Nathan Rustay

Ph.D. Graduate (2004)

nathanRustayUndergraduate degree

B.S. (Psychology) 1998, Washington State University

Training at OHSU

1998 - 2004

Second Year Project

(2000) The development of rapid tolerance to the ataxic effects of ethanol in HOT and COLD selected lines of mice. (Mentor: John Crabbe, Ph.D.)


(2004) Genetic and pharmacological characterization of rapid tolerance to the ataxic effects of ethanol in mice. (Mentor: John Crabbe, Ph.D.)

Current position

Sr. Medical Writer, Global Medical Publishing, Abbott Laboratories

Previous Positions

  • Sr. Research Pharmacologist, Neuroscience Research; Sr. Scientist I, Translational Sciences, Global Pharmaceutical R&D, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute of Mental Health, Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Bethesda, MD

Background & Interests

As an undergraduate psychology major, I became very interested in how the brain can adapt through experience, leading to stable changed in behavior. I was fortunate to get involved in a lab which studies cocaine self-administration and seeking behavior.  This experience solidified my interest in neuroscience and steered me in the direction of OHSU's Department of Behavioral Neuroscience. The scientific expertise of the faculty is on par with the best institutions in the country. I found an interest in behavioral genetics, focusing my research on the development of tolerance to alcohol's incoordinating effects, using several different genetic mouse models. My dissertation project incorporated both behavioral genetics and pharmacology in an attempt to elucidate the neurotransmitter systems and receptors responsible for the development of tolerance to alcohol. Importantly, my training at OHSU was not limited to the scientific process. Throughout my time at OHSU, scientific writing in the form of abstracts, posters, and manuscripts was strongly encouraged (mandated?). Unbeknownst to me, this aspect would be of great importance to my current career. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health, I took a position in the Neuroscience Drug Discovery group at Abbott Laboratories. After 4 years and various roles within the drug discovery, I moved to Abbott's Global Medical Publishing group.

As a medical writer at Abbott, I am responsible for implementing activities related to the development of scientific publications, including abstracts, posters, oral presentations, and manuscripts. That is, under the guidance of internal Abbott and external authors, I prepare the results of Abbott's neuroscience and pain clinical trials for publication. My role also entails many aspects of project management, requiring the communication of our writing process, deliverables, and timelines to the publication team members. The scientific knowledge and publication training gained at OHSU prepared me well for my current position.

I look back at my time at OHSU fondly. Not only did I get a great education and excellent mentoring, I met many wonderful people - including my wife!

Recent Publications

Day M, Chandran P, Luo F, Rustay NR, Markosyan S, LeBlonde D, Fox GB (2011) Latrepirdine increases cerebral glucose utilization in aged mice as measured by [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography. Neuroscience, 189, 299-304.

Zhu CZ, Chin C-L, Rustay NR, Zhong C, Mikusa J, Chandran P, Salyers A, Wensink E, Silmer G, Lewis L, Gauvin D, Baker S, Pai M, Tovcimak A, Brown J, Komater VA, Hradil V, Fox GB, Decker MW, Jacobson PB, Gopalakrishnan M, Lee L, Honore MP (2011) In vivo characterization of the co-administration of α4β2 neuronal acetylcholine receptor agonist and its positive allosteric modulator in experimental pain in rats. Biochem Pharmacol, 82(8), 967-76.

Perez-Cruz C, Nolte MW, van Gaalen M, Rustay NR, Termont A, Tanghe A, Kirchhoff F, Ebert U (2011) Reduced spine density in specific regions of CA1 pyramidal neurons in two transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. J Neurosci, 31(10), 3926-3934.

Luo F, Rustay NR, Seifert T, Roesner B, Hradil VP, Hillen H, Ebert U, Severin JM, Cox BF, Day M, Llano DA, Fox GB (2010) Magnetic resonance imaging detection and time course of cerebral microhemorrhages during passive immunotherapy in living amyloid precursor protein transgenic mice. J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 335(3), 580-588.

Luo F, Rustay NR, Ebert U, Hradil VP, Cole TB, Llano DA, Mudd SR, Zhang Y, Fox GB, Day M (2012) Characterizations of 7- and 19-month old Tg2576 mice using multimodal in vivo imaging: Limitations as a translatable model of Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiol Aging, 33(5), 933-944. Epub 2010 Oct 18.

Cassar SC, Tovcimak AE, Rustay NR, Ellis TA, Hooker BA, Witte DG, LI J, Buck WR, Scharf D, Muller U, Jeromin A, Wang KKW, Waring JW (2010) Comparing levels of biochemical markers in CSF from cannulated and non-cannulated rats. J Neurosci Methods, 192(2), 249-253.

Rustay NR, Cronin EA, Curzon P, Markosyan S, Bitner RS, Ellis TA, Waring JF, Decker MW, Rueter LE, Browman KE (2010) Mice expressing the Swedish APP mutation on a 129 genetic background demonstrate consistent behavioral deficits and pathological markers of Alzheimer's disease. Brain Research, 1311, 136-147.

Bailey KR, Rustay NR, Crawley JN (2006) Behavioral phenotyping of transgenic and knockout mice: Practical concerns and potential pitfalls. ILAR Journal, 47, 124-131.

Rustay NR, Wrenn CC, Kinney JW, Holmes A, Bailey KR, Sullivan TL, Harris AP, Long KC, Saavedra MC, Starosta G, Innerfield CE, Yang RJ, Dreiling JL, Crawley JN (2005) Galanin impairs performance on learning and memory tasks: Findings from galanin transgenic and GAL-R1 knockout mice. Neuropeptides, 39, 239-243.