Janel Boyce-Rustay

Ph.D. Graduate (2003)

Janel Boyce-RustayUndergraduate Degree  

(1999) B.A. Psychobiology, Beaver College (now Arcadia University)

Training at OHSU  

1999 - 2003

Second Year Project  

(2000) Dopamine D3 receptor antagonist effects on the motivational effects of ethanol. (Mentors: Fred Risinger, Ph.D.; Chris Cunningham, Ph.D.)


(2003) The role of NMDA receptor binding sites in ethanol's hedonic properties (Mentor: Chris Cunningham, Ph.D.)

Postdoctoral Training

(2004-2006) Postdoctoral fellow, NIAAA, Section of Behavioral Science and Genetics (Advisor: Andrew Holmes, Ph.D.)

Previous Positions 

  • Associate Research Investigator Pharmacologist, Neuroscience Discovery Pain, Abbott Laboratories
  • Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate, Development Regulatory Affairs, Abbott Laboratories
  • Manager, Regulatory Affairs, Area & Affiliate Strategy - US & Canada, Abbott Laboratories
  • Associate Director, Regulatory Affairs, AbbVie Inc.

Current Position

Regulatory Affairs, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA

Background & Interests 

As a junior, one of my required classes was 'psychology as a natural science'. I really enjoyed studying the principles and theories of learning, motivation, and behavioral neuroscience. So, I decided to investigate the effects of caffeine and caffeine cues on mood in caffeine dependent subjects for my senior thesis project. While conducting this experiment, I became very interested in studying drug abuse.

The foremost thing that drew me to OHSU was the majority of research being conducted in the department focused on drug abuse. Going into interviews and even after I arrived at in the department, I didn't have a research focus. I knew that I wanted to work primarily in behavior and drug abuse, but what direction I wasn't sure. That is what is so great about the rotations. I learned so much during the rotations and began focus on behavioral pharmacology of alcohol reward. My dissertation project used a behavioral pharmacological approach to elucidate the role of NMDA receptors in ethanol reward, specifically in the acquisition of ethanol-induced place preference.

As a native East Coaster, I thought Portland winters weren't the greatest. But after being back on the East Coast for a summer in Washington, D.C., I realized how much I missed the beautiful Portland summers! Portland is a great place to live. The cost of living in Portland isn't very high, there are numerous restaurants with amazing food that are affordable on graduate student stipends, incredible wine from the local Willamette Valley, and extraordinary outdoor activities. I must say that I really enjoyed my time in Portland and in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience. All the faculty are friendly, and want to see the students in the department succeed. I think that's what makes the department so great and what makes it stand out from other programs. 


Hudzik TJ, Basso A, Boyce-Rustay JM, Bracken W, Browman KE, Drescher K, Esbenshade TA, Loberg LI, Lynch JJ 3rd, Brioni JD (2013) Assessment of the abuse liability of ABT-288, a novel histamine H3 receptor agonist. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2013 Feb 28.

Beebe X, Darczak D, Henry RF, Vortherms T, Janis R, Namovic M, Donnelly-Roberts D, Kage KL, Surowy C, Milicic I, Niforatos W, Swensen A, Marsh KC, Wetter JM, Franklin P, Baker S, Zhong C, Simler G, Gomez E, Boyce-Rustay JM, Zhu CZ, Stewart AO, Jarvis MF, Scott VE (2012) Synthesis and SAR of 4-aminocyclopentapyrrolidines as n-type Ca2+ channel blockers with analgesic activity. Bioorg Med Chem. Jul 1;20(13):4128-39. Epub 2012 May 4.

Scott VE, Vortherms TA, Niforatos W, Swensen AM, Neelands T, Milicic I, Banfor PN, King A, Zhong C, Simler G, Zhan C, Bratcher N, Boyce-Rustay JM, Zhu CZ, Bhatia P, Doherty G, Mack H, Stewart AO, Jarvis MF (2012) A-1048400 is a novel, orally active, state-dependent neuronal calcium channel blocker that produces dose-dependent antinociception without altering hemodynamic function in rats. Biochem Pharmacol. Feb 1;83(3):406-18. Epub 2011 Nov 16.

Boyce-Rustay JM, Simler GH, McGaraughty S, Chu KL, Wensink EJ, Vasudevan A, Honore P (2010) Characterization of Fasudil in preclinical models of pain. J Pain. Oct;11(10):941-9. Epub 2010 Mar 24.

Boyce-Rustay JM, Zhong C, Kohnken R, Wensink EJ, Simler GH, Baker SJ, Decker MW, Honore P (2009)Comparison of mechanical allodynia and the affective component of inflammatory pain in rats. Neuropharmacology, EPub. 

Boyce-Rustay JM & Jarvis MP (2009) Neuropathic Pain: Models and Mechanisms. Current Pharm Design, 15:1711-1716.  

Boyce-Rustay JM, Palachick B, Hefner K, Karlsson R-M, Millstein RA, Harvey-Smith J & Holmes A (2008) Desiperamine potentiation of the acute depressant effects of ethanol: modulation by alpha2-adrenoreceptors and stress. Neuropharmacology, 55:803-811.  

Boyce-Rustay JM, Janos A & Holmes A (2008) Comparison of the effects of swim stress on EtOH-related behaviors in C57BL/6J, DBA/2J and BALB/CbyJ mice. Behavioural Brain Research,    186:133-137.  

Boyce-Rustay JM, Cameron HA & Holmes A (2007) Stress increases sensitivity to the intoxicating effects of ethanol in mice. Physiology & Behavior, 187:455-466.

Boyce-Rustay JM, Cameron HA & Holmes A. (2007) Stress increases sensitivity to the intoxicating effects of ethanol in mice. Physiology & Behavior, EPub.

Carroll JC, Boyce-Rustay JM, Millstein R, Yang R, Wiedholz LM, Murphy DL & Holmes A. (2007) Effects of mild early life stress on abnormal emotional behaviors in 5-HTT knockout mice. Behavior Genetics, 37:214-222.

Boyce-Rustay JM, Wiedholz LM, Millstein R, Carroll J, Murphy DL & Holmes A. (2006) Genetic inactivation of the serotonin transporter alters the behavioral actions of ethanol in mice. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 30:1951-1965.

Boyce-Rustay JM & Holmes A. (2006) Ethanol-related behaviors in NMDA receptor NR2A KO mice. Psychopharmacology, 187: 455-466.

Daws LC, Montanez S, Munn JL, Owens WA, Baganz NL, Boyce-Rustay JM, Millstein RA, Wiedholz LM, Murphy DL & Holmes A. Ethanol inhibits clearance of brain serotonin by a serotonin transporter-independent mechanism. Journal of Neuroscience, 26: 6431-6438.

Boyce-Rustay JM & Holmes A. (2006) Genetic inactivation of the NMDA receptor NR2A subunit has anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects in mice. Neuropsychopharmacology, 31:2405-14.

Boyce-Rustay JM & Holmes A. (2005) Functional roles of NMDA receptor NR2A and NR2B subunits in the acute intoxicating effects of ethanol in mice, Synapse, 56: 222-225.

Boyce-Rustay JM & Cunningham CL. (2004) The role of NMDA receptor binding sites in ethanol place conditioning, Behavioral Neuroscience, 118: 822-834.

Boyce-Rustay JM & Risinger FO (2003) Dopamine D3 Receptor Knockout mice and the motivational effects of ethanol. Pharmacology Biochemistry Behavior, 75: 373-379.

Boyce JM & Risinger FO (2002) Dopamine D3 receptor antagonist effects on the motivational effects of ethanol. Alcohol, 281:47-55.

Risinger FO & Boyce JM (2002) Conditioning flavor and the acquisition of taste conditioning to drugs of abuse in mice. Psychopharmacology, 160:225-232.

Risinger FO & Boyce JM (2002) 5-HT1A receptor blockade and the motivational profile of ethanol. Life Science, 71:707-715.

Boyce JM & Risinger FO (2000) Enhancement of ethanol reward by dopamine D3 receptor blockade. Brain Research, 880(1-2); 202-206.

Last updated: March 3, 2015