Christa Helms

Ph.D. Graduate (2006)

Christa HelmsUndergraduate Education  

(2001) B.A. Psychology, Reed College

Training at OHSU

2001 - 2006 



(2006) Adaptation of choice behavior in concurrent chains schedules and the role of the basolateral amygdala. (Mentor: Suzanne Mitchell, Ph.D.)

Current Position

Staff Scientist, Oregon National Primate Research Center, Beaverton OR 

Postdoctoral Training

(2006-2011) Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Neuroscience, Oregon National Primate Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University



Areas of Research/Scholarly Interest

My research interests include the control of behavior by schedules of reinforcement, their interaction with the pharmacological effects of ethanol and activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

Honors and Awards


  • (2013) Sixth Annual Talent Show at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, 3rd Place for presentation entitled, "What is the brain?"
  • (2012) Fifth Annual Talent Show at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, 2nd place for presentation about B.F. Skinner
  • (2006) OHSU Student Research Forum, Best Presentation Award
  • (2006) OHSU Academic and Student Service Award
  • (2005) OHSU Student Research Forum "Best Poster Presentation" Award


  • (2008) Young Scientist Award, ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology; San Diego, CA
  • (2008) Research Society on Alcoholism Junior Investigator Award
  • (2007) Young Investigator Award, Workshop on Steroid Hormones and Brain Function; Breckenridge, CO
  • (2005) American Psychological Association Dissertation Award



Helms CM, Reeves JM, Mitchell SH (2006) Impact of strain and d-amphetamine on impulsivity (delay discounting in mice) in inbred mice. Psychopharmacology 188: 144-151. PMID: 16915383

Helms CM, Gubner NR, Wilhelm CJ, Mitchell SH, Grandy DKG (2008) D4 receptor deficiency in mice has limited effects on impulsivity and novelty seeking. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 90: 387-393. PMID: 18456309; PMC2603181.

Helms CM, Mitchell SH (2008) Basolateral amygdala lesions disrupt within-session changes in preference after reinforcer magnitude reversal. Behavioural Brain Research 191: 210-218 PMID: 18455812; PMC2475334

Helms CM, Rogers LSM, Grant KA (2008) Zolpidem generalization and antagonism in male and female cynomolgus monkeys trained to discriminate 10 or 20 g/kg ethanol. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 32: 1197-1206 PMID: 18482161; PMC2517055

Grant KA, Helms CM, Rogers LSM, Purdy RH (2008) Neuroactive steroid stereospecificity of ethanol-like discriminative stimulus effects in monkeys. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 326: 354-364 PMDI: 18436788; PMC2562878

Helms CM, Rogers LSM, Grant KA (2008) Gamma-hydroxybutyrate does not substitute for the discriminative stimulus effects of ethanol in cynomolgus monkeys. Behavioural Pharmacology 19: 317-324 PMID: 18622179; PMC2704122

Helms CM, Rogers LSM, Grant KA (2009) Antagonism of the ethanol-like discriminative stimulus effects of ethanol pentobarbital and midazolam in cynomolgus monkeys; Comparison of Ro15-4513 and Ro15-1788. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 331: 142-152 PMID: 19641166; PMC2766226

Helms CM, Grant KA (2011) The effect of age on the discriminative stimulus effects of ethanol and its GABAA receptor mediation. Psychopharmacology 216: 333-343 PMID 21340471; PMC3134136

Cuzon Carlson VC, Seabold GK, Helms CM, Garg N, Odagiri M, Rau AR, Daunais J, Alavarez VA, Lovinger DM, Grant KA (2011) Synaptic and morphological neuroadaptations in the putamen associated with long-term, relapsing alcohol drinking in primates. Neuropsychopharmacology 36: 2513-2528 PMID: 21796110; PMC3194078

Helms CM, Messaoudi I, Freeman WM, Vrana KE, Grant KA (2012) A longitudinal analysis of circulating stress-related proteins and chronic ethanol self-administration in cynomolgus macaques. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 36: 995-1003. PMID: 22141444; PMC3324628 [Available 2013/6/1]

Helms CM, McClintick M, Grant KA (2012) Social rank, chronic ethanol self-administration and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response in monkeys. Psychopharmacology 224: 133-143. PMID: 22526537; PMC3469782

Helms CM, Gonzales S, Green HL, Szeliga KT, Rogers LSM, Grant KA (2013) Diurnal pituitary-adrenal activity during schedule-induced polydipsia of water and ethanol in cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). Psychopharmacology, in press. NIHMSID # 457588

Helms CM, McCracken AD, Hechman SL, Moschak TM (2013) Ovarian hormones and the heterogeneous receptor mechanisms mediating the discriminative stimulus effects of ethanol in female rats. Behavioural Psychopharmacology 24: 94-104 PMID: 23399883


Schwab-Stone ME, Helms CM, Barenbaum JM, Lucht CL (2002) School consultation: The Individuals with Disabilities Act. In Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: A Comprehensive Textbook, 3rd Edition (M. Lewis, Ed), Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Helms CM, Rossi D, Grant KA (2012) Neurosteroid effects on sensitivity to ethanol. Front Endocrinology 3: 10 PMID: 22654852; PMC3356014

Leeman RF, Beseler CL, Helms CM, Patock-Peckham JA, Wakeling VA, Kahler CW. A brief, critical review of research on impaired control over alcohol use and suggestions for future studies. Alcohol Clin Exp Res, submitted.

Page Last Updated on May 31, 2013