Photo of Jacob Raber, Ph.D.

Jacob Raber Ph.D.

  •      (503) 494-1524
    • Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience School of Medicine
    • Behavioral Neuroscience Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • Cancer Biology Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • Neuroscience Graduate Program School of Medicine

Our research focuses on effects of genetic factors, such as apoE, and environmental factors, including irradiation, immunotherapy, a high-fat diet, environmental toxins, and other stressors, on brain structure and function in experimental mouse models of human neurological diseases. Based on what we learn in the mouse models, we try to develop tests and treatment strategies to improve brain function in humans suffering from these diseases. Routinely, we use a combination of behavioral, neuroendocrinological, pharmacological, neurochemical, immunohistochemical, cellular, and molecular approaches. Recently, as part of collaborative efforts, we started to include unibiased omics approaches to determine whether the behavioral and cognitive alterations are associated with specific pathway alterations.   We developed humanized versions of the mouse object recognition and spatial navigation tests and assess whether they are sensitive to detect effects of sex and apoE4 on cognition in health and disease. These tests might be valuable in identifying biomarkers of cognitive function and susceptibility to cognitive impairments. 


Selected publications

  •  Weiss, J., Weber, S., Torres, E.S.R., Marzulla, T., Raber, J. (2017) Genetic inhibition of Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase rescues cognitive impairments in Neurofibromatosis 1 mutant mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 321, 148-156.

  • Impey, S., Jopson, T., Pelz, C., Tafessu, A., Fareh, F., Zuloaga, D., Marzulla, T., Riparip, L.-K., Stewart, B., Rosi, S., Turker, M.S., Raber, J. (2016) Short- and long-term effects of 56Fe irradiation on cognition and hippocampal DNA methylation and gene expression. BMC Genomics, 17, 825.

  • Akinyeke, T., Weber, S.J., Davenport, A.T., Baker, E.J., Daunais, J.B., Raber, J. (2016) Effects of alcohol on c-Myc protein in the brain. Behavioural Brain Research, 320, 356-364.

  • Impey, S., Jopson, T, Pelz, C., Tafessu, A, Fareh, F., Zuloaga, D., Marzulla, T., Riparip, L., Stewart, B., Rosi, S, Turker, M.S., Raber, J. (2017) Bi-directional and shared epigenomic signatures following proton and 56Fe irradiation. Scientific Reports, 7, 10277.

  • Villasana, L.E., Akinyeke, T., Weber, S., Raber, J. (2017) Paradoxical effects of 137Cs irradiation on pharmacological stimulation of reactive oxygen species in hippocampal slices from apoE2 and apoE4 mice. Oncotarget, in press 

  • Weiss, J.B., Weber, S., Marzulla, T., Raber, J. (2017) Pharmacological inhibition of Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase rescues cognitive impairments in Neurofibromatosis 1 mutant mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 332:337-342.

  • Johnson, L.A., Torres, E.R.S., Impey, S., Stevens, J.F., Raber, J. (2017) Apolipoprotein E4 and insulin resistance interact to impair cognition and alter the epigenome and metabolome. Scientific Reports, 7, 43701.

  • McGinnis, G.J., Friedman, D., Young, K.H., Torres, E.R., Thomas Jr., C.R., Gough, M.J., Raber, J. (2016) Neuroinflammatory and cognitive consequences of combined radiation and immunotherapy in a novel preclinical model. Oncotarget, 8, 9155-9173.

  • Villasana, L.E., Weber, S., Akineyeke, T., Raber, J. (2016) Genotype differences in anxiety and fear learning and memory of WT and ApoE4 mice associated with enhanced generation of hippocampal reactive oxygen species. Journal of Neurochemistry, 138, 896-908.

  •  Impey S, Pelz C, Tafessu A, Marzulla T, Turker MS, Raber J (2016) Proton irradiation induces persistent and tissue-specific DNA methylation changes in the left ventricle and hippocampus. BMC Genomics 17, 273.


  • "Long-term effects of 56Fe irradiation on spatial memory of mice" International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics June 1 2011
  • "IL-2 induces vasopressin release from the hypothalamus and the amygdala" Journal of Neuroscience October 1994
  • "The effects of methamphetamine exposure during brain development on cognition and markers of cognitive function"  February 2012
  • "Reliability and validity of brief problem monitor, an abbreviated form of the child behavior checklist" Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences  2014
  • "Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone differentially improve cognition in aged female mice" Learning and Memory August 2009
  • "Role of H3-receptor-mediated signaling in anxiety and cognition in wild-type and Apoe-/- mice" Neuropsychopharmacology March 2004
  • "Effects of sex on object recognition and spatial navigation in humans" Behavioural Brain Research October 16 2006
  • "Effects of137Cs γ irradiation on cognitive performance and measures of anxiety in Apoe-/- and wild-type female mice" Radiation Research October 2008
  • "Corticotropin-releasing factor and adrenocorticotrophic hormone as potential central mediators of OB effects" Journal of Biological Chemistry June 13 1997
  • "Detrimental effects of chronic hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation" Molecular Neurobiology  1998
  • "Combined exposure to protons and 56Fe leads to overexpression of Il13 and reactivation of repetitive elements in the mouse lung" Life Sciences in Space Research November 1 2015
  • "Erratum" Neuroscience  1996
  • "Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase and Leukocyte Tyrosine Kinase" Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior January 2012
  • "ApoE isoform-dependent deficits in extinction of contextual fear conditioning" Genes, Brain and Behavior October 2012
  • "Non-replication of an association of Apolipoprotein E2 with sinistrality" Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition March 2013
  • "Correcting deregulated Fxyd1 expression ameliorates a behavioral impairment in a mouse model of Rett syndrome" Brain Research February 16 2013
  • "Early effects of whole-body 56Fe irradiation on hippocampal function in C57BL/6J mice" Radiation Research May 2013
  • "Statistical analysis of latency outcomes in behavioral experiments" Behavioural Brain Research August 1 2011
  • "Role of apolipoprotein E in anxiety" Neural Plasticity  2007
  • "Reduced histamine levels and H3 receptor antagonist-induced histamine release in the amygdala of Apoe-/- mice" Journal of Neurochemistry October 2007
  • "Nitric oxide is not involved in the control of vasopressin release during acute forced swimming in rats" Amino Acids February 2004
  • "Arginine vasopressin release by acetylcholine or norepinephrine" Neuroscience April 1996
  • "Age, sex, and handedness differentially contribute to neurospatial function on the Memory Island and Novel-Image Novel-Location tests" Physiology and Behavior July 6 2011
  • "Age-dependent measures of anxiety and cognition in male histidine decarboxylase knockout (Hdc-/-) mice" Brain Research February 3 2006
  • "Characterization of the novel positive allosteric modulator of the metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 ADX88178 in rodent models of neuropsychiatric disorders" Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics  2014
  • "Methamphetamine exposure during brain development alters the brain acetylcholine system in adolescent mice" Journal of Neurochemistry October 2011
  • "Evaluation of a Short-Form of the Berg Card Sorting Test" PLoS One May 14 2013
  • "Delayed administration of alpha-difluoromethylornithine prevents hippocampus-dependent cognitive impairment after single and combined injury in mice" Radiation Research November 1 2014
  • "Glutathione peroxidase activity modulates recovery in the injured immature brain" Annals of Neurology May 2009
  • "Measures of anxiety, sensorimotor function, and memory in male and female mGluR4 -/- mice" Behavioural Brain Research April 1 2012

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