Graduate Studies Faculty
Kristine Wiren, Ph.D.
Research Interests:androgen receptor; androgen; estrogen; alcohol abuse; alcohol withdrawal; neurotoxicity; astrocytes; osteoporosis; osteoblast; medical » PubMed Listing
Preceptor RotationsDr. Wiren has not indicated availability for preceptor rotations at this time.
Faculty MentorshipDr. Wiren has not indicated availability as a mentor at this time.
Summary of Current Research
One broad aim in my laboratory is characterization of molecular mechanisms underlying neuroadaptation to chronic ethanol exposure, focusing on changes in gene expression in various brain regions observed during ethanol exposure/withdrawal in both genders. We are also interested in the behavioral consequences of alcohol abuse in animal models. Current studies are carried out in males and females using both seizure-prone or seizure-resistant selected lines of mice and in inbred strains to identify sex specific changes in after chronic exposure and withdrawal and after a period of abstinence. The laboratory is using a molecular biological approach that includes microarray analyses, bioinformatics and real-time qPCR to identify and characterize regulated transcripts. Our analyses of sex-specific responses in gene expression have revealed increased vulnerability for brain damage in females, consistent with some controversial clinical literature. The sex-specific differences in transcriptional response may reflect changes in circulating sex steroids. The role of glia in mediating neuroadaptation and neurotoxicity after chronic alcohol exposure is also being evaluated. The goal of these studies is to better understand how neuroadaptation, through changes in gene expression, may underlie physical dependence and relapse potential, and the detrimental consequences that result from withdrawal from ethanol or other drugs of abuse.
B.A. (1974) Oregon State University
Ph.D. (1985) University of Connecticut Health Center
Research Fellow in Medicine (1984-1988) Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital