Dr. Nancy S. Woehrle
201 Zimmerman Hall
Dr. Woehrle received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Missouri, and her Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of Chicago. Following completion of her Ph.D., she earned a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. Dr. Woehrle joined the Wittenberg faculty in 2012.
Dr. Woehrle has always been fascinated by the idea that human consciousness arises from biological substrates. She strives to understand the neural underpinnings of human psychological capacities, and is particularly interested in uncovering the mechanisms of mental illness. Mental illness affects over a quarter of the world population, and yet remains poorly understood. Dr. Woehrle’s research program aims to identify the neurobiological substrates and specific genes that contribute to psychiatric disorders. Her recent projects have investigated mood and anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and autism.
Dr. Woehrle specializes in the development, validation and use of mouse models of psychiatric disorder. She recently developed a novel mouse model of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that is highly predictive of the human condition and is therefore broadly useful in the study of OCD. Using this model, her work pinpointed a serotonin receptor subtype in a brain area called the orbitofrontal cortex as a critical substrate for mediating OCD-related behaviors in mice. She showed that anti-OCD drugs may treat OCD by desensitizing this population of receptors. These findings may help explain why the orbitofrontal cortex is overactive in OCD patients, and lead to novel treatments for OCD. Her work on OCD was covered by various news agencies, including the Chicago Tribune.
PSYC 100 Understanding Psychology
PSYC 110 Physiological Psychology
PSYC 211 Sensation & Perception
PSYC 311 Behavioral Neuroscience
PSYC 400 Neuropsychiatric Disorder Research
Publications (* indicates work published under Dr. Woehrle’s maiden name, NA Shanahan):
NS Woehrle, SJ Klenotich, N Jamnia, EV Ho, SC Dulawa (2013) Effects of chronic fluoxetine treatment on serotonin 1B receptor-induced deficits in delayed alternation. Psychopharmacology (epub ahead of print).
NS Woehrle & SC Dulawa (2013) Neurobiology of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Gilles de la Tourette’s Syndrome: insights from genetic mouse models. In Handbook of Behavioral Genetics of the Mouse. (In press).
L Cheng, E Hattori, A Nakajima, NS Woehrle, MD Opal, C Zhang, SC Dulawa, Y Tang, ES Gershon, C Liu (2013) Expression of the G72/G30 gene in transgenic mice induces behavioral changes. Molecular Psychiatry (epub ahead of print).
*NA Shanahan, LP Velez, VA Masten, SC Dulawa (2011) Essential role for orbitofrontal 5-HT1B receptors in OCD-like behavior and SRI response in mice. Biological Psychiatry 70(11):1039-1048. [PMID: 21920503]
D Savic, MG Distler, G Skoloff, *NA Shanahan, SC Dulawa, AA Palmer, MA Nobrega (2011) Modulation of Tcf7l2 expression alters behavior in mice. PLoSOne 6(10):e26897 (epub Oct 27). [PMID: 22046400]
*NA Shanahan, KA Holick, M Ansorge, C Waeber, JA Gingrich, R Hen, SC Dulawa (2009) Chronic reductions in serotonin transporter function prevent 5-HT1B-induced behavioral effects in mice. Biological Psychiatry 65(5):401-8. [PMID: 19013555]
Abstracts (* indicates work published under Dr. Woehrle’s maiden name, NA Shanahan):
*NA Shanahan, S Klenotich, N Jamnia, SC Dulawa. Chronic fluoxetine treatment prevents serotonin 1B receptor-induced deficits in delayed alternation. Abstr Soc Neurosci, 2012.
N Jamina, *NA Shanahan, SJ Klenotich, SC Dulawa. Spatial working memory in a mouse model of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Abstr Midstates Consortium for Math and Science, 2011.
*NA Shanahan, LP Velez, VA Masten, SC Dulawa. Essential role for orbitofrontal 5-HT1B receptors in OCD-like behavior and SRI response in mice. Abstr American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2011.
*NA Shanahan, LP Velez, SC Dulawa. 5-HT1B-induced mouse model of OCD. Abstr Soc Neurosci, 2010.
SJ Klenotich, P Dugad, MP Seiglie, *NA Shanahan, SC Dulawa. Fluoxetine treatment of Balb/cJ mice in an activity-based anorexia model. Abstr Soc Neurosci, 2009.
*NA Shanahan, VL Masten, MA Geyer, SC Dulawa. Serotonin reuptake inhibition blocks 5-HT1B-induced OCD-like behavior with a time-course that parallels human therapeutic response. Abstr Soc Neurosci, 2009.
L Wang, *NA Shanahan, SC Dulawa. Mechanisms underlying the behavioral response to chronic antidepressant treatment. Serotonin Club Meeting, Oxford, England, 2008.
*NA Shanahan, SC Dulawa. Time-course and specificity for SRI treatment to reduce 5-HT1B-induced PPI deficits and perseverative hyperlocomotion. Abstr Soc Neurosci, 2008.
*NA Shanahan, SC Dulawa. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors specifically prevent serotonin 1B receptor agonist-induced reductions in PPI and perseverative behavior. Abstr Soc Neurosci, 2007.
AP Coulibaly, *NA Shanahan, PB Shelat, P Serfozo, TR Schachtman, A Simonyi. Region-specific induction of immediate early genes following inhibitory avoidance learning in rat brain. Abstr Ann Biomed Res Conf, 434 D9, 2006.
*NA Shanahan, AP Coulibaly, M Dopheide, P Shela, TR Schachtman. Mechanisms by which metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 influences inhibitory avoidance learning. Abstr Midwest Psychol Assoc, 61, 2005.