NEUROSCIENCE GRADUATE STUDENTS

Alicia Avelar

 
Alicia Avelar

Hometown

Walnut, Illinois


Education

MS, Biological Science

BS, Biological Science

Illinois State University - Normal, Illinois


Lab Association

Michael Beckstead, Ph.D.


Hobbies and Interests

Reptiles, Art, Sci-Fi Shows and Movies and Live Music


Research

Alicia is studying the effects of methamphetamine self-administration on dopamine neurotransmission in the midbrain. Psychomotor stimulants (such as cocaine and methamphetamine) are commonly abused compounds, and although they are known to increase extracellular levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine the physiological consequences are dose-dependent and bidirectional. Alicia is using whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology in mouse brain slices to elucidate the effects of methamphetamine self-administration on neuronal excitability and transmission. Understanding the cellular adaptations produced by drugs of abuse will increase our understanding of the development of addiction and help us to better design therapeutic interventions to treat this costly disease.



• Accomplishments, Awards and Honors •

UTHSCSA IMGP Dean's Excellence Award - Fall 2012



• Appointments, Boards, Committees and Memberships •

American Physiological Society (APS) - 2014 - Present


Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) - 2013 - Present


UTHSCSA SACNAS Chapter Historian - 2013-2014

Weigel Grant Review Committee - Illinois State University - Spring, 2012


Society for Neuroscience - 2011 - Present


Weigel Grant Review Committee - Illinois State University - Spring, 2010



• Books and Publications •

Avelar A. J., Juliano S. A. and Garris P. A. (2013) Amphetamine augments vesicular dopamine release in the dorsal and ventral striatum through different mechanisms. J. Neurochem. 125, 373-385.

• Grants, Funding and Research Support •

1T32NS082145-01A1 - Neuroscience Early-Stage T32 Training Grant - Sept, 2013-Aug,2014


5R25GM095480-02 (MPI) - National Institutes of Health (NIH) R25 Trainee Grant - Aug, 2012-July, 2013



• Lectures, Posters and Presentations •

UTHSCSA 13th Annual Center for Biomedical Neuroscience (CBN) Retreat - San Antonio, TX. - May, 2015

UTHSCSA Physiology Student Symposium - San Antonio, TX. - April 2015

UTHSCSA Behavior, Biology, & Chemistry: Translational Research in Addiction Conference - San Antonio, TX. - March 2015

Intracellular calcium regulates D2 autoreceptor currents in substantia nigra dopamine neurons (Poster)


UTSA Dopamine Club - San Antonio, TX. - Feb. 2015

UTHSCSA Synapse Club - San Antonio, TX. - Jan. 2015

Intracellular calcium signaling regulation of D2 autoreceptor currents in dopamine neurons (Presentation)


Society for Neuroscience Annual Conference - Washington, D.C. - Nov. 2014

Decreasing the availability of intracellular calcium enhances potency and efficacy of dopamine on D2 autoreceptor-mediated currents in DBA/2J mouse brain slices (Poster)


UTHSCSA Undergraduate Recruitment Event - San Antonio, TX. - Oct. 2014 (Poster)

UTHSCSA CBN Retreat - San Antonio, TX. - May 2014 (Poster)
UTHSCSA Physiology Student Symposium - San Antonio, TX. - May 2014 (Poster)
UTSA Dopamine Club - San Antonio, TX. - April 2014 (Presentation)
UTHSCSA Whiteboard Session - San Antonio, TX. - April 2014 (Presentation)
UTHSCSA Behavior, Biology, & Chemistry: Translational Research in Addiction Conference - San Antonio, TX. - March 2014 (Poster)

The role of calcium on dopamine D2 autoreceptor-mediated currents in substantia nigra dopamine neurons


Illinois State University Neuroscience Seminar - Normal, IL - March 2012

The Predominant Mechanism of Amphetamine Action on Vesicular Dopamine Release Differs between the Dorsal and Ventral Striatum (Presentation)


Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society Symposium - Normal, IL - Feb. 2012

Society for Neuroscience Annual Conference - Washington, D.C. - Nov. 2011

Subregional Differences in the Mechanism of Amphetamine Action in the Rat Striatum (Poster)


Illinois State University Neuroscience Seminar Series - Normal, IL - Oct. 2011

Differential Action of Amphetamine on Vesicular Dopamine Release in Dorsal and Ventral Striata (Presentation)