Ph.D Candidate at University of Washington Neuroscience, expected defense June 2020

Research Statement

I use techniques in electrophysiology and electrochemistry to study how motivational circuitry in the brain is altered by stress and drugs of abuse. My dissertation work focuses on a class of novel anti-addiction therapeutics, kappa opioid receptor antagonists, and their effects on dopamine neurons. Ultimately, the work I do helps to ask how neurons respond to reward stimuli under stress. This means assessing the mechanisms by which peptides released by stress change firing patterns and dopamine release probability. I also work on determining where on a neuron and within the brain these receptor systems are necessary to cause behavioral changes that can contribute to addiction.


Reviewed, in revision. Reichard KL, Newton KA, Rivera ZMG, Sotero de Menezes P, Land BB, Chavkin C. “Regulation of kappa opioid receptor inactivation depends on sex and cellular site of action.”  

Heymann G, Jo YS, Reichard KL, McFarland N, Chavkin C, Palmiter RD, Soden ME, Zweifel LS. “Synergy of Distinct Dopamine Projection Populations in Behavioral Reinforcement”. Neuron 2019 Dec.

Abraham, A. D., Schattauer, S. S., Reichard, K. L., Cohen, J. H., Fontaine, H. M., Song, A. J., Johnson, S., Land, B.B., Chavkin, C. “Estrogen regulation of GRK2 inactivates kappa opioid receptor signaling mediating  analgesia, but not aversion“. Journal of Neuroscience 2018 Aug.

Schattauer SS, Land BB, Reichard KL, Abraham AD, Burgeno, LM. Kuhar JR, Phillips PEM, Ong SE, Chavkin C. “Peroxiredoxin 6 mediates Gαi protein-coupled receptor inactivation by cJun kinase“. Nature Communications 2017 Sept; 8(743).

Kar A, Sun CY, Reichard K, Gervasi NM, Pickel J, Nakazawa K, Kaplan BB. “Dysregulation of the axonal trafficking of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNA alters neuronal mitochondrial activity and mouse behavior.” Developmental Neurobiology. 2014 Mar;74(3):333-50.

Conference Presentations & Posters

Reichard KL, Sotero de Menezes P, Chavkin C. norBNI Does Not Act as a Long-Acting Antagonist in Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine Terminals”.   Kappa Therapeutics, Seattle WA, April 2019

Reichard KL, Sotero de Menezes P, Abraham AD, Chavkin C. Differential pre- and post-synaptic K+ channel regulation by kappa opioid receptors affect dopamine neuron physiology”. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, November 2018.

Reichard, K. Levinstein MR, Voelker L, Mesa N, Rusch C, Steger JS. “Scientist Advocates: Shifting the culture toward justice, equity, and diverse representation through community organizing, data transparency, and education.” Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, November 2018.

Reichard, K., Schauttauer, SS., Burgeno,LM., Steger, JS., Abraham, AD., Land, BB., Chavkin, C. “NorBNI inactivates Dopamine D2 receptors on VTA nerve terminals by stimulating ROS production through a JNK/PRDX6 mechanism”. Poster. Kappa Therapeutics, Philadelphia, PA, April 2017.

Reichard, K., Kar, A., Sun, C., Gioio, A., Gervasi, N. Kaplan, B. “Dysregulated axonal transport of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNA alters axon length and animal behavior.” NIH Post-Baccalaureate Poster Day, Bethesda MD May 2013.

Reichard, K., Lin, A., Desai, A., Schwartz, K., Heng, P., Huang, N. “RNAi Screen of Predicted E3 Ubiquitin Ligases that may Mark MEX-3 for Degradation in the C. elegans Embryo”. Poster. American Society       for Cell Biology Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, December 2011.

Reichard, K., Natera-Naranjo, O., Gioio, A.E., Kar, A., Macgibeny, M., Kaplan, B.BRegulation of axonal ATP Synthase (C1) expression: effects on axonal growth and ROS production.”  NIH Summer Poster Day, August 2010.