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Carmen S. Maldonado-Vlaar University of Puerto Rico Department of Biology P.O. Box 23360 San Juan, Puerto Rico 00931 Phone: 787-764-0000-ext.2712 Fax: 787-764-3875 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org EDUCATION 1995-1996- Post-doctoral-Department of Neuropharmacology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California (Mentor: Dr. George F. Koob) 1990-1994 - Ph.D. Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA Behavioral Neuroscience (Mentor: Dr. Ann E. Kelley) 1992- M.A. Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA Behavioral Neuroscience (Mentor: Dr. James R. Stellar) 1984-1989 B.S. Magna Cum Laude Department of Biology/Psychology, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico 1986-1987 Exchange Student- Dept. Biology- University Massachusetts, Amherst, MA POSITIONS AND AWARDS 1995-present- Journal Reviewer for: Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, Synapse, Methods in Neurosciences, Behavioral Neuroscience 1996- Lecturer, Mesa College, Dept. Psychology, San Diego, CA. 1997 – 1998- Lecturer, University of Puerto Rico, Dept. Psychology, Rio Piedras, PR. 1998 - 1999 Assistant Investigator, UPR, Dept. Biology, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. 1999- Special Achievement Award- American Psychological Association-Minority Fellowship -Program in Neuroscience. 2001-2004 - Member, Training Advisory Committee for APA-Diversity in Neuroscience 2000- 2nd Prize –Young Scientist Award; Glaxo Wellcome Research Awards. 1999 - 2001 Assistant Professor, UPR, Dept. Biology/ Psychology, Rio Piedras, PR. 2001 - 2004 Assistant Professor, UPR, Dept. of Biology, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. 2004- 2007 Associate Professor, UPR, Dept. of Biology, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. 2007- present Professor, UPR, Dept. of Biology, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. 2007- 2009 Assisting Editor, Behavioral Neuroscience Journal Selected publications Maldonado-Irizarry, C. S., Swanson, C. J., & Kelley, A. E. (1995). Glutamate receptors in the nucleus accumbens shell control feeding behavior via the lateral hypothalamus. Journal of Neuroscience, 15, 6779-6788. Koob, G. F., Caine, S. B., Carrera, R., Gold, L., Heyser, C., Maldonado-Irizarry, C. S., Markou, A., Parsons, L., Roberts, A., Stinus, L., Walker, J., Weissenborn, R. & Weiss, F. (1998). Substance dependence as a compulsive behavior. Psychopharmacology, 12, 39-48. Peña de Ortíz, S., Maldonado-Vlaar, C.S., Carrasquillo, Y., Alvarez, S., & Cintrón I. (2000). Expression of the Orphan Nuclear Receptor hzf-3 during acquisition of a food search reference and working memory task. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 74, 161-178. Weiss, F., Maldonado-Vlaar, C. S., Parsons, L. H., Kerr, T. R., Smith, D., & Ben-Shahar, O. (2000). Control of cocaine-seeking behavior by drug-predictive stimuli in rats: effects on recovery of extinguished operant responding and extracellular dopamine levels in amygdala and nucleus accumbens. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 97, 4321-4326 Melnick, S. M., Maldonado-Vlaar, C. S., Trzcinska M. & Stellar, J. R. (2001). Effects of repeated GBR-12909 administration on brain stimulation reward. European Journal of Pharmacology, 419, 199-205. Alvarez-Jaimes, L, Betancourt, E., Rodriguez, D., Peña de Ortiz, S. & Maldonado-Vlaar, C. S. (2004). Spatial learning in rats is impaired by microinfusions of PKC-g antisense oligodeoxynucleotide within the nucleus accumbens. Neurobiology of Learning and memory.81(2): 120-136. Mumna Al Banchaabouchi, Peña de Ortiz, S., Menéndez, R., Ren, K. & Maldonado Vlaar, C. S. (2004). Chronic Lithium Decreases Basal HZF-3 Expression in the Rat Brain and Impairs Spatial Discrimination. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 79:607-621. Alvarez-Jaimes, L., Centeno-Gonzalez, M., Feliciano-Rivera MZ. & Maldonado-Vlaar, CS (2005) Dissociation of the effect of spatila behaviors on th ephosphorylation of cAMP-response element brinding protein (CREB) within the nucleus accumbens Neuroscience,130:833-842 . Jorge J.C. ,Velázquez K.T., Ramos D.L., Lorenzini I.,Marrero J., and Maldonado-Vlaar C.S. (2005) A Testosterone Metabolite Is Rewarding To Ovariectomized Female Rats. Behavioral Neuroscience, 119(5):1222-6.. Alvarez-Jaimes L., Feliciano-Rivera M., Centeno-González M. and Maldonado-Vlaar C.S. (2005) Contributions of the Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) and Protein Kinase C (PKC) cascades in spatial learning and memory mediated by the nucleus accumbens. JPET314(3):1144-57. Rodríguez, E., Abella CN., Estrada Y., Bernardo, A., Jiménez, N., Alvarez, JE., Burgos, M., Maldonado-Vlaar, CS. (2006) Selective blockade of ionotropic glutamate receptor within nucleus accumbens disrupts cocaine-induced conditioning. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 2006 85(1):178-84. Tirado-Santiago G, Lazaro-Muñoz G., Rodriguez-Gonzalez V and Maldonado-Vlaar C.S. (2006) Microinfusions of neurotensin antagonist SR 48692 within the nucleus accumbens core impairs spatial learning in rats Behav Neurosci. 2006 Oct;120(5):1093-102. Colon-Cesario WI, Martinez-Montemayor MM, Morales S, Felix J, Cruz J, Adorno M, Pereira L, Colon N, Maldonado-Vlaar CS, Pena de Ortiz S. Knockdown of Nurr1 in the rat hippocampus: implications to spatial discrimination learning and memory. Learn Mem. 2006 Nov-Dec;13(6):734-44. Ramos-Ortolaza DL Negron A., Cruz D., Falcon E., Iturbe M and Maldonado-Vlaar, C.S. (2008) Expression of neurotensin and dynorphin within nucleus accumbens and medial prefrontal cortex during environmentally-elicited cocaine seeking behavior. Psychopharmacology, accepted. Maldonado-Vlaar, CS, Julia LL, Ramos-Ortolaza D.L. and Rodriguez-Alzugaray L. (2008) Blockade of Protein Kinase C actions within the nucleus accumbens affects cocaine induced-discrimination behavior in rats. Neuropharmacology, submitted.
RESEARCH INTERESTS The main goal of my laboratory is to study the different neural systems, neurochemical pathways and molecular mechanisms involved in the associative learning and conditioning related to drug addiction. Specifically, my laboratory has three ongoing major projects these are: Project I: On the role of CREB in striatal learning. Clinical and molecular studies indicate that chronic exposure to psychostimulants can produce profound and long lasting synaptic changes in mesolimbic structures implicated in drug addiction. Extensive body of evidence has shown that the nucleus accumbens (Nacc), as part of the dopamine (DA) mesolimbic system, plays a major role in the activating and reinforcing properties of psychostimulants. Published evidence implicate the activation of several protein kinases and and the transcription factor c-AMP response element-binding protein (CREB) in NAcc-mediated spatial learning. The current project seeks to further investigate the role of CREB within the Nacc using a behavioral-pharmacological-molecular approach in the rat. Project II: To examine the role of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) subtypes and vasopressin within the NAc subregions in cocaine conditioning. Experimental results from this project may contribute to more detailed understanding of: 1) the role of mGluRs in cocaine conditioning and which specific neural connections within the ventral striatum mediate drug induced-associative learning and addictive behavior 2) which genes within mesolimbic and related brain structures are involved in eliciting drug induced conditioning and 3) characterize the presence of a vasopressine system within NA during drug-induced conditioning. Project III: To characterize the role of neurotensin and dynorphin within mesolimbic structures in cocaine seeking behavior and learning. One of the main characteristics of cocaine addiction is the high risk of relapse after periods of abstinence. The role of the environmental stimuli have received special attention given that a place, a person or even paraphernalia associated with the drug can be sufficient to promote cravings and a strong desire to use the drug again. Little is known about the role of neuropetide like neurotensin and dynorphin within these mesolimbic structures in different learning processes related to cocaine-seeking behavior, particularly during periods of abstinence and relapse. Experimental results from this project will further characterize the role of NT and the identification of genes related to NT activation within the NAc and mPFC that are involved in extinction and reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior.
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