Kimberly Nixon, Ph.D.
B.A., Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin, 1992
Nixon Lab website: http://pharmacy.mc.uky.edu/faculty/nixon/Nixon_Lab_Home.html
Dr. Nixon and her lab
The Nixon lab is interested in how excessive alcohol intake, characteristic of alcoholism, produces neurodegeneration but also how the brain recovers during abstinence. These interests have converged in the study of the role of neural stem cells in alcoholic neuropathology. The seminal discovery that neural stem cells produce newborn neurons in the adult brain (adult neurogenesis) has changed fundamentally the way we think about brain damage. Understanding the factors that regulate adult neurogenesis provides a new framework for understanding not only neurodegenerative disease but also regenerative effects that occurs during active alcohol dependence and abstinence respectively. The Nixon Lab uses cutting edge neuroanatomical, biochemical and behavioral techniques to identify the mechanism by which alcohol not only inhibits neural stem cell proliferation and adult neurogenesis during alcohol intoxication but also how it promotes neurogenesis in recovery and abstinence from alcoholism.
Major goals of the lab are to identify and understand the various signaling pathways involved in the recruitment of progenitors following binge-induced brain damage and how that endogenous pathway may be harnessed for pharmacological treatment of alcohol-induced neurodegeneration. Currently, we have three lines of research related to this and other NIH-funded projects:
Select Media Items:
President Honors Outstanding Early-Career Scientists.PECASE press release, Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Pharmacy Professor Receives Presidential Award. Ann Blackford, UKnow 11/19/2010.
Bringing back the brain. Jeff Worley,University of Kentucky Odyssey, Winter 2009.
McClain, J.A., Morris, S.A., Deeny, M.A., Marshall, S.A., Hayes, D.M., Kiser, Z.M. Nixon, K. Adolescent binge alcohol exposure induces long-lasting partial activation of microglia. Brain Behavior and Immunity, in press.
Nixon, K. & McClain, J.A. (2010). Recent advances in the neurobiology of adolescent alcohol use disorders. Invited review. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 23, 227-232.
Leasure, J.L. & Nixon, K. (2010). Exercise neuroprotection in a rat model of binge alcohol consumption. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 34, 404-414.
Nixon, K., Morris, S.A., Liput, D.J. & Kelso, M.L. (2010). Roles of neural stem cells and adult neurogenesis in adolescent alcohol use disorders. Invited review, special issue on adolescence, D.B. Matthews (Ed.). Alcohol, 44, 39-56.
Morris, S.A., Eaves, D.W., Smith, A.R. & Nixon, K. (2010). Inhibition of adult neurogenesis - a mechanism of hippocampal neurodegeneration in an adolescent alcohol abuse model. Hippocampus 20, 596-607.
Crews, F.T. & Nixon, K. (2009). Mechanisms of neurodegeneration and regeneration in alcoholism. Invited Review. Special Issue of Alcohol & Alcoholism: Alcohol Related Brain Damage 44, 115-27.
Stevenson, J.R., Schroeder, J.P., Nixon, K., Besheer, J., Crews, F.T. & Hodge, C.W. (2009). Abstinence from alcohol drinking produces depression-like behavior and reduced hippocampal neurogenesis in mice. Neuropsychopharmacology 34, 1209-1222.
Nixon, K., Kim, D.H., Potts, E.N., He, J. & Crews, F.T. (2008). Distinct cell proliferation events during abstinence after alcohol dependence: microglia proliferation precedes neurogenesis. Neurobiology of Disease 31, 218-229.
Nixon, K. (2006). Alcohol and adult neurogenesis: Roles in neurodegeneration and recovery from chronic alcoholism. Invited review. Hippocampus 16, 287-295.
Nixon, K. Crews, F.T. (2004). Temporally specific burst in cell proliferation increases hippocampal neurogenesis in protracted abstinence from alcohol. The Journal of Neuroscience 24, 9714-9722.
Nixon, K. & Crews, F.T. (2002). Binge alcohol exposure decreases neurogenesis in adult rat hippocampus. Journal of Neurochemistry 83, 1087-1093.
College of Pharmacy
Tel: (859) 323-3038