Skip to main content
Sign In






Catherine E. Adams, PhD

RC-1 Bldg., Rm. P18-8104

Phone:  303-724-4422

Email:  Dr. Adams


Recent Publications



Catherine E. Adams, PhD

Associate Professor



Positions and Employment:

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cell Biology, University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas, 1983-1984 

Postdoctoral Fellow, Mental Retardation Research Center, University of California, Los Angeles, 1984-1986 

Research Associate, Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, UCHSC, 1986-1989

Research Associate, Department of Neurology, UCHSC, 1989-1993 

Instructor, Psychiatry Department, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC),1993-1998 

Assistant Professor, Psychiatry Department, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC), 1999-2007 

Associate Professor, Psychaitry Department, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC), 2007-present 

Research Biologist, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Denver, Colorado, 2000 - present 



Faculty Development Award, Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center


Teaching Activities:

Department of Psychiatry, UCD

  • Developmental and Psychological Research Group Seminar, 2001
  • Grand Rounds, 2001
  • Grand Rounds, 2005
  • Department of Psychology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
  • Introduction to Human Brain Neuroanatomy, 2007-2008


Department of Craniofacial Biology, School of Dentisty, UCD

  • Lecturer, DHBS 3312, Histology for Dental Hygienists, 2000 – 2004
  • Course Director, DHBS 3312, Histology for Dental Hygienists, 2005
  • Lecturer, DHBS 3326, Physiology for Dental Hygienists, 2000


American Association for the Advancement of Science 2003 Annual Meeting

  • Invited talk, 2003, Interneurons in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia


University of Florida

  • Invited talk, 1999, Nitric oxide regulation of hippocampal auditory gating


University of Nevada School of Medicine

  • Invited talk, 1986, Physiology of striated muscles


Clinical Activities:

Not applicable. 



Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications:

Leonard, S., Breese, C., Adams, C., Benhammou, K., Gault, J., Stevens, K., Lee, M., Adler, L., Olincy, A., Ross, R. and Freedman, R. Smoking and schizophrenia:  abnormal nicotinic receptor expression.  Euro. J. Pharm. 393:237-242, 2000.

Adams, C.E., Stevens, K.E., Kem, W.R. and Freedman, R.  Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase prevents a7 nicotinic receptor-mediated restoration of inhibitory auditory gating in rat hippocampus.  Brain Res. 877:235-244, 2000.

Freedman, R., Adams, C., Adler, L., Bickford, P.C., Gault, J., Harris, J., Olincy, A., Ross, R.G., Stevens, K., Waldo, M. and Leonard, S.  An inhibitory neurophysiological deficit as a phenotype for genetic investigation of schizophrenia. Seminars of Medical Genetics, 97:58-64, 2000.

Freedman, R., Adams, C.E., and Leonard, S.  The a7-nicotinic receptor and the pathology of hippocampal interneurons in schizophrenia. J. Chemical Anatomy, 20:295-306, 2000.

Adams, C.E., Stitzel, J.A., Collins, A.C. and Freedman, R.  a7 nicotinic receptor expression and the anatomical organization of hippocampal interneurons.  Brain Res. 922:180-190, 2001.

Sabeti, J., Adams, C.E., Burmeister, J., Gerhardt, G.A. and Zahniser, N.R.  Kinetic analysis of striatal clearance of exogenous dopamine recorded by chronoamperometry in freely-moving rats.  J. Neurosci. Methods 121:41-52, 2002.

Adams, C.E., Broide, R.S., Chen, Y., Winzer-Serhan, U.H., Henderson, T.A., Leslie, F.M. and Freedman, R.  Development of the a7 nicotinic cholinergic receptor in rat hippocampal formation.  Dev. Brain Res. 139:175-187, 2002.

Adams, C.E.  Comparison of a7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor development in the hippocampal formation of C3H and DBA/2 mice.  Dev. Brain Res. 143:137-149, 2003.

Freedman R. Ross R. Leonard S. Myles-Worsley M. Adams CE. Waldo M. Tregellas J. Martin L. Olincy A. Tanabe J. Kisley MA. Hunter S. Stevens KE. Early biomarkers of psychosis.  Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. 7(1):17-29, 2005.

Mexal, S, Frank, M., Berger, R., Adams, C.E., Ross, R.G., Freedman, R., Leonard, S.  Differential modulation of gene expression in the NMDA postsynaptic density of schizophrenic and control smokers.  Mol Brain Res. 139:317-32, 2005

Adams, C.E., Yonchek, J.C., Stitzel, J.A.  Development of hippocampal a7 nicotinic receptors in C3H and DBA/2 congenic mice.  Brain Res.  1122:27-35, 2006.

Mexal, S, Berger, R., Adams, C.E., Ross, R.G., Freedman, R., Leonard, S.  Brain pH has a significant impact on human postmortem hippocampal gene expression profiles.  Brain Res. 1106:1-11, 2006.

Leonard S, Adams C.E.  Smoking cessation and schizophrenia.  Am J Psychiatry 163(11):1877, 2006.

Adams C.E and Stevens, K.E.  Evidence for a role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in schizophrenia.  Frontiers in Biosciences 12:4755-4772, 2007.

Adams C.E., Yonchek, J. C., Zheng, L., Collins, A.C. and Stevens, K.E.  Altered hippocampal circuit function in C3H a7 receptor null mutant heterozygous mice.  Brain Res., 1194:138-145, 2008.

Mexal, S., Berger, R., Pearce, L., Barton, A., Logel, J., Adams, C.E., Ross, R.G., Freedman, R. and Leonard, S.  Regulation of a novel aN-catenin splice variant in schizophrenic smokers.  Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet., 147B:759-68, 2008.

Stevens, K.E., Adams, C.E., Yonchek, C., Hickel, C., Danielson, J. and Kisley, M.A.  Permanent improvement in deficient sensory inhibition in DBA/2 mice with increased perinatal choline.  Psychopharmacology 198:413-420, 2008.

Stevens, K.E., Adams, C.E., Mellott, T.J., Robbins, E. and Kisley, M.A.  Perinatal choline deficiency produces abnormal sensory inhibition in Sprague–Dawley rats.  Brain Res. 1237:84-90, 2008.

Ross RG, Stevens KE, Proctor WR, Leonard S, Kisley MA, Hunter SK, Freedman R, Adams CE.  Cholinergic Mechanisms, Early Brain Development, and Risk for Schizophrenia.  J. Child Psychology and Psychiatry (in press, 2009).


Grants and Contracts:

Ongoing Research Support

VAMC Merit     10/01/08 – 09/30/12

“Impact of reduced Acra7 expression on hippocampal inhibitory circuits”

Examines inhibitory circuit markers in C3H a7 wild type, heterozygous and null mutant mouse hippocampus.

Role: Principal Investigator


Silvio O.Conte Center (NIMH)     9/27/2004 - 6/30/2009

1 P50 MH068582-01A1

“Molecular Neurobiology of Schizophrenia”

This proposal examines the neurobiological effects of genetic polymorphisms in genes associated with schizophrenia.

Role:  Co-investigator


NIMH     8/15/2006 - 7/31/2009

"Gestational choline levels and sensory inhibition"

This proposal examines the effect of increased gestational choline levels on sensory inhibition and learning and memory in DBA/2 mice, and determination of mechanism.


Completed Research Support

CTRP-2R-029 (C. Adams)     7/1/2002 – 6/30/2005

“Alpha 7 nicotinic receptor role in hippocampal development”

Seeks to determine which developmental process in the hippocampus are influenced by alterations in the a7 nicotinic receptor gene allele.

Role:  Principal Investigator


VAMC Merit Review     10/1/02-9/30/05

“Alpha 7 receptor role in hippocampal neuronal migration and cell death”

The grant will examine the influence of allelic variations in or null mutations of the a7 receptor gene on a7 receptor development, neuron migration, neuron death and auditory gating in hippocampus from different strains of mice.

Role:  Principal Investigator


5R03 DA11800     1/15/00-12/31/01

“Nitric oxide mediation of hippocampal nicotine effects”

The grant examined the role of nitric oxide release in regulating hippocampal auditory gating.

Role:  Principal Investigator


NO1 DA-0-9901 (R. Freedman)     9/1/2000-1/31/03 (extension requested to 6/30/06)

“Nicotine Brain Bank” 

The goal of this project is to provide the NIDA intramural program with post mortem human brain tissue that can be used by NIDA scientists to investigate molecular alterations in the nerve cells of the brains that are related to nicotine abuse.

Role:  Co-Investigator