Susan Powell

TitleAdjunct Professor
InstitutionUniversity of California San Diego
Address9500 Gilman Drive #0804
La Jolla CA 92093
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    Dr. Powell received her BA degree with honors in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her PhD in Psychobiology in 1999 from the University of Florida with support from an NIMH Predoctoral NRSA fellowship. She completed her postdoctoral training in psychopharmacology in the UCSD Psychiatry Department and was then appointed as an Assistant Project Scientist in 2003. Dr. Powell has been an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry since 2007, and has been the principal investigator on research awards from NIMH and NARSAD.

    Research Interests

    Dr. Powell’s research broadly involves the behavioral effects of alterations in monoamine neurochemistry. She has been primarily studying the effects of early developmental manipulations on behavioral and neurobiological measures in rodents. In addition to research on the psychopharmacology and neurocircuitry of prepulse inhibition in rodents, Dr. Powell’s research explores possible prophylactic antipsychotic treatments in neurodevelopmental rodent models. Her research also involves basic studies on the behavioral effects of hallucinogens in rodents with the hope that these models will inform us about psychosis in humans.

    Clinical Focus

    The goal of the preclinical work is to develop new therapies for individuals with schizophrenia. Dr. Powell has partnered with local biotechnology companies to provide in vivo testing of putative therapeutic compounds for schizophrenia. By focusing on animal models of the developmental aspects of schizophrenia, it is to develop treatments for psychosis early in the course of the disease.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Environmental contribution to neuronal-methylome dynamics in animal models of autism spectrum disorders
    NIH/NIEHS R01ES025585Aug 1, 2015 - Jun 30, 2020
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Sensitive and Treatable Periods of Brain-Redox Imbalance in Schizophrenia
    NIH/NIMH R01MH091407Jul 19, 2010 - May 31, 2015
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Models of Antipsychotic Prophylaxis for Schizophrenia
    NIH/NIMH R21MH068611Aug 8, 2003 - Jun 30, 2007
    Role: Principal Investigator
    NIH/NIMH F31MH012175Aug 24, 1998
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. McClatchy DB, Yu NK, Martínez-Bartolomé S, Patel R, Pelletier AR, Lavalle-Adam M, Powell SB, Roberto M, Yates JR. Structural Analysis of Hippocampal Kinase Signal Transduction. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2018 Aug 13. PMID: 30053369.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Amitai N, Powell SB, Young JW. Phencyclidine increased while isolation rearing did not affect progressive ratio responding in rats: Investigating potential models of amotivation in schizophrenia. Behav Brain Res. 2017 Nov 22. PMID: 29175446.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Khan A, Powell SB. Sensorimotor gating deficits in "two-hit" models of schizophrenia risk factors. Schizophr Res. 2017 Oct 22. PMID: 29070440.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Deslauriers J, Powell S, Risbrough VB. Immune signaling mechanisms of PTSD risk and symptom development: insights from animal models. Curr Opin Behav Sci. 2017 Apr; 14:123-132. PMID: 28758144.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Deslauriers J, van Wijngaarde M, Geyer MA, Powell S, Risbrough VB. Effects of LPS-induced immune activation prior to trauma exposure on PTSD-like symptoms in mice. Behav Brain Res. 2017 04 14; 323:117-123. PMID: 28159589.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Khan A, de Jong LA, Kamenski ME, Higa KK, Lucero JD, Young JW, Behrens MM, Powell SB. Adolescent GBR12909 exposure induces oxidative stress, disrupts parvalbumin-positive interneurons, and leads to hyperactivity and impulsivity in adult mice. Neuroscience. 2017 Mar 14; 345:166-175. PMID: 27890827.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Halberstadt AL, Hyun J, Ruderman MA, Powell SB. Effects of the psychotomimetic benzomorphan N-allylnormetazocine (SKF 10,047) on prepulse inhibition of startle in mice. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2016 09; 148:69-75. PMID: 27236030.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Halberstadt AL, Slepak N, Hyun J, Buell MR, Powell SB. The novel ketamine analog methoxetamine produces dissociative-like behavioral effects in rodents. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2016 Apr; 233(7):1215-25. PMID: 26758284.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Amitai N, Powell S, Weber M, Swerdlow NR, Young JW. Negative visuospatial priming in isolation-reared rats: Evidence of resistance to the disruptive effects of amphetamine. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2015 Dec; 15(4):901-14. PMID: 26220402; PMCID: PMC4641795 [Available on 12/01/16].
    10. Higa KK, Ji B, Buell MR, Risbrough VB, Powell SB, Young JW, Geyer MA, Zhou X. Restoration of Sp4 in Forebrain GABAergic Neurons Rescues Hypersensitivity to Ketamine in Sp4 Hypomorphic Mice. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 Jun 02; 18(11):pyv063. PMID: 26037489; PMCID: PMC4756721.
    11. Powell SB, Khan A, Young JW, Scott CN, Buell MR, Caldwell S, Tsan E, de Jong LA, Acheson DT, Lucero J, Geyer MA, Behrens MM. Early Adolescent Emergence of Reversal Learning Impairments in Isolation-Reared Rats. Dev Neurosci. 2015; 37(3):253-62. PMID: 26022788; PMCID: PMC4644772.
    12. Naviaux JC, Wang L, Li K, Bright AT, Alaynick WA, Williams KR, Powell SB, Naviaux RK. Antipurinergic therapy corrects the autism-like features in the Fragile X (Fmr1 knockout) mouse model. Mol Autism. 2015; 6:1. PMID: 25705365; PMCID: PMC4334917.
    13. Amitai N, Young JW, Higa K, Sharp RF, Geyer MA, Powell SB. Isolation rearing effects on probabilistic learning and cognitive flexibility in rats. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2014 Mar; 14(1):388-406. PMID: 23943516; PMCID: PMC3923850.
    14. Liu XC, Holtze M, Powell SB, Terrando N, Larsson MK, Persson A, Olsson SK, Orhan F, Kegel M, Asp L, Goiny M, Schwieler L, Engberg G, Karlsson H, Erhardt S. Behavioral disturbances in adult mice following neonatal virus infection or kynurenine treatment--role of brain kynurenic acid. Brain Behav Immun. 2014 Feb; 36:80-9. PMID: 24140727; PMCID: PMC3947209.
    15. Swerdlow NR, Light GA, Trim RS, Breier MR, Hines SR, Powell SB. Forebrain gene expression predicts deficits in sensorimotor gating after isolation rearing in male rats. Behav Brain Res. 2013 Nov 15; 257:118-28. PMID: 24076151; PMCID: PMC3897308.
    16. Swerdlow NR, Powell SB, Breier MR, Hines SR, Light GA. Coupling of gene expression in medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens after neonatal ventral hippocampal lesions accompanies deficits in sensorimotor gating and auditory processing in rats. Neuropharmacology. 2013 Dec; 75:38-46. PMID: 23810830; PMCID: PMC3825835.
    17. Naviaux RK, Zolkipli Z, Wang L, Nakayama T, Naviaux JC, Le TP, Schuchbauer MA, Rogac M, Tang Q, Dugan LL, Powell SB. Antipurinergic therapy corrects the autism-like features in the poly(IC) mouse model. PLoS One. 2013; 8(3):e57380. PMID: 23516405.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Halberstadt AL, Powell SB, Geyer MA. Role of the 5-HT2A receptor in the locomotor hyperactivity produced by phenylalkylamine hallucinogens in mice. Neuropharmacology. 2013 Jul; 70:218-27. PMID: 23376711; PMCID: PMC3934507.
    19. Swerdlow NR, Light GA, Breier MR, Shoemaker JM, Saint Marie RL, Neary AC, Geyer MA, Stevens KE, Powell SB. Sensory and sensorimotor gating deficits after neonatal ventral hippocampal lesions in rats. Dev Neurosci. 2012; 34(2-3):240-9. PMID: 22572564.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Powell SB, Weber M, Geyer MA. Genetic models of sensorimotor gating: relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders. Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2012; 12:251-318. PMID: 22367921; PMCID: PMC3357439.
    21. Young JW, Powell SB, Geyer MA. Mouse pharmacological models of cognitive disruption relevant to schizophrenia. Neuropharmacology. 2012 Mar; 62(3):1381-90. PMID: 21726569; PMCID: PMC3217063.
    22. Young JW, Powell SB, Scott CN, Zhou X, Geyer MA. The effect of reduced dopamine D4 receptor expression in the 5-choice continuous performance task: Separating response inhibition from premature responding. Behav Brain Res. 2011 Sep 12; 222(1):183-92. PMID: 21458500; PMCID: PMC3531561.
    23. Powell SB, Sejnowski TJ, Behrens MM. Behavioral and neurochemical consequences of cortical oxidative stress on parvalbumin-interneuron maturation in rodent models of schizophrenia. Neuropharmacology. 2012 Mar; 62(3):1322-31. PMID: 21315745; PMCID: PMC3106123.
    24. Halberstadt AL, Lehmann-Masten VD, Geyer MA, Powell SB. Interactive effects of mGlu5 and 5-HT2A receptors on locomotor activity in mice. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2011 May; 215(1):81-92. PMID: 21153406; PMCID: PMC3072483.
    25. Halberstadt AL, Koedood L, Powell SB, Geyer MA. Differential contributions of serotonin receptors to the behavioral effects of indoleamine hallucinogens in mice. J Psychopharmacol. 2011 Nov; 25(11):1548-61. PMID: 21148021; PMCID: PMC3531560.
    26. Gresack J, Powell S, Geyer M, Poore MS, Coste S, Risbrough V. CRF2 null mutation increases sensitivity to isolation rearing effects on locomotor activity in mice. Neuropeptides. 2010 Aug; 44(4):349-53. PMID: 20466421; PMCID: PMC2888500.
    27. Young JW, Powell SB, Geyer MA, Jeste DV, Risbrough VB. The mouse attentional-set-shifting task: a method for assaying successful cognitive aging? Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2010 May; 10(2):243-51. PMID: 20498348; PMCID: PMC2877277.
    28. Gresack JE, Risbrough VB, Scott CN, Coste S, Stenzel-Poore M, Geyer MA, Powell SB. Isolation rearing-induced deficits in contextual fear learning do not require CRF(2) receptors. Behav Brain Res. 2010 May 01; 209(1):80-4. PMID: 20097235; PMCID: PMC2832092.
    29. Powell SB. Models of neurodevelopmental abnormalities in schizophrenia. Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2010; 4:435-81. PMID: 21312409; PMCID: PMC3595002.
    30. Asp L, Holtze M, Powell SB, Karlsson H, Erhardt S. Neonatal infection with neurotropic influenza A virus induces the kynurenine pathway in early life and disrupts sensorimotor gating in adult Tap1-/- mice. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2010 May; 13(4):475-85. PMID: 19607757; PMCID: PMC2857580.
    31. Ruderman MA, Powell SB, Geyer MA. A Kappa Opioid Model of Atypical Altered Consciousness and Psychosis: U50488, DOI, AC90179 Effects on Prepulse Inhibition and Locomotion in Mice. J Young Investig. 2009 Jul 01; 19(13):1-7. PMID: 25346645.
      View in: PubMed
    32. Powell SB, Zhou X, Geyer MA. Prepulse inhibition and genetic mouse models of schizophrenia. Behav Brain Res. 2009 Dec 07; 204(2):282-94. PMID: 19397931; PMCID: PMC2735602.
    33. Halberstadt AL, van der Heijden I, Ruderman MA, Risbrough VB, Gingrich JA, Geyer MA, Powell SB. 5-HT(2A) and 5-HT(2C) receptors exert opposing effects on locomotor activity in mice. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2009 Jul; 34(8):1958-67. PMID: 19322172; PMCID: PMC2697271.
    34. Young JW, Powell SB, Risbrough V, Marston HM, Geyer MA. Using the MATRICS to guide development of a preclinical cognitive test battery for research in schizophrenia. Pharmacol Ther. 2009 May; 122(2):150-202. PMID: 19269307; PMCID: PMC2688712.
    35. Powell SB, Young JW, Ong JC, Caron MG, Geyer MA. Atypical antipsychotics clozapine and quetiapine attenuate prepulse inhibition deficits in dopamine transporter knockout mice. Behav Pharmacol. 2008 Sep; 19(5-6):562-5. PMID: 18690110; PMCID: PMC2693185.
    36. Doherty JM, Masten VL, Powell SB, Ralph RJ, Klamer D, Low MJ, Geyer MA. Contributions of dopamine D1, D2, and D3 receptor subtypes to the disruptive effects of cocaine on prepulse inhibition in mice. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2008 Oct; 33(11):2648-56. PMID: 18075489.
      View in: PubMed
    37. Powell SB, Geyer MA. Overview of animal models of schizophrenia. Curr Protoc Neurosci. 2007 Apr; Chapter 9:Unit 9.24. PMID: 18428667.
      View in: PubMed
    38. Barr AM, Powell SB, Markou A, Geyer MA. Iloperidone reduces sensorimotor gating deficits in pharmacological models, but not a developmental model, of disrupted prepulse inhibition in rats. Neuropharmacology. 2006 Sep; 51(3):457-65. PMID: 16762376.
      View in: PubMed
    39. Vanover KE, Weiner DM, Makhay M, Veinbergs I, Gardell LR, Lameh J, Del Tredici AL, Piu F, Schiffer HH, Ott TR, Burstein ES, Uldam AK, Thygesen MB, Schlienger N, Andersson CM, Son TY, Harvey SC, Powell SB, Geyer MA, Tolf BR, Brann MR, Davis RE. Pharmacological and behavioral profile of N-(4-fluorophenylmethyl)-N-(1-methylpiperidin-4-yl)-N'-(4-(2-methylpropyloxy)phenylmethyl) carbamide (2R,3R)-dihydroxybutanedioate (2:1) (ACP-103), a novel 5-hydroxytryptamine(2A) receptor inverse agonist. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2006 May; 317(2):910-8. PMID: 16469866.
      View in: PubMed
    40. Varty GB, Powell SB, Lehmann-Masten V, Buell MR, Geyer MA. Isolation rearing of mice induces deficits in prepulse inhibition of the startle response. Behav Brain Res. 2006 Apr 25; 169(1):162-7. PMID: 16406103.
      View in: PubMed
    41. Powell SB, Palomo J, Carasso BS, Bakshi VP, Geyer MA. Yohimbine disrupts prepulse inhibition in rats via action at 5-HT1A receptors, not alpha2-adrenoceptors. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005 Jul; 180(3):491-500. PMID: 15719216.
      View in: PubMed
    42. Harte MK, Powell SB, Reynolds LM, Swerdlow NR, Geyer MA, Reynolds GP. Reduced N-acetylaspartate in the temporal cortex of rats reared in isolation. Biol Psychiatry. 2004 Aug 15; 56(4):296-9. PMID: 15312819.
      View in: PubMed
    43. Powell SB, Geyer MA, Gallagher D, Paulus MP. The balance between approach and avoidance behaviors in a novel object exploration paradigm in mice. Behav Brain Res. 2004 Jul 09; 152(2):341-9. PMID: 15196802.
      View in: PubMed
    44. Powell SB, Lehmann-Masten VD, Paulus MP, Gainetdinov RR, Caron MG, Geyer MA. MDMA "ecstasy" alters hyperactive and perseverative behaviors in dopamine transporter knockout mice. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2004 May; 173(3-4):310-7. PMID: 14747902.
      View in: PubMed
    45. Powell SB, Paulus MP, Hartman DS, Godel T, Geyer MA. RO-10-5824 is a selective dopamine D4 receptor agonist that increases novel object exploration in C57 mice. Neuropharmacology. 2003 Mar; 44(4):473-81. PMID: 12646284.
      View in: PubMed
    46. Powell SB, Swerdlow NR, Pitcher LK, Geyer MA. Isolation rearing-induced deficits in prepulse inhibition and locomotor habituation are not potentiated by water deprivation. Physiol Behav. 2002 Sep; 77(1):55-64. PMID: 12213502.
      View in: PubMed
    47. Powell SB, Geyer MA. Developmental markers of psychiatric disorders as identified by sensorimotor gating. Neurotox Res. 2002 Aug-Sep; 4(5-6):489-502. PMID: 12754162.
      View in: PubMed
    48. Presti MF, Powell SB, Lewis MH. Dissociation between spontaneously emitted and apomorphine-induced stereotypy in Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii. Physiol Behav. 2002 Mar; 75(3):347-53. PMID: 11897261.
      View in: PubMed