Graduate Studies Faculty

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Kathleen A. Grant, Ph.D.

Chief and Senior Scientist
Division of Neuroscience
Professor, Dept. Behavioral Neuroscience
Admin Unit: Oregon National Primate Research Center
Phone: (503) 614-3738
Lab Phone: (503) 614-3739
Office: Cooley Bldg., West Campus
Mail Code: L584
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 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.

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 (2014)

1.       Davenport AT, Grant KA, Szeliga KT, Friedman DP, Daunais JB. Standardized method for the harvest of nonhuman primate tissue optimized for multiple modes of analyses. Cell Tissue Bank. 2014 Mar;15(1):99-110. PMCID: PMC3809161.

2.       Ford MM, Davis NL, McCracken AD, Grant KA. Contribution of NMDA glutamate and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor mechanisms in the discrimination of ethanol-nicotine mixtures. Behav Pharmacol. 2013 Aug 7. [Epub ahead of print] PMCID: PMC3925192.

3.       Mohr C, Kolotushkina O, Kaplan JS, Welsh J, Daunais JB, Grant KA, Rossi DJ. Primate cerebellar granule cells exhibit a tonic GABAAR conductance that is not affected by alcohol: a possible cellular substrate of the low level of response phenotype.Front Neural Circuits. 2013;7:189.

PMCID: PMC3840389.

4.       Kroenke CD, Rohlfing T, Park B, Sullivan EV, Pfefferbaum A, Grant KA. Monkeys that voluntarily and chronically drink alcohol damage their brains: a longitudinal MRI study. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014 Mar;39(4):823-30. PMCID: PMC3924514.

5.       Asquith M, Pasala S, Engelmann F, Haberthur K, Meyer C, Park B, Grant KA, Messaoudi I. Chronic Ethanol Consumption Modulates Growth Factor Release, Mucosal Cytokine Production, and MicroRNA Expression in Nonhuman Primates. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2014 Apr;38(4):980-993. PMCID: PMC3984381.

6.       Messaoudi I, Asquith M, Engelmann F, Park B, Brown M, Rau A, Shaw J, Grant KA. Moderate alcohol consumption enhances vaccine-induced responses in rhesus macaques.Vaccine. 2013 Dec 17;32(1):54-61. PMCID: PMC3932370.

7.       Grant KA, Ferguson B, Helms C, McClintick M, "Drinking to Dependence Risk Factors in Nonhuman Primates," in Neurobiology of Alcohol Dependence, Noronha A, Cui C, Harris A, Crabbe JC, eds., San Diego: Academic Press, 2014, Chapter 20 pp. 408-420.

8.       Burnett EJ, Grant KA, Davenport AT, Hemby SE, Friedman DP. The effects of chronic ethanol self-administration on hippocampal 5-HT1A receptors in monkeys. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 Mar 1;136:135-142. PMCID: PMC3962821.

9.       Helms CM, Rau A, Shaw J, Stull C, Gonzales SW, Grant KA. The effects of age at the onset of drinking to intoxication and chronic ethanol self-administration in male rhesus macaques. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2014 Apr; 231(8):1853-1861. PMCID: PMC3969395.

10.    Miranda-Dominguez O, Mills BD, Grayson D, Woodall A, Grant KA, Kroenke CD, Fair DA. Bridging the Gap between the Human and Macaque Connectome: A Quantitative Comparison of Global Interspecies Structure-Function Relationships and Network Topology. J Neurosci. 2014 Apr 16;34(16):5552-5563. PMCID: PMC3988411.

11.    Daunais JB, Davenport AT, Helms CM, Gonzales SW, Hemby SE, Friedman DP, Farro JP, Baker EJ, Grant KA. Monkey alcohol tissue research resource: banking tissues for alcohol research. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2014 Jul;38(7):1973-81. PMID: 24942558.

12.    Helms CM, Park B, Grant KA. Adrenal steroid hormones and ethanol self-administration in male rhesus macaques. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2014 Sep;231(17):3425-3436. [Epub ahead of print] PMCID: PMC4135005.

13.    Miranda-DominguezO,Mills BD, Carpenter SD, Grant KA, Kroenke CD, Nigg JT, Fair DA. Connectotyping: Model Based Fingerprinting of the Functional Connectome. PLOS One. 2014 [In Press].