Psychology

Paul J. Currie

Professor of Psychology
Neuroscience, neuropharmacology, appetitive behavior
On sabbatical 2014–15.

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

Department of Psychology
Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202

pcurrie@reed.edu
(503) 777-7267 (voice)
(503) 777-7785 (fax)

Education and Reed Faculty Appointments

1985, A.B, Psychology, Queen’s University
1988, M.A. Psychology/Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Manitoba
1992, Ph.D. Psychology/Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Manitoba
1992-1995, Postdoctoral Fellow, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
2007-2009, Associate Professor, Reed College
2009-present, Professor, Reed College

Teaching

I teach courses in neuroscience and neuropharmacology. These courses focus on the neural and pharmacological bases of behavior with an emphasis on brain localization and integration of function, particularly with respect to motivation, cognition and emotion. Laboratory research is directed at investigations using animal models. Follow the link below to course descriptions and additional details.

PSY 333 Behavioral Neuroscience
PSY 433 Behavioral Neuroscience Research
PSY 434 Advanced Topics in Neuropharmacology

Research

Work in my lab focuses on the neural bases of appetitive motivation. One line of research is directed at understanding the role of hypothalamic transmitter and peptide systems in relation to energy homeostasis and metabolism. A second line of work focuses on brain reward mechanisms including mesotelencephalic dopamine and ghrelin signaling. In a related line of research my lab is investigating the role of limbic structures in stress and anxiety. Key transmitter systems under investigation include ghrelin, the endocannabinoids and monoamine neurotransmitters.

Recent Grant Funding

Principal Investigator, M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust: Brain Ghrelin Signaling in Anxiety-Like Behavior

Principal Investigator, M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust: Anxiogenic Effects of Ghrelin: Interaction with Urocortin, Cannabinoid, and Serontonergic Mechanisms.

Principal Investigator, Biologene Pharma Grant: Assessment of the Effects of JPJY on Energy Expenditure in Rats.

Co-Investigator, Novo-Nordisk Grant: Mechanisms Underlying Weight Gain Inhibition by Insulin Detemir.

Selected Recent Publications

(Student co-authors in bold)

Cepko, L.C.S., Selva, J.A., Merfeld, E.B., Fimmel, A.I., Goldberg, S.A., & Currie, P.J. (2014). Ghrelin alters the stimulatory effect of cocaine on ethanol intake following mesolimbic or systemic administration. Neuropharmacology, 85, 224-231.

Kafka, A.F., Heinz, D.A., Flemming, T.M., & Currie, P.J. (2014). Effect of chronic DL-amphetamine exposure on brain volume, anxiogenic, locomotor, and social behaviors in male SD rats. Journal of Brain and Behavioral Science, 4, 375-383.

Fimmel, A.I., Dono, L.M., Yee, M.N., & Currie, P.J. (2014). Exogenous urocortin 1 alters the respiratory exchange ratio after administration into the lateral septum. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 4, 99-104.

Currie, P.J., Schuette, L.M., Wauson, S.E.R., Voss, W.N., & Angeles, M.J. (2014). Activation of urocortin 1 and ghrelin signaling in the basolateral amygdala induces anxiogenesis. NeuroReport, 25, 60-64.

Schuette, L.M., Gray, C.C. & Currie, P.J. (2013). Microinjection of ghrelin into the ventral tegmental area potentiates cocaine-induced conditioned place preference. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 3, 576-580.

John, C.S. & Currie, P.J. (2012). N-arachidonoyl-serotonin in the basolateral amygdala increases anxiolytic behavior in the elevated plus maze. Behavioural Brain Research, 233, 382-388.

Kurbanov, D.B., Currie, P.J., Simonson, D.C., Borsook, D., & Elman, I. (2012). Effects of naltrexone on food intake and weight gain in olanzapine-treated rats. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 26, 1244-1251.

Chapman, C.D., Dono, L.M., French, M.C., Weinberg, Z.Y., Schuette, L.M., & Currie, P.J., (2012). Paraventricular nucleus anandamide signaling alters eating and substrate oxidation. NeuroReport, 23, 425-429.

Currie, P.J., Khelemsky, R., Rigsbee, E.M., Dono, L.M., Coiro, C.D., Chapman, C.D., & Hinchcliff, K. (2012). Ghrelin is an orexigenic peptide with anxiogenic activity in discrete regions of the hypothalamus. Behavioural Brain Research, 226, 96-105.

Dono, L.M. & Currie, P.J. (2012). The cannabinoid receptor CB1 inverse agonist AM251 potentiates the anxiogenic activity of urocortin I in the basolateral amygdala. Neuropharmacology, 62, 192-199.

Jacoby, S.M. & Currie, P.J. (2011). SKF 83566 attenuates the effects of ghrelin on performance in the object location memory task. Neuroscience Letters, 504, 316-320.

Currie, P.J., Mirza, A., Dono, L.M., John, C.S., & Wall, D.G. (2011). Anorexigenic action of nitric oxide synthase inhibition in the raphe nucleus. NeuroReport, 22, 696-699.

Weinberg, Z.Y., Nicholson, M.L. & Currie, P.J. (2011). 6-Hydroxydopamine lesions of the ventral tegmental area suppress ghrelin’s ability to elicit food-reinforced behavior. Neuroscience Letters, 499, 70-73.

Currie, P.J., Coiro, C.D., Duenas, R., Guss, J.L., Mirza, A., & Tal, N. (2011). Urocortin I inhibits the effects of ghrelin and neuropeptide Y on feeding and energy substrate utilization. Brain Research, 1385, 127-134.

Recent Papers Presented to Professional Societies

Fimmel, A.I., Heichman, S.L., Cepko, L.C.S., Selva, J.A., Merfeld, E.M., Goldberg, S.A., & Currie, P.J. (2013). Low dose ghrelin potentiates psychostimulant-induced ethanol intake. Program No.775.10. 2013 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. San Diego, CA: Society for Neuroscience. Online. [Presented at the 43rd annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA, 9-13 November].

Merfeld, E.B., Cepko, L.C.S., Selva, J.A, Metlzer, S.A., & Currie, P.J. (2013). Glucagon-like peptide 1 analogue, exendin-4, antagonizes the rewarding effect of ventral tegmental ghrelin on operant responding for food. Presented at the annual meeting of the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience/Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA, 11 November.

Silbert, K.D., Flemming, T.M., & Currie, P.J. (2013). Ghrelin antagonizes the anxiogenic effects of the 5-HT1A agonist 8-OH-DPAT in the ventral amygdala. Presented at the annual meeting of the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience/Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA, 11 November.

Schuette, L.M., Gray, C.C., Wauson, S.E.R., Davis, K.R., & Currie, P.J. (2012). Mesotelencephalic ghrelinergic signaling in reward and limbic function. Program No. 707.18. 2012 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. New Orleans, LA: Society for Neuroscience. Online. [Presented at the 42nd annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, LA, 13-17 October and jointly presented at the annual meeting of the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience/Society for Neuroscience, 16 October].

Goldberg, S.A., Todd, G.I.S., Schuette, L.M., & Currie, P.J. (2012). Effects of systemic ghrelin and cocaine administration on ethanol consumption in the rat. Presented at the annual meeting of the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience/Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, LA, 15 October.

Wauson, S.E.R., Voss, W.,N., Davis, K.R., Schuette, L.M., Angeles, M.J., Bauer,  P.E., Davidson, G.D., Heichman, S.L., Khawaja M., Kuziel, G.M., Naiman, M.S., Nguyen, E.T., Perry, J.G., Turvey, M.E., Yee, M.N., & Currie, P.J. (2012). Amygdalar urocortin and endocannabinoid modulation of ghrelin (rat acylated)-induced anxiety. Presented at the annual meeting of the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience/Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, LA, 15 October.

Goldberg, S.A., Todd, G.I.S., Schuette, L.M., & Currie, P.J. (2012). Ghrelin antagonizes the stimulatory effect of cocaine on ethanol self-administration. Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, Zurich, 10-14 July.

Kurbanov, D.B., Currie, P.J., & Elman, I. (2011). Opioidergic mechanism of body weight gain in olanzapine-treated rats. Presented at the 50th annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Waikoloa, Hawaii, 4-8 December.

Jacoby, S.M., Weinberg, Z.Y., Davis, M.J., Coston, E.P., Dono, L.M., Fennelly, D.A., Fong, E.L., French, M.C., Gester, W.W, Gray, C.C., Johnson, A.G., Jukar, A.M., Moeller, M.L., Schuette, L.M., Hackenberg, T.P., & P. J. Currie, P.J. (2011). Central nervous system effects of ghrelin on memory acquisition, reward, and anxiety-like behavior. Program No. 266.23. 2011 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. Washington, DC: Society for Neuroscience. Online. [Presented at the 41st annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington DC, 12-16 November].

Chapman, C.D., Schuette, L.M., Dono, L.M., Goldberg, S.A., Currie, P.J. (2011). Oxytocin mediates ghrelin-induced eating in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. Presented at the annual meeting of the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience/Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC, 14 November.

Dono, L.M., Chapman, C.D., Schuette, L.M., Goldberg, S.A, & Currie, P.J. (2011). The CB1 inverse agonist AM251 attenuates the orexigenic and metabolic effects of paraventricular nucleus anandamide. Presented at the annual meeting of the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience/Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC, 14 November.

Weinberg, Z.Y., Nicholson, M.L., Dono, L.M., & Currie, P.J. (2011). Effects of ghrelin administration into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) on food-reinforced behavior in dopamine intact and depleted rats. Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, Clearwater, FL, 12-16 July.