Christopher Kliethermes

Ph.D. Graduate (2005)

Christopher KliethermesUndergraduate degree

B.S. (Biology and Psychology), 2000, Lincoln University

Second Year Project

Validation of a modified mirrored chamber sensitive to anxiolytics and anxiogenics in mice

PhD, (2005)

Genetic Influences on Mouse Measures of Novelty Seeking and Drug Abuse. (Mentor: John Crabbe, PhD)

Previous Position

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The Ernest Gallo Clinic & Research Center, University of California, San Francisco

Current Position

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Drake University


Background & Interests

During my junior of college I assisted my undergraduate advisor with a project that examined the effects of protein intake on wheel running and the development of obesity in rats. Because of this project and subsequent coursework, I became interested in how biological approaches might be used to understand the role of the brain as the source of behavior.

My OHSU experience

When I first came to OHSU, I honestly didn't have too much of an idea what I wanted to do for a research project. I really liked the generic idea of studying how biology controls behavior (which I am still generically interested in), but hadn't really thought much beyond that to the specifics of which behaviors to study, what biological substrates might be involved, or what was important from the perspective of basic or clinical research. After rotations through molecular neuroscience labs, I found my home in John Crabbe's lab studying ethanol-related behaviors in mice. Although extremely biased and having absolutely no external frame of reference for this statement, I can unabashedly say that the mentoring I received from John along with the guidance from others in the department was simply remarkable. For my second year project, I started out working on the problem of measuring anxiety-like behavior in mice during ethanol withdrawal. This project has really shaped my approach to modeling complex behaviors in animals, in that I realized it is not really possible to divorce the concept you believe a task is modeling from the actual behaviors being measured. I continued this notion through my dissertation work, where I used genetic and pharmacological tools to examine multiple mouse measures of exploratory behavior and novelty seeking.

Since most of the other pages have already commented on the livability, etc., of Portland, I'll limit my remarks to the beer. Although California might have a legitimate claim to having started the "microbrew revolution," it really took hold in Portland. There are so many great beers and breweries in the area it really doesn't seem fair for those of us who have moved away. Oh, and the outdoors are great too.


CL Kliethermes, DA Finn, JC Crabbe. Validation of a modified mirrored chamber for the detection of anxiogenesis and anxiolysis. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2003 Sep;169(2):190-197.

CL Kliethermes, P Metten, JK Belknap, KJ Buck, JC Crabbe. Selection for pentobarbital withdrawal severity: correlated differences in withdrawal from other sedative drugs. Brain Research 2004 May 29;1009(12):17-25.

CL Kliethermes, K Cronise, JC Crabbe. Anxiety-like behavior in mice in two apparatus during withdrawal from chronic ethanol vapor inhalation. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research 2004 Jul 28(7):1012-1019.

CL Kliethermes. Anxiety-like behaviors following chronic ethanol exposure. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 2005 Jan;28(8):837-850.

CL Kliethermes, K Cronise, JC Crabbe. Home cage activity and ingestive behaviors in mice following chronic ethanol vapor inhalation. Physiology & Behavior 2005 Jul 21;85(4):479-488.

CL Kliethermes, JC Crabbe. Genetic independence of mouse measures of novelty seeking. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2006 Mar 28;103(13):5018-23.

CL Kliethermes, JC Crabbe. Pharmacological and genetic influences on hole-board behaviors in mice. Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior, 2006 Sep;85(1):57-65. 

CL Kliethermes, HM Kamens, JC Crabbe. Drug reward and intake in lines of mice selectively bred for divergent exploration of a hole-board apparatus. Genes, Brain & Behavior 2006 Nov 27.

CA Ponder, CL Kliethermes, M Drew, J Muller, K Das, VB Risbrough, JC Crabbe, TC Gilliam, AA Palmer. Conditioned fear and innate anxiety share common genetic mechanisms that comprise aspects of emotionality. Genes, Brain & Behavior, 2007 Nov;6(8):736-49.