Christina Gremel, PhD

Ph.D. Graduate (2008)

Gremel-ScaledUndergraduate Education

(2001) BS Neuroscience, University of Minnesota

Training at OHSU (2002-2008)   

Second Year Project (2004)   

Disrupting expression of ethanol conditioned place preference with ethanol does not prevent its extinction

Dissertation (2008) (mentor Chris Cunningham, Ph.D.) 

Involvement of the amygdala and nucleus accumbens in ethanol-conditioned reinforcement in mice

Postdoctoral/current position

Section on In-Vivo Neural Function, Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience, NIAAA/NIH, Bethesda, MD. Mentors Dr. Rui Costa and Dr. Dave Lovinger.    


Background and interests. 

Overall, I am interested in the neural basis of learned behavior in health and disease. My goal is to understand how changes in neural circuits produce experience-dependent changes in learned behaviors.  At OHSU, my dissertation work examined neural mechanisms within limbic circuitry underlying cue-induced ethanol-seeking behaviors. In my post-doctoral work, I have investigated specific neural mechanisms within corticostriatal circuits controlling the shift between goal-directed and habitual actions. I believe in taking an integrative experimental approach to examine neural circuits underlying learned behavior. I hope to further our understanding first of how learning is represented and executed, and secondly how drugs of abuse and disease may co-opt these processes.    

My OHSU Experience   

When I hear from others about their terrible graduate school experience, I often proceed to gleefully relate what a wonderful time I had during my Ph.D time. Besides thoroughly enjoying doing research with and being mentored by Chris Cunningham, I found that graduate school at OHSU provided a rich diversity of neuroscience training and support. Within the BEHN department itself, there was a broad array of research interests, and wonderful faculty. The attention to and investment in their graduate students is indicative of the supportive and collaborative environment within BEHN. Together with the Vollum next door and other neuroscience departments throughout OHSU, the exposure to first-rate neuroscience research provided a broad integrative training foundation that has been extremely useful as I continue in my career. What I really enjoyed about my time at OHSU, was the ability to focus seriously on science in a fairly laid back atmosphere.  The ease of daily life in Portland, coupled with the wonderful city and easy wilderness access allowed for a lot of fun to be had. Where else can you climb a mountain, ski down, and make it back in time for morning lab meeting?

Page Last Updated: October 3, 2013