Jennifer M. Loftis, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine
  • Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience, School of Medicine
  • Core Faculty, Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program, School of Medicine

Biography

Research

Dr. Jennifer Loftis is a Research Scientist at the VA Portland Health Care System and a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at OHSU. Her research is focused on investigating the neuroimmunological mechanisms contributing to mood disorders and cognitive impairments, discovering treatment targets, and testing new interventions for improving neuropsychiatric function. Dr. Loftis’ translational research program uses rodent models and human research participants to characterize inflammatory pathways involved in cognitive dysfunction and neuropsychiatric symptoms, particularly in the context of substance abuse and chronic viral infection. She identified a novel role for cytokines in the development of depressive symptoms in patients with chronic hepatitis C, and this finding has led to the testing of hypotheses regarding how circulating inflammatory cytokines affect central nervous system (CNS) functioning. Dr. Loftis’ long-term goal as a principal investigator is to expand our understanding of the biochemical and molecular mechanisms associated with neuropsychiatric impairments and CNS inflammation.

Teaching/Mentorship

Dr. Loftis is an active mentor and teacher in the community. At OHSU, she is a core faculty member for the Clinical Psychology PhD program and a mentor for the Partnership for Scientific Inquiry program (https://psiprogram.weebly.com/). She also mentors for the VA Mental Illness Research Education Clinical Center of Excellence (MIRECC).

Administration/Service

Dr. Loftis balances her research and teaching responsibilities with administrative and community service. She serves as a member of the OHSU School of Medicine Faculty Council and the Department of Psychiatry Research Advisory and Promotions & Tenure Committees. At the VA Portland Health Care System, she is chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and a member of the Research & Development Committee.

Education

  • B.A., 1990, University of California at Santa Barbara
  • M.A., 1994, Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • Ph.D., 2002, Oregon Health & Science University
  • Fellowship:

    • Post-doctoral fellowship, Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, OHSU, 2004 - 2007

Areas of interest

  • Neuroscience
  • Immunology
  • Cognition
  • Mood disorders
  • Substance use disorders

Publications

Selected publications

  • Huckans M, Boyd S, Moncrief G, Hantke N, Winters B, Shirley K, Sano E, McCready H, Dennis L, Kohno M, Hoffman W, Loftis JM. Cognition during active methamphetamine use versus remission. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2021 Oct 6:1-12. doi: 10.1080/13803395.2021.1976734. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34612792.
  • Sandau US, Loftis JM. Toward a better understanding of inflammatory microvesicles in alcohol use disorder. J Neurosci Res. 2021 Oct;99(10):2364-2366. doi: 10.1002/jnr.24930. Epub 2021 Jul 22. PMID: 34292625.
  • Sandau US, Duggan E, Shi X, Smith SJ, Huckans M, Schutzer WE, Loftis JM, Janowsky A, Nolan JP, Saugstad JA. Methamphetamine use alters human plasma extracellular vesicles and their microRNA cargo: An exploratory study. J Extracell Vesicles. 2020 Nov;10(1):e12028. doi: 10.1002/jev2.12028. Epub 2020 Nov 28. PMID: 33613872; PMCID: PMC7890470.
  • Zaccari B, Callahan ML, Storzbach D, McFarlane N, Hudson R, Loftis JM. Yoga for veterans with PTSD: Cognitive functioning, mental health, and salivary cortisol. Psychol Trauma. 2020 Nov;12(8):913-917. doi: 10.1037/tra0000909. Epub 2020 Aug 10. PMID: 32772534; PMCID: PMC7880235.
  • Gustafsson HC, Sullivan EL, Battison EAJ, Holton KF, Graham AM, Karalunas SL, Fair DA, Loftis JM, Nigg JT. Evaluation of maternal inflammation as a marker of future offspring ADHD symptoms: A prospective investigation. Brain Behav Immun. 2020 Oct;89:350-356. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.07.019. Epub 2020 Jul 21. PMID: 32707260; PMCID: PMC7703804.
  • Gustafsson HC, Sullivan EL, Battison EAJ, Holton KF, Graham AM, Karalunas SL, Fair DA, Loftis JM, Nigg JT. Evaluation of maternal inflammation as a marker of future offspring ADHD symptoms: A prospective investigation. Brain Behav Immun. 2020 Oct;89:350-356. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.07.019. Epub 2020 Jul 21. PMID: 32707260; PMCID: PMC7703804.
  • Dunn GA, Loftis JM, Sullivan EL. Neuroinflammation in psychiatric disorders: An introductory primer. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2020 Sep;196:172981. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2020.172981. Epub 2020 Jul 1. PMID: 32621927; PMCID: PMC7430067.
  • Loftis JM, Navis T, Taylor J, Hudson R, Person U, Lattal KM, Vandenbark AA, Shirley R, Huckans M. Partial MHC/neuroantigen peptide constructs attenuate methamphetamine-seeking and brain chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 levels in rats. Eur J Pharmacol. 2020 Aug 5;880:173175. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2020.173175. Epub 2020 May 13. PMID: 32416183; PMCID: PMC7326336.
  • Loftis JM, Byrne ML, Measelle J. Special Issue: Contexts and Consequences of Childhood Inflammation. Brain Behav Immun. 2020 May;86:1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.11.005. Epub 2019 Nov 11. PMID: 31726087; PMCID: PMC7402616.
  • Gustafsson HC, Holton KF, Anderson AN, Nousen EK, Sullivan CA, Loftis JM, Nigg JT, Sullivan EL. Increased Maternal Prenatal Adiposity, Inflammation, and Lower Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels Influence Child Negative Affect. Front Neurosci. 2019 Oct 1;13:1035. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.01035. PMID: 31632234; PMCID: PMC6779776.

Publications

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