Kellie Gross

Ph.D. 2017

E-MAIL: gross684@umn.edu

Thesis Title:

mGluR5 Structural Plasticity in the Nucleus Accumbens: Characterization, Mechanism, and Sex Differences

Current Position:

Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Physiology, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Undergraduate Institution and Major:

Ohio Wesleyan University, B.A. in Neuroscience, Psychology, 2012

Graduate Advisor:

Thesis Committee Members:

Description of Graduate Research:

I use molecular biology and neuroanatomical techniques to study the effects of group I mGluR signaling on structural plasticity in the nucleus accumbens. The group I mGluRs, mGluR1 and mGluR5, are often thought to have similar functions in regions where they are co-expressed, however, in the nucleus accumbens, we have found that these receptors actually have opposing effects on neuronal structure. I am currently working to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes. Group, I mGluR-induced structural plasticity in the nucleus accumbens may be important to both naturally motivated behaviors and addiction.

Research Categories:

  • Drug Abuse and Addiction
  • Neuroendocrine and Homeostatic Systems

Graduate Level Awards and Honors:

  • Morris Smithberg Memorial Prize, 2013
  • Graduate School Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 2012

Graduate Level Publications:

  • Tonn Eisinger KR, Gross KS, Head BP, Mermelstein PG. Interactions between estrogen receptors and metabotropic glutamate receptors and their impact on drug addiction in females. Horm Behav. 2018 Mar 2. pii: S0018-506X(18)30021-7.
  • Martinez LA, Gross KS, Himmler BT, Emmitt NL, Peterson BM, Zlebnik NE, Foster Olive M, Carroll ME, Meisel RL, Mermelstein PG. Estradiol facilitation of cocaine self-administration in female rats requires activation of mGluR5. eNeuro. 2016 Oct 25;3(5).
  • Gross KS, Martinez LA, Olive MF, Meisel RL, Mermelstein PG. Opposite effects of mGluR1a and mGluR5 activation on nucleus accumbens medium spiny neuron dendritic spine density. PLoS One. 2016 Sep 12;11(9):e0162755.

Graduate Level Abstracts:

  • Gross K, Meisel R, Mermelstein P. (2015) Opposing effects of group I mGluRs on dendritic spine density in the rat nucleus accumbens. Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.
  • Gross K, Meisel R, Mermelstein P. (2014) Interactions between estradiol and group 1 mGluR signaling influence dendritic spine density in the female rat nucleus accumbens. Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.
  • Gross K, Meisel R, Mermelstein P. (2014) Interactions between estradiol and group 1 mGluR signaling influence dendritic spine density in the female rat nucleus accumbens. Abstract for poster presentation, International Congress of Neuroendocrinology/Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Annual Meeting, Sydney, Australia.
  • Gross K, Meisel R, Mermelstein P. (2014) Interactions between estradiol and group 1 mGluR signaling influence dendritic spine density in the female rat nucleus accumbens. Abstract for poster presentation, Organization for the Study of Sex Differences Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.

Professional Presentations:

  • Opposing effects of group I mGluRs on dendritic spine density in the rat nucleus accumbens. Oral presentation at Department of Neuroscience Colloquium Series, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, April, 2015.
  • Interactions between estradiol and group 1 mGluR signaling influence dendritic spine density in the female rat nucleus accumbens. Oral presentation at Neuroscience Training in Drug Abuse Research Retreat. Minneapolis, MN, May 2014.

Rotations:

GPN CommitteesOMMITTEES:

  • Biomedical Sciences Graduate Programs Research Recognition Day Planning Committee, 2014-2016

Professional Outreach:

  • Brain Awareness Week Instructor, 2013-present
  • LSSURP Neuroscience Seminar Coordinator, Summer 2015

Professional Memberships:

  • Society for Neuroscience, 2013-present
  • Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, 2014-present
Kellie Gross