Graduate Studies Faculty

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Kathleen A. Grant, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist
Oregon National Primate Research Center
Admin Unit: SOM-Behavioral Neuroscience Department
Phone: (503) 418-2390
Lab Phone: (503) 614-3742
Office: MH 2158
Mail Code: L470
Behavioral Neuroscience
Research Interests:
Animal models of alcohol, abuse and alcoholism, Sex differences in risk for and consequences of alcohol consumption, Behavioral Pharmacology of alcohol, In vivo imaging of alcohol effects on brain development of non human primates, Genetic and behavioral datasets related to alcohol abuse and alcoholism, alcohol,alcoholism,primates,behavioral » PubMed Listing
Preceptor Rotations
Academic Term Available Winter 2014 Yes Spring 2014 Yes Fall 2015 Yes Summer 2015 Yes Fall 2014 Yes Spring 2015 Yes Winter 2015 Yes Summer 2016 Yes Fall 2016 Yes Winter 2016 Yes Spring 2016 Yes Summer 2017 Yes Fall 2017 Yes Winter 2017 Yes Spring 2017 Yes
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Grant might be available as a mentor for 2016-2017. Dr. Grant is not available as a mentor for 2013-2014. Dr. Grant is not available as a mentor for 2014-2015. Dr. Grant is not available as a mentor for 2015-2016.

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism exact a tremendous toll on our society and is estimated by the Center for Disease Control to be the third largest preventable cause of death in the United States.  On the other hand, a vast majority of regular alcohol drinkers never meet the criteria for alcoholism.  Thus, there is an urgent need to understand who is at risk for developing alcoholism, how to detect early adverse biomedical consequences as the result of heavy drinking and how to develop a rationale approach to pharmacotherapeutic development aimed at decreasing harmful alcohol consumption.

Research in the Grant laboratory uses two fundamental paradigms in behavioral pharmacology to understand the risk for and consequences of heavy ethanol consumption. The first procedure is drug discrimination, in which the neural receptor basis for ethanol's subjective effects (i.e., the feelings associated with intoxication) is characterized. In these studies the neurotransmitter systems that mediate the subjective feelings of intoxication in mice, rats and monkeys are identified. Once identified, the lab determines if the intoxicating effects of ethanol are enhanced or antagonized by pharmacological pretreatment, genetic background, or organismal state (for example, stage of life, stress, menstrual cycle phase, etc.).

The second procedure is self-administration. In these studies, the addictive basis of ethanol is investigated in populations of monkeys to determine the influence of genetic composition, sex, age, and stress on the risk for heavy drinking. The consequences of heavy ethanol consumption are investigated with changes in functional genomics and proteomics, in vivo imaging with MRI/MRS, and endocrinological status. Along with this longitudinal approach, the lab has identified a combination of soluble proteins that serve as a sensitive marker for any alcohol use, as well as excessive alcohol use. These biomarkers can aid in clinical practice, helping to identify harmful drinking levels and adherence to abstinence programs.


Kathleen A. Grant is a Professor in the Department of Behavioral Neurosciences at OHSU and a senior scientist in the Division of Neuroscience at the ONPRC. She earned her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Washington in 1984. This was followed by a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago. In 1987 she took an appointment as Staff Fellow at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, becoming a Senior Staff Fellow in 1990. In 1991 she joined the faculty at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, where she remained until her appointment to the Center and OHSU in 2005.

Key Publications (2011)

  1. Helms CM, Grant KA. The effect of age on the discriminative stimulus effects of ethanol and its GABA(A) receptor mediation in cynomolgus monkeys. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2011 Feb 22. PMID: 21340471; PMCID: PMC3134136.
  2. Freeman WM, Vanguilder HD, Guidone E, Krystal JH, Grant KA, Vrana KE. Plasma proteomic alterations in non-human primates and humans after chronic alcohol self-administration.Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2011 Feb 8:1-13.  PMID: 21303580; PMCID: PMC3107900.
  3. Welsh JP, Han VZ, Rossi DJ, Mohr C, Odagiri M, Daunais JB, Grant KA. Bidirectional plasticity in the primate inferior olive induced by chronic ethanol intoxication and sustained abstinence. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jun 3. PMID:21642533; PMCID: PMC3121872.
  4. Cuzon Carlson VC, Seabold GK, Helms CM, Garg N, Odagiri M, Rau AR, Daunais J, Alvarez VA, Lovinger DM, Grant KA. Synaptic and Morphological Neuroadaptations in the Putamen Associated with Long-Term, Relapsing Alcohol Drinking in Primates. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011 Jul 27. doi: 10.1038/npp.2011.140. PMID: 21796110; PMCID in process.
  5. Stolerman IP, Childs E, Ford MM, Grant KA. Role of training dose in drug discrimination: a review. Behav Pharmacol. 2011 Sep;22(5-6):415-29. PMID: 21808191; PMCID: PMC3155633.
  6. Helms CM, Messaoudi I, Jeng S, Freeman WM, Vrana KE, Grant KA. A longitudinal analysis of circulating stress-related proteins and chronic ethanol self-administration in cynomolgus macaques. Alc. Clin. Exp. Res., in press.
  7. Acosta G, Friedman DP, Grant KA, Hemby SE. Alternative splicing of AMPA subunits in prefrontal cortical fields of cynomlgus monkeys following chronic ethanol self-administration. Frontiers in Addiction, in press.
  8. Cocoran CA, Pierre PJ, Haddad T, Bice C, Suomi SJ, Grant KA, Friedman D, Bennett AJ Long-term effects of differential early rearing in rhesus macaques: Behavioral reactivity in young adulthood. Develop. Psychobiology, in press.