Christina L. Williams

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Rutgers University 1981

Overview

My research uses both mouse and rat models to examine how nutrients and hormones alter the course of brain and behavioral development. For example, we find that supplementing or depleting nutrients like choline or folate from the maternal diet have long-term consequences on rats' memory function during early development, in adulthood, and into old age. Specifically, choline supplementation appears to improve memory while short periods of choline deprivations during prenatal development appears to selectively impair attentional processes. A second line of research examines the effects of estrogen and other steroid hormones on brain and memory function across the lifespan. I am interested in both early developmental effects of estrogens (that is, the development of sex differences in cognition) as well as effects of replacement estrogens after reproductive senescence. Recently our laboratory has begun to use various genetically altered strains of mice (knockouts and transgene) to examine how nutrients and hormones during development may interact with genotype to alter the development of learning and memory processes.

Expertise

Effects of nutrients and hormones on the brain, neuroscience, development, estrogen, choline

Mellott, TJ, Williams, CL, Meck, WH, and Blusztajn, JK. "Prenatal choline supplementation advances hippocampal development and enhances MAPK and CREB activation." FASEB J 18.3 (March 2004): 545-547. Full Text

Sandstrom, NJ, and Williams, CL. "Spatial memory retention is enhanced by acute and continuous estradiol replacement." Hormones and Behavior 45.2 (2004): 128-135. Full Text

Matsubara, E, Bryant-Thomas, T, Quinto, JP, Henry, TL, Poeggeler, B, Herbert, D, Cruz-Sanchez, F, Chyan, Y-J, Smith, MA, Perry, G, Shoji, M, Abe, K, Leone, A, Grundke-Ikbal, I, Wilson, GL, Ghiso, J, Williams, C, Refolo, LM, and Pappolla, MA. "Melatonin increases survival and inhibits oxidative and amyloid pathology in a transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease." Journal of Neurochemistry 85.5 (2003): 1101-1108. Full Text

Albright, CD, Siwek, DF, Craciunescu, CN, Mar, M-H, Kowall, NW, Williams, CL, and Zeisel, SH. "Choline availability during embryonic development alters the localization of calretinin in developing and aging mouse hippocampus." Nutritional Neuroscience 6.2 (2003): 129-134. Full Text

McKeon-O'Malley, C, Siwek, D, Lamoureux, JA, Williams, CL, and Kowall, NW. "Prenatal choline deficiency decreases the cross-sectional area of cholinergic neurons in the medial septal nucleus." Brain Research 977.2 (2003): 278-283. Full Text

Matsubara, E, Bryant-Thomas, T, Pacheco, J, Henry, TL, Poeggeler, B, Herbert, D, Cruz-Sanchez, F, Chyan, Y-J, Smith, MA, Perry, G, Chain, DG, Neria, E, Shoji, M, Abe, K, Leone, A, Grundke-Iqbal, I, Wilson, GL, Ghiso, J, Williams, C, Refolo, LM, and Pappolla, MA. "Erratum: Melatonin increases survival and inhibits oxidative and amyloid pathology in a transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease (Journal of Neurochemistry 85 (1101-1108))." Journal of Neurochemistry 86.5 (2003): 1312--.

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