Carrie McAllister

2013 - Ph.D.
Primary office:
Mentor: Nancy Muma, Ph.D.


Carrie earned her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Kansas in December 2013 under the mentorship of Dr. Nancy Muma, investigating the ability of estradiol to accelerate the therapeutic effects of SSRIs for the treatment of depression. Following that, she moved to the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas for her postdoctoral training, where she led a collaborative drug discovery project to identify and characterize novel small molecules for the treatment of substance use disorders under the mentorship of Dr. Kathryn Cunningham. Through her research at UTMB, she successfully competed for a place in ASENT’s Neurotherapeutics Discovery Development Course for Academic Scientists (NINDS R25NS077582, 2015) and won numerous awards, including the Elizabeth Fitzgerald Sporar Prize for Distinguished Initiatives in Addiction Research Travel Award (2015), NIDA Travel Award (to attend the International Society for Serotonin Research meeting, 2016, where her poster presentation won third place), and Outstanding Postdoctoral Fellow Poster Award (Clinical and Translational Research Forum, UTMB, 2016). Carrie also served on the inaugural leadership team for the UTMB Postdoctoral Association from 2015-2016.

In June 2016, Carrie joined Fannin Innovation Studio in Houston, Texas as an Entrepreneurial Fellow, where she is training to lead product development activities for early-stage life sciences startup companies. As Product Development Manager for Fannin’s portfolio company BreviTest Technologies, LLC, she successfully completed an NIH-sponsored Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program in early-stage business model development, served as contact PI on an SBIR Phase I grant from NIDA to develop the BreviTest portable ELISA platform for the measurement of THC intoxication, and is currently managing another NIDA SBIR Phase I grant to adapt the BreviTest platform as a point-of-care device for the detection and monitoring of prescription opioid use.

In her free time, Carrie is working towards a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states, and is a volunteer crew member on the ELISSA, a 19th-century historic tall ship in Galveston, Texas.

Education

Educational Background

  • 2005 B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, University of Arizona
  • 2006-2008 Research Associate, LJ Roberts Center for Alzheimer's Research, Sun City, AZ

Research

I am currently a fourth year Neuroscience student in Dr. Nancy Muma’s lab. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly used to treat mood disorders. SSRIs are clinically effective after 2-3 weeks of treatment, the time it takes to induce desensitization of 5-HT1A receptor signaling. Estrogen treatment for 2 days causes a partial desensitization of 5-HT1A receptor signaling in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), as measured by a decrease in the release of oxytocin and adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) in response to 5-HT1A receptor stimulation. The mechanism by which estrogen induces 5-HT1A receptor desensitization is unknown; however, our studies suggest that the recently identified membrane estrogen receptor GPR30 may be involved. My current work involves investigating the potential mechanisms by which GPR30 may mediate estrogen-induced 5-HT1A receptor desensitization.

Selected Publications

Published abstracts:

McAllister CE, Anastasio NC, Stutz SJ, Hartley RM, Fink FH, Fongang B, Kudlicki A, Gilbertson SR, Chen Y-C, Neelankantan H, Watson CS, Moeller FG, Cunningham KA. (2016) “Investigating a putative protein:protein interaction between the serotonin (5-HT) 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT2AR) and 5-HT2CR.” Oral Presentation. International Society for Serotonin Research, Seattle, WA.

McAllister CE, Anastasio NC, Stutz SJ, Hartley RM, Fink FH, Fongang B, Kudlicki A, Gilbertson SR, Chen Y-C, Neelankantan H, Watson CS, Moeller FG, Cunningham KA. (2016) “Exploring a putative protein:protein interaction between the serotonin (5-HT) 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT2AR) and 5-HT2CR.” Poster. Keystone Symposium, Keystone, CO.

McAllister CE, Anastasio NC, Stutz SJ, Hartley RM, Fink FH, Fongang B, Kudlicki A, Gilbertson SR, Chen Y-C, Neelankantan H, Watson CS, Moeller FG, Cunningham KA. (2015) “Exploring a putative protein:protein interaction between the serotonin (5-HT) 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT2AR) and 5-HT2CR.” Poster. Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL.

McAllister CE, Hartley RM, Zhang G, Fox RG, Anastasio NC, Wild CT, Zhou J, Cunningham KA. (2015) “In vivo evaluation of novel 5-HT2C receptor positive allosteric modulator CYD-1-79.” Oral presentation: College on the Problems of Drug Dependence annual meeting. Phoenix, AZ.


Contact Information

The University of Kansas
Neuroscience Graduate Program
c/o Dr. Rick Dobrowsky
School of Pharmacy, Ste 2001-D
2010 Becker Drive
Lawrence, KS 66047
Telephone: (785) 864-3531 or (785) 864-3893
E-mail: dobrowsky@ku.edu or psteffan@ku.edu

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