Rebecca S. Hammond

Ph.D. Graduate (2005)

BeckySep2008_scaledUndergraduate Education

(2000) BS Biological Sciences, The George Washington University

(2000) BA Psychology, The George Washington University

Training at OHSU


Second Year Project

(2002) Assessing the role of hippocampal activity and plasticity in object memory encoding (Mentor: Robert W. Stackman Jr., Ph.D.)


(2005) SK channel regulation of hippocampal function (Mentor: Robert W. Stackman Jr., Ph.D.)

Postdoctoral Position

PRAT Research Associate, Laboratory of Cellular and Synaptic Neurophysiology, NIGMS/NICHD, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (Principal Investigator: Dax Hoffman, Ph.D.)

Current Position

Scientist, Seaside Therapeutics, Cambridge MA



Background and Interests

My research interests involve using a multidisciplinary approach to examine the neurobiological mechanisms of learning and memory, and neurological and mental health disorders. My past research examined the role of potassium channels in synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, a brain region that governs the formation and flexible use of declarative memories. For my dissertation at OHSU, I examined the contribution of small-conductance calcium-activated potassium channels in hippocampal plasticity, learning, and memory. This project involved behavioral, biochemical, and electrophysiological techniques, and was possible through a local collaboration with Dr. John Adelman (Vollum Institute) and Dr. James Maylie (Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine, OHSU). During my postdoctoral fellowship at the NIH, I utilized molecular imaging techniques to examine the trafficking properties of Kv4.2 voltage-gated potassium channels, and how Kv4.2 trafficking regulates hippocampal plasticity. Currently, I am able to use this multidisciplinary approach to investigate the biological mechanisms of and potential treatments for Fragile X Syndrome and Autism.

My OHSU experience

OHSU is a fantastic place for graduate training due to the rich diversity of high-caliber scientists available for mentorship and collaborations. Across the board faculty members at OHSU are open, supportive, and available to provide training and mentorship. My graduate work was enriched through collaborations with OHSU scientists outside of the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience. Faculty members at OHSU are also active in science outreach activities and encourage interested students to participate. While I was at OHSU, I participated in numerous outreach activities. These included: Brain Awareness Week, the SFN Oregon chapter Science Advocacy Committee, Dana Alliance Kids Judge! Neuroscience fairs (sponsored by the Dept. of Behavioral Neuroscience), and Portland Saturday Academy programs (Advocates for Women in Science, Engineering, and Math (AWSEM) and Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering). Portland is also a great place to be as a graduate student, since the quality of living is high and the cost is (relatively) low. The bus/rail system is easy and convenient enough that I did not own a car for my first 2 years in Portland. Things I miss the most are the great farmer's markets, the hiking and running trails, the great food, and the short trip to natural beauties like the Columbia River Gorge, the Oregon Coast, Mount Hood, and Crater Lake.


Shah MM, Hammond RS, Hoffman DA (2010) Dendritic ion channel trafficking and plasticity.  Trends in Neuroscience, 33(7):307-16.

Hammond RS, Lin L, Sidorov MS, Wikenheiser AM, Hoffman DA. (2008) Protein kinase A mediates activity-dependent Kv4.2 channel trafficking. Journal of Neuroscience, 28 (30):7513-9.

Quinn JF, Bussiere JR, Hammond, RS, Montine TJ, Henson E, Jones RE, Stackman RW. (2007) Chronic dietary alpha-lipoic acid reduces deficits in hippocampal memory of aged Tg2576 mice. Neurobiology of Aging, 28(2):213-25.

Hammond RS , Bond CT, Strassmaier T, Ngo-Anh TJ, Adelman JP, Maylie J, Stackman, RW. (2006) Small-conductance Ca 2+ -activated K + channel type 2 (SK2) modulates hippocampal learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity. Journal of Neuroscience, 26(6):1844-53.

Bond CT, Herson PS, Strassmaier T,Hammond R , Stackman RW, Maylie J, Adelman JP. (2004) Small-conductance Ca 2+ -activated K + channel knockout mice reveal the identity of calcium-dependent afterhyperpolarization currents. Journal of Neuroscience, 24(23):5301-6.

Hammond RS , Tull LE, Stackman RW. (2004) On the delay-dependent involvement of the hippocampus in object recognition memory. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 82(1):26-34.

Stackman RW, Hammond RS, Linardatos E, Gerlach AC, Maylie J, Adelman JP, Tzounopoulos T. (2002) Small conductance Ca 2+ -activated K + channels modulate synaptic plasticity and memory encoding. Journal of Neuroscience, 22(23):10163-71.