Jean King, Ph.D.

Vice-Chair of Research
Director, Center for Comparative NeuroImaging (CCNI)
Director, Career Development and Research Office

Jean King

Dr. King holds a doctorate in Biology/Neuroscience from New York University and a master’s degree in cell biology from the City University of New York. She is a graduate (magna cum laude) of St. Francis College in New York. She has published over 60 original scientific papers in highly respected international scientific journals, over 10 chapters in books and review articles in major neurophysiology journals, and is an editor of New York Academy of Sciences Publication-Roots of Mental Illness in Children. She has been a scientific consultant for the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health as well as the Veterans Administration. Dr. King joined the University Of Massachusetts Medical School (UMass) after teaching at Spelman College in Atlanta and Post- Doctoral training at Emory University, Atlanta GA. At UMass, she rose from Assistant Professor to full Professor, which she was awarded in 2007. Currently, she serves as Vice Chair of Research and the Director of the Center for Comparative NeuroImaging in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Current Research Interests:

  1. Nicotine addiction and co-morbidity with mental health disorders like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  2. Animal Models of Neurological disorders like Parkinson disease and Traumatic Brain Injury
  3. Role of stress in the etiology of mental health disorders (mood disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, ADHD etc,)
  4. Epigenetic factors impacting emotion and cognition in vulnerable populations (like Autism Spectrum Disorders)
  5. Impact of Complementary and Alternative approaches on neuronal plasticity

Research Summary:

The application of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to visualize brain regions involved in emotion and cognition has considerably improved our understanding of human neurobiology. Studies in my laboratory use fMRI to identify and monitor neuronal plasticity associated with addiction, ADHD, depression, fearfulness, anxiety, autism and neurological disorders (PD and TBI) in animal models with the hope of finding clues to help us understand these conditions in humans. In recent years our laboratory has shifted to a more translational approach and incorporated a clinical research component to most of our animal studies. The long-term goal of this research is to provide an understanding of the unique features of central mechanisms that regulate emotion and cognition in both resilient and vulnerable populations.

Representative Publications:

King JA and V. Rossi. (2007). Nicotine and ADHD:Cognitive Association. Journal of Dual Diagnosis. 3 (2): 9-17.

Chen W, Jeff Tenney, and Praveen Kulkarni and King JA. (2007). Imaging Unconditioned Fear Response with Manganese Enhanced MRI. Neuroimage. 1;37(1):221-9.

Luo F, King JA, et al., (2007). Confounding effects of volatile anesthesia on CBV assessment in rodent forebrain following ethanol challenger. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 26(3):557-63.

Li Z, Wellman RJ, Kulkarni P and King, JA (2008). Imaging Brain Activation in Nicotine-Sensitized Rats. Journal Brain Research Vol 1199C pp 91-99.

Shields J, De Oliveira WL, and King, JA. (2008). The Role of 5-HT1A Receptors in the Behavioral Responses Associated with Innate Fear. Behavioral Neuroscience Vol 122 (3) pp-611-7.

Kim Deog J., King Jean A., Zuccarelli Lisa, Ferris Craig F. , Koppel Gary A. , Snowdown Charles T., Ahn Chang H. (2009). Clavulanic acid: A competitive inhibitor of beta-lactamases with novel anxiolytic-like activity and minimal side effects. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior Vol 93 pp 112-120.

Chen W,Shields J,Huang W,King J (2009). Female Fear: Influence of Estrus Cycle on Behavioral Response and Neuronal Activation. Behavioural Brain Research (201):8-13.

Febo M, Shields J, and King, JA. (2009). Oxytocin modulates unconditioned fear response in lactating dams: an fMRI study. Brain Research 1302:183-93.

Zhang N, Rane P, Huang W, Liang Z, Kennedy D, Frazier J and King J. (2010). Mapping resting-state brain networks in conscious animals. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 189 (2); 186-196.

Huang W, Heffernan ME, Li Z, Zhang N, Overstreet DH, and King JA. (2011). Fear induced neuronal alterations in a genetic model of depression: an fMRI study on awake animals. Neuroscience Letters, 489:74-78.

Liang Z, King JA, and Zhang N (2011). Uncovering Intrinsic Connectional Architecture of Functional Networks in Awake Rat Brain. Journal Neuroscience, 9;31(10) 3776-83.

Rane P, and King J. (2011). Exploring aversion in an animal model of pre-motor stage PD. Neuroscience. 5;(181) 189-95.

King J, Huang W, Chen W, Heffernan M, Shields J, Rane P, Bircher R, and DiFranza J. (2011). A Comparison of brain and behavioral effects of varenicline and nicotine in rats. Behavioral Brain Research 222: 42-47.

Nwosu BU, Meltzer B, Maranda L, Ciccarelli C, Reynolds D, Curtis L, King J, Frazier JA, Lee MM. (2011). A potential role for adjunctive vitamin D therapy in the management of weight gain and etabolic side effects of second-generation antipsychotics. J Pediatr Endocr Met 24(9-10):619–626.

Ling Z, King JA, Zhang, N. (2011). Uncovering Intrinsic Connectional Architecture of Functional Networks in Awake Rat Brain. The Journal of Neuroscience: 31(10):3776 –3783. PMID: 21389232.

Liang Z, King J, and Zhang N. (2012). Anticorrelated resting-state functional connectivity in awake rat brain. Neuroimage 16;59(2):1190-9.

Ling Z, King JA, Zhang, N. (2012). Anticorrelated Functional Connectivity in Awake Rat Brain. NeuroImage: 59(2):1190-9. PMID: 21864689.

Rane, P., Shields, J., Heffernan, M., Guo, Y., Akbarian, S., King, J.A. (2012). The histone deacetylase inhibitor, sodium butyrate, alleviates cognitive deficits in pre-motor stage PD. Neuropharmacology. 62(7):2408-11.

Heffernan, M.E., Huang, W., Sicard, K.M., Bratane, B.T., Zhang, N., Fisher, M., King, J.A. (2012). Multi-modal approach from investigating brain and behavior changes in an animal model of traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neurotrauma (accepted).