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Department of Neurology

Department of Neurology

Faculty | Professors

A. Kimberley McAllister, Ph.D.

A. Kimberley McAllister, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Center for Neuroscience
Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior, College of Biological Sciences
Specialty: Neurology

Center for Neuroscience
1544 Newton Court
Davis, CA  95618
(530) 752-8114

Clinical & Research Interests

Research in McAllister's laboratory focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of synapse formation, competition, and elimination in the developing visual cortex. The lab studies the formation, persistence, and elimination of individual synapses between dissociated, cultured visual cortical neurons using time-lapse imaging.


In addition to studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms of synapse formation and plasticity, her lab is also interested in elucidating the role for immune molecules in early postnatal cortical development. McAllister's lab is working to identify the role for cytokines and synaptic activity in regulating MHCI expression as well as detemrining the mechanisms that MHCI uses to negatively regulate cortical connectivity. Since these immune molecules are implicated in several neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and schizophrenia, MHCI molecules could mediate the effects of the environment on cortical connectivity both during normal development and in neurodevelopmental disorders.


Duke University
Ph.D. 1996

Davidson College
B.S. 1988


The Salk Institute
Molecular Neurobiology

Awards and Honors

2007 UC Davis Chancellor’s Award
2006 Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award
2003-2007 Merck Scholars Award
2001-2005 Pew Foundation Scholar Award
2001-2003 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship
2001-2003 Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Award, March of Dimes
1997-1999 Howard Hughes Postdoctoral Fellowship

Select Recent Publications

Washbourne PW, Clark LN, El-Sabeawy F, and McAllister AK. Clustering of neuroligin directly recruits NMDA receptors and indirectly stabilizes them through recruitment of PSD-95. Neural Development, in press.


Needleman LA and McAllister AK (2008) Seeing the light: insulin receptors and the CNS. Neuron 58:653-655.


Jelks KB, Wylie R, Floyd CL, McAllister AK, Wise P. (2007) Estradiol targets synaptic proteins to induce glutamatergic synapse formation in cultured hippocampal neurons: critical role of estrogen receptor-alpha. J. Neurosci. 27:6903-13.


McAllister AK (2007) Molecular mechanisms of CNS synapse formation. Annual Reviews of Neuroscience, in press.


Gomes R, Hampton C, and McAllister AK. (2006) TrkB and synaptic proteins are colocalized and transported together during development of cortical neurons. Journal of Neuroscience 26: 11487-500.


Sabo SL, Gomes RG, and McAllister AK. (2006) Selective formation of synapses at defined sites along the axon shaft. Journal of Neuroscience 26: 10813- 10825. Glynn MS and McAllister AK. (2006) Quantification of protein colocalization in cultured immunostained neurons. Nature Protocols 1:1287-1296.


Gage FH and McAllister AK (2005) Neuronal and glial cell biology. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 15: 497-499.


Washbourne PW, Liu X-B, Jones EG, and McAllister AK (2004) Exo/endocytic cycling of NMDA receptors during trafficking in neurons before synapse formation. Journal of Neuroscience, 24:8253-8264.


Sabo SL and McAllister AK (2003) Mobility and cycling of synaptic protein-containing vesicles in axonal growth cone filopodia, Nature Neuroscience 6: 1264-1269.


McAllister AK and Usrey W (2003) Depressed from deprivation? Look to the molecules… Nature Neuroscience 6:787-788.


McAllister AK (2003) Biolistic transfection of cultured organotypic brain slices. In Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 245: Gene Delivery to Mammalian Cells: Vol. 1: Nonviral Gene transfer Techniques, ed. W.C. Heiser. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press Inc.


Washbourne P, Bennett JE, and McAllister AK (2002) Rapid recruitment of NMDA receptor transport packets to nascent synapses. Nature Neuroscience 5: 751-759.


Washbourne P and McAllister AK (2002) Transfection methods for neurons. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 12: 566-573.


Huberman AD and McAllister AK (2002) Neurotrophins and visual cortical plasticity. Progress in Brain Research, 138:39-51.


McAllister AK (2002) Spatially restricted actions of BDNF. Neuron, 36: 549-550.


McAllister AK (2002) Conserved cues for axon and dendrite growth in the developing cortex. Neuron 33:2-4.


McAllister AK (2002) BDNF. Current Biology, 138:39-51.


McAllister AK (2002) Neurotrophins in cortical development. In Results Probl Cell Differ, ed. CF Hohmann. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer Verlag.


McAllister AK (2001) Neurotrophins and neuronal differentiation in the CNS. In Structure and biology of neurotrophic factors, eds. U Arumae and M Saarma. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences Series, 58(8):1054-60.


McAllister AK (2000) Biolistic transfection of cortical neurons in both slice and dissociated cultures. Science: Sci STKE. 2000 Sep 26;2000(51):PL1.


McAllister AK and Stevens CF (2000) Non-saturation of both AMPA and NMDA receptors at hippocampal synapses, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97: 6173-6178.


McAllister AK (2000) Cellular and molecular mechanisms of dendritic growth. Cerebral Cortex, 10: 963-973.