Leto, Hongyu Zhang, Jill K. Morris, John A. Stanford. (2012) Tongue force and tongue motility are differently affected by unilateral vs bilateral nigrostriatal dopamine depletion in rats. Behavioural Brain Research; 234, 343-348.
Christopher Neal, Stefanie Kennon-McGill, Andrea Freemyer, Axel Shum, Hinrich Staecker, Dianne Durham. (2015) Hair cell counts in a rat model of sound damage: Effects of tissue preparation and identification of regions of hair cell loss. Hearing Research; 328, 120-132.
Andrea Nuckolls (maiden name), Cara Katzer, Stefanie Kennon-McGill, Hinrich Staecker, Tom Imig, Dianne Durham. Effects of unilateral sound damage on metabolic activity in rat cochlear nuclei. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, 2014.
Andrea Freemyer, Christopher Neal, Jennifer Nelson-Brantley, Hinrich Staecker, Dianne Durham. Neuroplasticity and depression in a rat model of tinnitus. Association for Research in Otolaryngology Annual Conference, 2016.
Selected Awards & Honors
Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship