Dr. Kimberly Nixon is an Associate Professor and James T. Doluisio Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology and member of the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research. Dr. Nixon received a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Texas at Austin under the mentorship of the late Dr. Abram Amsel and Dr. Steven W. Leslie. She then went on to the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Fulton Crews. While at UNC, she was the first to discover the effect of alcohol on neurogenesis in adult organisms, an area where her lab continues to lead the field today. Dr. Nixon joined the faculty as an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2005 where she rose through the ranks to full professor before returning to her alma mater in 2018.
I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab studying microglial biology in a rodent model of alcohol use disorder, with focus on adolescent susceptibility to ethanol-induced neuropathology. I received my undergraduate and master’s degrees in Biomedical Sciences (Neuroscience) and Mind and Cognition from Cardiff University and the University of Edinburgh. I earned my doctorate at the University of Illinois at Chicago where my research involved clinical populations with major psychiatric illness. During this time, I became interested in the interaction of the immune and nervous systems, and how this interplay is related to the development and progression of neurological and psychiatric illness.
In 2018, I obtained PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Houston, and in late 2019 I joined the lab of Dr. Kim Nixon as a postdoctoral fellow .My general research interests lie within the field of behavioral neuroscience, and specifically, exploring changes to brain and behavior related to use and abuse of drugs and alcohol. I current research focuses on the role microglia play in mediating an adolescent’s susceptibility to developing an Alcohol use disorder.
Natalie Nawarawong, PhD I received my BA in Neuroscience from Vassar College in 2008. Upon completion of my Bachelor’s degree, I worked in the Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center with Drs. Beatriz Luna and Miya Asato, where I worked on studies exploring adolescent brain development in pediatric patients and typically developing populations. Following my tenure in Pittsburgh, I moved to the Medical College of Wisconsin to pursue my PhD. In 2019, I completed my PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Olsen. My dissertation research utilized transgenic mouse models to investigate neuronal ensembles implicated in addiction vulnerability and relapse. In November 2019, I joined the laboratory of Dr. Kimberly Nixon at the University of Texas at Austin as a Postdoctoral Fellow. My research focuses on understanding the role of reactive neurogenesis within the hippocampus in alcohol use disorders. When not in the lab, I enjoy reading, ice skating, and exploring new places.
I attended The University of Kentucky where I received a BS in Psychology. My interest in how alcohol affects the nervous system took me from Kentucky to The University of Texas at Austin to join Dr. Kimberly Nixon’s lab at the University of Texas in 2018. Outside of lab, I enjoy the music and food Austin has to offer, along with caring for my lawn.
I am originally from Albuquerque NM, where I received by bachelors degree in Biology from the University of New Mexico. I then did a year of post-bac research in the lab of Dr. Dawn Delfín, investigating mechanisms to improve stem cell therapy for heart disease. I moved one state over to the University of Texas in 2018, and soon joined the lab of Dr. Kimberly Nixon as part of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Ph.D. program. I am currently studying how alcohol use disorder alters the phenotype of astrocytes. In my spare time, I love exploring the city of Austin on bike, trying out the many food trucks, restaurants, and nightlife spots ATX has to offer. A couple fun facts about me: I know how to juggle and I can speak a small amount of Chinese not very well (你好).
Chinchusha Anasooya Shaji
I have over 10 years of laboratory experience in Research. After moving to Dr. Tharakan lab (TAMHSC, Baylor Scott and White Heath), I assisted in different projects looking at the mechanism of blood brain barrier disfunction and brain edema following Traumatic brain injury. I joined the Dr. Nixon lab in 2019 as Lab Manager. Other than work, I love music, art, travelling.