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Jason R. Tregellas, PhD

Associate Professor

Contact Info:
Bldg. 500, Level 2, Rm. E4311
Phone:  303-724-6232
Email:  Dr. Tregellas
Clinical/Research Interests:
Dr. Tregellas is Director of the Brain Imaging Center.  He is interested in the neurobiology of schizophrenia, neurobiology of eating behaviors, and brain imaging.
University of Colorado-Boulder  BA  1994

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center  PhD  2003


Director, University of Colorado Denver Brain Imaging Center, 2013-present

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications:

Tregellas, J.R., Olincy, A., Johnson, L., Tanabe, J., Shatti, S., Martin, L.F., Singel, D., Du, Y.P., Soti, F., Kem, W.R., Freedman, R.  Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Effects of a Nicotinic Agonist in Schizophrenia. Neuropsychopharmacology (In Press).

Tregellas, J.R., Ellis, J., Shatti, S., Du, Y.P., Rojas D.C. Increased Hippocampal, Thalamic, and Prefrontal Hemodynamic Response to an Urban Noise Stimulus in Schizophrenia.  Am J Psychiatry 2009; Mar;166(3):354-60.

Tregellas, J.R.  Connecting Brain Structure and Function in Schizophrenia.  Am J Psychiatry. 2009; Feb;166(2):134-6

Cornier, M.A., Salzberg, A.K., Endly, D.C., Bessesen, D.H., Rojas, D.C., Tregellas, J.R. The Effects of Overfeeding on the Neuronal Response to Visual Food Cues in Thin and Reduced-Obese Individuals. PLoS ONE (In Press).

Wilson, L.B., Tregellas, J.R., Hagerman, R.J., Rogers, S.J., Rojas, D.C.  A voxel-based morphometry comparison of regional gray matter between fragile X syndrome and autism.  Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging (In Press).

Tanabe, J., Tregellas, J.R., Dalwani, M., Thompson, L., Owens, E. Crowley, T., Banich, M.  Medial orbitofrontal cortex gray matter is reduced in abstinent substance dependent individuals. Biol Psych. 2008; 65(2):160-164.

Tregellas, J.R., Shatti, S., Tanabe, J.L., Martin, L.F., Gibson, L., Wylie, K., Rojas, D.C.   Gray Matter Volume Differences and the Effects of Smoking on Gray Matter in Schizophrenia.  Schizophr Res. 2007; 97:242-249.

Tregellas, J.R., Davalos, D.B., Rojas, D.C., Waldo, M.C., Gibson, L., Wylie, K., Du, Y.P. & Freedman, R.  Increased hemodynamic response in the hippocampus, thalamus and prefrontal cortex during abnormal sensory gating in schizophrenia.  Schizophr Res. 2007; 92:262-272.

Cornier, M.A., VonKaenel, S.S., Bessesen, D.H., Tregellas, J.R.  The effects of overfeeding on the neuronal response to visual food cues. Am J Clin.Nutr. 2007; 86:965-971.

Du, Y.P., Dalwani, M., Wylie, K., Claus, E, Tregellas, J.R.  Reducing Susceptibility Artifacts in fMRI Using Volume-Selective Z-Shim Compensation.  Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 2007; 57:396-404.

Rojas, D.C., Peterson, E., Winterrowd, E., Reite, M.L., Rogers, S.J., Tregellas, J.R.  Regional Gray Matter Volumetric Changes in Autism Associated with Social and Repetitive Behavior Symptoms.  BMC Psychiatry. 2006; Dec 13;6:56.

Martin, L.F., Leonard, S., Hall, M., Tregellas, J.R., Freedman, R., Olincy, A.  Sensory Gating and Alpha-7 Nicotinic Receptor Gene Allelic Variants in Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type.  Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 2006.

Tregellas, J.R., Davalos, D.B., Rojas, D.C. Effect of Task Difficulty on the Functional Anatomy of Temporal Processing.  Neuroimage 2006; 32:307-315.

Peterson, E., Schmidt, G.L., Tregellas, J.R., Winterrowd, E., Kopelioff, L., Hepburn, S., Reite, M., Rojas, D.C.  A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study of Gray Matter in Parents of Children with Autism. Neuroreport 2006; 17:1289-1292.

Tanabe, J. L., Tregellas, J. R., Martin, L.F., Freedman, R.  Effects of Nicotine on Hippocampal and Cingulate Activity During Smooth Pursuit Eye Movement in Schizophrenia.  Biological Psychiatry 2006. 59(8):754-761.

Haynes, J., Tregellas, J., Rees, G.  Attentional Integration Between Anatomically Distinct Stimulus Representations in Early Visual Cortex.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2005 102(41):14925-14930.

Freedman, R., Ross, R., Leonard, S., Myles-Worsley, M., Adams, C.E., Waldo, M., Tregellas, J., Martin, L., Olincy, A., Tanabe, J., Kisley, M.A., Hunter, S., Stevens, K.E.  Early Biomarkers of Psychosis.  Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. 2005 7(1):17-29.

Tregellas, J. R., Tanabe, J. L., Martin, L. F. and Freedman, R. fMRI of Response to Nicotine During a Smooth Pursuit Eye Movement Task in Schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry. 2005 Feb;162(2):391-3.

Harris JG, Kongs S, Allensworth D, Martin L, Tregellas J, Sullivan B, Zerbe G, Freedman R. Effects of Nicotine on Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2004 Jul;29(7):1378-85.

Tregellas, J. R., Tanabe, J. L., Miller, D. S., Ross, R.G., Olincy, A. and Freedman, R. Neurobiology of Smooth Pursuit Eye Movement Deficits in Schizophrenia: An fMRI Study. Am J Psychiatry. 2004;161(2):315-21.

Tregellas, J. R., Tanabe, J L., Miller, D. S., and Freedman, R. Monitoring Eye Movements During fMRI Tasks with Echo Planar Images.  Hum Brain Mapp. 2002; 17(4):237-243.

Tanabe, J. L., Tregellas, J. R., Miller, D. S., Ross, R.G. and Freedman, R.  Brain activation during smooth pursuit eye movements. NeuroImage. 2002; 17, 1315–1324.

Tanabe,J., Miller,D., Tregellas,J., Freedman,R., and Meyer,F.G. Comparison of Detrending Methods for Optimal fMRI Preprocessing. Neuroimage. 2002; 15, 902-907.

Veterans Affairs Medical Center Research Service Merit Review Award, “fMRI of Cholinergic Mechanisms in Schizophrenia” (Tregellas, PI), 10/1/2008- 9/30/2011

Funding is provided to study the neuronal substrates of sensory gating deficits in schizophrenia and the mechanism by which clozapine and nicotine improve sensory gating.


Dana Foundation Program in Brain and Immuno-imaging Grant, “Effect of Genotype on Brain Function and Structure in Schizophrenia.” (Tregellas, PI), 7/1/2006 – 6/30/2010

Funding is provided to evaluate the effect of polymorphisms in the nicotinic receptor gene on brain function (using fMRI) and structure (using VBM).


NIH R01, 2007-2012 #DK072174 (Cornier, PI), 7/01/2007-6/30/2012

Funding is provided to study the effects of food intake on behavior and brain hemodynamic response in obese and obese-resistant individuals. 


NIH P50 MH086383-01, (Freedman, PI), 8/1/2009- 7/31/2014   

The aims of this Translational Conte Center are to characterize the role of the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the brain and its dysfunction and to use this biology to continue development of a new therapeutic strategy to improve the treatment of cognitive dysfunction and negative symptoms in persons who have schizophrenia


NIH R01 MH081920 (Rojas,PI) 12/01/08-11/30/2013, Sensorimotor abnormalities in childhood onset psychotic disorders

The goal of this research is to refine the neurobiology of motor deficits in psychotic disorders across category and develop biomarkers for future family-based genetic risk.