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Postdoctoral Fellow - Neurobiology The University of California, Irvine - 2006
Ph.D. - Psychobiology University of Virginia - 2000
B.A. - Psychology American University - 1994
Information acquired during daily
encounters is not readily encoded into memory, but requires some effort
or rehearsal to be preserved. In contrast, experiences that are either
arousing or emotionally meaningful in content appear to be permanently
stored into memory without conscious effort. My research is aimed at
understanding the effect of emotional arousal on memory storage.
Research findings to date indicate that events that are sufficiently
arousing to be remembered for the long-term lead to activation of the
amygdala. This amygdala activation may, in turn, initiate long-term
memory storage by influencing synaptic strength in other areas of the
brain, such as the hippocampus and cortex. I am currently using in vivo
microdialysis, western blots, immunohistochemstry and in situ
hybridization to better understand how emotion-induced amygdala activity
may modulate the expression of synaptic proteins in areas that underlie
This research is aimed at gaining information regarding the neuronal
signals that determine whether a memory will be stored for the long term
and may shed some light on the precise mechanisms involved in the
synaptic changes that underlie memory. Such knowledge may ultimately be
used to benefit individuals suffering from various memory disorders
including Alzheimers disease and post traumatic stress disorder.
Ferland-Beckham C, Chaby LE, Daskalakis NP, Knox D, Liberzon I, Lim MM, McIntyre C, Perrine SA, Risbrough VB, Sabban EL, Jeromin A, Haas M. Systematic Review and Methodological Considerations for the Use of Single Prolonged Stress and Fear Extinction Retention in Rodents. Front Behav Neurosci. 2021 May 14;15:652636. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2021.652636. PMID: 34054443; PMCID: PMC8162789. 2021 - publications
Wahlstrom KL, Alvarez-Dieppa AC, McIntyre CK, LaLumiere RT. The medial entorhinal cortex mediates basolateral amygdala effects on spatial memory and downstream activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein expression. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2021 May;46(6):1172-1182. doi: 10.1038/s41386-020-00875-6. Epub 2020 Oct 2. PMID: 33007779; PMCID: PMC8115646. 2021 - publications
Vanneste S, Mohan A, Yoo HB, Huang Y, Luckey AM, McLeod SL, Tabet MN, Souza RR, McIntyre CK, Chapman S, Robertson IH, To WT. The peripheral effect of direct current stimulation on brain circuits involving memory. Sci Adv. 2020 Nov 4;6(45):eaax9538. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aax9538. PMID: 33148657; PMCID: PMC7673706. 2020 - publications
Souza RR, Robertson NM, Mathew E, Tabet MN, Bucksot JE, Pruitt DT, Rennaker RL, Hays SA, McIntyre CK, Kilgard MP. Efficient parameters of vagus nerve stimulation to enhance extinction learning in an extinction-resistant rat model of PTSD. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2020 Apr 20;99:109848. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2019.109848. Epub 2019 Dec 19. PMID: 31863872. 2020 - publications
Mathew E, Tabet MN, Robertson NM, Hays SA, Rennaker RL, Kilgard MP, McIntyre CK, Souza RR. Vagus nerve stimulation produces immediate dose-dependent anxiolytic effect in rats. J Affect Disord. 2020 Mar 15;265:552-557. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.11.090. Epub 2019 Nov 13. PMID: 31784117. 2020 - publications
Nominee: President's Award - The University of Texas at Dallas 
Nominee: Chancellor's Award - The University of Texas System 
Aage Moller Teaching Award - The University of Texas at Dallas 
Roger Russell Award - The University of California, Irvine 
Ralph W. Gerard Fellowship - The University of California, Irvine 
Dissertation Fellowship - The University of Virginia 
Associate Professor The University of Texas at Dallas [2013–Present]
Cognition and Neuroscience Program Head The University of Texas at Dallas [2016–2017]
Neuroscience Program Head The University of Texas at Dallas [2014–2016]
Assistant Professor The University of Texas at Dallas [2006–2013]
Instructor Chapman University, Orange, CA [2005–2005]
Postdoctoral Researcher University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA [1999–2006]
Teaching Assistant University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA [1994–1998]
Graduate Researcher University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA [1994–1999]
Title:Timing Control for Paired PlasticityInventors: Michael Kilgard, Lawrence Cauller, Navzer Engineer, Christa McIntyre, and Will RoselliniIssued date: 7/16/13 Title: Methods for Enhancing Exposure Therapy using Vagus Nerve StimulationInventors: Christa McIntyre, Navzer Engineer, and Michael KilgardIssued date: 7/28/15 Title:Systems, Methods, and Devices for Paired PlasticityInventors: Lawrence Cauller, Michael Kilgard, Navzer Engineer, Christa McIntyre, and Will RoselliniIssued date: 7/28/15
Panelist and ad-hoc grant reviewer for:National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Member of Biobehavioral Regulation Learning and Ethology (BRLE) study section (2017-present) Panelist Learning and Memory (LAM) study section (2012-2016) Panelist Pathophysiological Basis of Mental Disorders and Addiction (PMDA) study section (2015-2016)
National Institutes of Health, other institutes Ad-hocmember of National Institute of Aging (2012) Panelist NIH BRAIN Special Emphasis Panel (2016) Panelist NIH Acute Neural Injury and Epilepsy (2016)
Veterans Administration (VA) Panelist Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences (2020) Panelist Small Projects in Rehabilitation Research (2021)
National Science Foundation (NSF)Panelist October 2009 (Arlington, VA) October 2011 (Arlington, VA) Ad hoc reviewer (December 2013) Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP)Mail Reviewer (2011)
Society for Neuroscience (1995-present)
Cellular and Molecular Cognition Society (2007-present)
Dr. Christa McIntyre-Rodriguez, an assistant professor of neuroscience, recently received the Aage Møller Teaching Award. "The award honors outstanding teaching, mentoring and supervision. Christa McIntyre-Rodriguez exemplifies these qualities,” said Dr. Bert Moore, dean of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and the Aage and Margareta Møller Distinguished Professor. “She is a gifted instructor and mentor known by her students and colleagues alike for her dedication to student training.” Faculty are nominated for the award by anonymous student evaluations and peer recommendations. Students in McIntyre-Rodriguez’s neuroscience laboratory methods class described her as a role model, particularly for female neuroscience students. “Dr. McIntyre-Rodriguez is simply awesome,” said one student. “I loved the debates and discussions, and her civil and encouraging reactions to whatever anyone said. We all felt appreciated.”
Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas are exploring how mild stimulation of the vagus nerve could help alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a complex condition that can cause debilitating anxiety and mental anguish.
The vagus nerve controls the parasympathetic nervous system, which oversees a vast array of crucial bodily functions including digestion and slowing the heart rate. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is already used as a treatment for disorders including epilepsy and depression, and it has been shown to enhance memory retention.
“This grant will enable us to address unresolved questions,” said McIntyre-Rodriguez, principal investigator on the grant. “Previously, we found a method to enhance learning that a formerly dangerous situation is no longer dangerous.
Halloween often is marked with scary movies, gory costumes and haunted houses. According to a UT Dallas researcher, such events provide an outlet for the release of pent-up fears while at the same time helping individuals feel stronger and sharper. Dr. Christa McIntyre, associate professor of neuroscience in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, said fear can help people stay away from danger, but its neurological effect can attract people, as well. “Some people intentionally put themselves into situations where they will experience fear, such as haunted houses, horror movies and roller coasters,” McIntyre said.