Ph.D. Graduate (2007)
(2002) BS Biobehavioral Health, The Pennsylvania State University
Training at OHSU
Second Year Project
(2004) Characterization of a procedure to test motor incoordination in mice (Mentor: Tamara J. Phillips, Ph.D.)
(2007) Multidisciplinary approaches examining the genetic basis of drug-induced locomotor stimulation (Mentor: Tamara J. Phillips, Ph.D.)
Postdoctoral Associate, Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, New Haven, CT (Mentor: Marina R. Picciotto, Ph.D.)
Assistant Research Professor, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado
Research Associate, Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado
Background & Interests
As an undergraduate student at Penn State I was very fortunate to have found the biobehavioral health program that integrates both biology and psychology. I was lucky that there were a number of faculty members and classes in the department that were directed towards behavioral genetics, allowing me to explore my interest in genes and how they can affect a vast array of traits from disease states to complex behaviors. I applied to a number of graduate schools that had on-going research in behavioral genetics, but it seemed like everyone I talked to gave me the same advice; "Go to OHSU!"
I find it very interesting that genes can affect behaviors and my hope is to be able to identify these genes. Because of the strong focus that OHSU has on drug abuse I decided to examine the genetics underlying this complex behavior. I am currently in the laboratory of Dr. Marissa Ehringer at the University of Colorado where I hope to learn additional molecular biology tools to help examine the genetic basis of drug abuse.
My OHSU experience
My time in the Behavioral Neuroscience department was a great experience. The department has a great atmosphere for individuals who are interested in addiction or behavioral genetics because there is such a concentration of research in these fields. This provides a great training environment where there is always someone to talk to about any scientific problems you might encounter. The faculty are very supportive of the students and I always felt like they wanted me to succeed. Furthermore, Portland is a great city to live in for graduate school. The cost of living is reasonable even on a graduate student’s stipend. I miss the great food that Portland has to offer at reasonable prices and the many wonderful outdoor activities around the city.
Kamens, H.M., Hoft, N.R., Cox, R.J., Miyamoto, J.H., & Ehringer, M.A. (In Press) The α6 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit influences ethanol-induced sedation. Alcohol.
Kamens, H.M., Andersen, J., & Picciotto, M.R. (In Press) The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist varenicline increases the ataxic and sedative-hypnotic effects of ethanol in C57BL/6J mice. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
Kamens, H.M., Andersen, J., & Picciotto, M.R. (2010) Modulation of ethanol consumption by genetic and pharmacological manipulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in mice. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 208(4), 613-626.
Picciotto, M.R., Brabant, C., Einstein, E., Kamens, H.M., & Neugebauer, N. (2010) Potential mechanisms underlying the effects of galanin on addiction- and stress-related behaviors. Brain Res, 1314, 206-218.
Kamens, H.M., McKinnon, C.S., Li, N., Helms, M.L., Belknap, J.K., & Phillips, T.J. (2009) The gene coding for the α3 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is a candidate gene for ethanol stimulation. Genes Brain Behav, 8(6), 600-609
Narasimhaiah, R, Kamens, H.M., & Picciotto, M.R. (2009) Effects of galanin on cocaine-mediated conditioned place preference and ERK signaling in mice. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 204(1), 95-102.
Phillips, T.J., Kamens, H.M., & Wheeler, J. (2008) Behavioral genetic contributions to the study of abuse-related amphetamine effects. Neurosci Biobehav Rev, 32(4), 707-59.
Kamens, H.M., & Phillips, T.J. (2008) A role for neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in ethanol-induced stimulation, but not cocaine- or methamphetamine-induced stimulation. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 196(3), 377-87.
Kliethermes, C.L., Kamens, H.M., & Crabbe, J.C. (2007) Drug reward and intake in lines of mice selectively bred for divergent exploration of a hole-board apparatus. Genes Brain Behav, 6(7), 608-618.
Kamens, H.M., & Crabbe, J.C. (2007) The parallel rod floor test: a measure of ataxia in mice. Nature Protocols, 2(2), 277-281.
Kamens, H.M., Burkhart-Kasch, S., McKinnon, C.S., Li, N., Reed, C., & Phillips, T.J. (2006) Ethanol-related traits in mice selectively bred for differential sensitivity to methamphetamine-induced activation. Behav Neurosci, 120(6), 1356-66.
Palmer, A.A., Verbitsky, M, Suresh, R, Kamens, H.M., Reed, C.L., Li, N., Burkhart-Kasch, S., McKinnon, C.S., Belknap, J.K., Gillman, T.C., & Phillips, T.J. (2005) Gene expression differences in mice divergently selected for methamphetamine sensitivity. Mamm Genome, 16, 291-305.
Kamens, H.M., Phillips, T.J., Holstein, S.E., & Crabbe, J.C. (2005) Characterization of the parallel rod floor apparatus to test motor incoordination in mice. Genes Brain Behav, 4(4), 253-66.
Kamens, H.M., Burkhart-Kasch, S., McKinnon, C.S., Li, N., Reed, C. & Phillips, T.J. (2005) Sensitivity to psychostimulants in mice bred for high and low stimulation to methamphetamine. Genes Brain Behav, 4(2), 110-25.
Klein, L.C., Stine, M.M., Vandenbergh, D.J., Whetzel, C.A., & Kamens, H.M. (2004) Sex differences in voluntary oral nicotine consumption by adolescent mice: a dose-response experiment. Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 78(1), 13-25.