A. Kimberley McAllister, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, College of Biological Sciences; Department of Neurology, School of Medicine; and Center for Neuroscience
Medical Neurosciences Bldg., Room 502F
Dr. McAllister is a basic and translational neuroscientist who started her laboratory at the Center for Neuroscience in 2000. Her research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of synapse formation in the developing cerebral cortex. The main approach in her lab is to study the formation of individual synapses between dissociated, cultured neurons in real time. This is accomplished by simultaneously imaging the recruitment of pre- and postsynaptic proteins fused to GFP to synaptic sites and recording the development of synaptic transmission at single synapses as they form. The specific signals that guide synapse formation and plasticity are studied by manipulating them locally at forming and/or mature synapses. For this basic research, Dr. McAllister has been awarded a grant from the National Eye Institute in addition to a number of fellowships from private foundations including a Scholar Award from the Pew Foundation and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. In addition to the basic research in her lab, Dr. McAllister’s research also focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia and autism. For these projects, she has been awarded a Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Award from the March of Dimes, a Scholar Award from the John Merck Fund, a Research Grant from the March of Dimes, a Pilot award from Cure Autism Now, and a research grant from Autism Speaks. Dr. McAllister has a strong commitment to graduate education as she has served as Chair of Admissions for 4 years, and has been a member of the Executive Committee for 4 years. Dr. McAllister holds positions in the Department of Neurology, the Division of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and the Center for Neuroscience. In the eight years that she has been at the University of California, Davis, Dr. McAllister has developed collaborative and interdisciplinary research with colleagues in several departments. On a national and international level, Dr. McAllister serves as a reviewer for many journals, ad-hocs for several NIH study sections, has been a member of the Program Committee for the Society for Neuroscience, and was awarded the 2006 Young Investigator Award from the Society for Neuroscience.
B.S., Biology, Davidson College, 1988
Ph.D., Neurobiology, Duke University, 1996