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James Walton

Post Doctoral Associate AC    

B.S., Biology, University of Southern Maine
Ph.D., Neuroscience, The Ohio State University
NIH Postdoctoral Scholar, Georgia State University


Behavioral neuroscience
Behavioral neuroendocrinology
Biological rhythms


Dr. Walton earned his BS in Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Southern Maine. While at USM he worked with Dr. Louis Gainey investigating seasonal changes in the pharmacology and neural control of gill function in molluscs. Dr. Walton then moved to Bowdoin College where he worked in the lab of Dr. Rick Thompson studying the central control of social behavior by the vasotocin/vasopressin family of peptides using comparative approaches in diverse species ranging from goldfish to humans. Following a move to Ohio he worked for Dr. Randy Nelson and Dr. Courtney DeVries at The Ohio State University, where he managed the NINDS Rodent Behavior Core, prior to transitioning into graduate school. In his dissertation research with Dr. Randy Nelson he characterized how season of the year, encoded by day length, affects structural, physiological, and behavioral plasticity in the brains of White-footed mice, small rodents indigenous to northern North America. Continuing his research on biological rhythms at Georgia State University, Dr. Walton is currently an NIH Postdoctoral Scholar in the lab of Dr. Elliott Albers. He is focusing on circadian rhythms and the functions of GABAA receptor subtypes in photic entrainment and circadian phase-specific responses to GABA in the central circadian pacemaker (the suprachiasmatic nucleus) in Syrian hamsters.


Selected Publications

Walton, J.C., Aubrecht, T.G., Weil, Z.M., Leuner, B., Nelson, R.J. (2014) Photoperiodic regulation of hippocampal neurogenesis in adult male white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus). European Journal of Neuroscience, 40(4):2674-2679.

Walton, J.C., Selvakumar, B., Weil, Z.M., Snyder, S.H., Nelson, R.J. (2013) Neuronal nitiric oxide synthase and NADPH oxidase interact to affect cognitive, affective, and social behaviors in mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 256:320-327.

Walton, J.C., Chen, Z., Weil, Z.M., Travers, J.B., Nelson, R.J. (2013) Exogenous Melatonin reproduces the effects of short day lengths on hippocampal function in male white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus. Neuroscience, 248:403-13.

Walton, J.C., Pyter, L.M., Weil, Z.M., Nelson, R.J. (2012) Photoperiod mediated changes in olfactory bulb neurogenesis and olfactory behavior in male white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus). PLoS ONE. 7(8):e42743 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042743.

Yoon, S.O., Park, D.J., Ozer, H.G, Ryu, J.C., Tep, C., Shin, Y.J., Lim, T.H., Pastorino, L., Kunwar, A.J., Walton, J.C., Nagahara, A.H., Lu, K.P., Nelson, R.J., Tuszynski, M.H., Huang, K. (2012) JNK3 perpetuates metabolic stress induced by Abeta peptides. Neuron. 75(5):824-37.

Walton, J.C., Haim, A., Spieldenner, J.M., Nelson, R.J. (2012) Photoperiod alters fear responses and basolateral amygdala neuronal spine density in white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus). Behavioural Brain Research. 233(2):345-50.

Walton, J.C., Grier, A.J., Weil, Z.M., Nelson, R.J. (2012) Photoperiod and stress regulation of corticosteroid receptor, brain derived neurotrophic factor, and glucose transporter GLUT3 mRNA in the hippocampus of male Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). Neuroscience. 213:106-111.

Walton, J.C, Schilling, K., Zhu, M.X., Nelson, R.J., Oberdick, J.O. (2012) Sex-dependent behavioral functions of the Purkinje cell-specific Gαi/o binding protein, Pcp2(L7). Cerebellum. 11(4):982-1001.

Walton, J.C., Weil, Z.M., Nelson, R.J. (2011) Influence of photoperiod on hormones, behavior, and immune function. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology. 32(3):303-19.

Walton, J.C., Chen, Z., Weil, Z.M., Travers, J.B., Pyter, L.M., Nelson, R.J. (2010) Photoperiod-mediated impairment of long term potentiation and learning and memory in male white-footed mice. Neuroscience. 175:127-32.

Fonken, L.K., Workman, J.L., Walton, J.C., Weil, Z.M., Morris, J.S., Haim, A., Nelson, R.J. (2010) Light at night increases body mass by shifting the time of food intake. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 107(43):18664-9.

Bailey, M.T.*, Walton, J.C.*, Dowd, S.E., Weil, Z.M., Nelson, R.J. (2010) Photoperiod modulates gut bacteria composition in male Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, *Authors contributed equally to this work. 4(4):577-84.

Norman, G.J., Karelina, K., Zhang, N., Walton, J.C., Morris J.S., DeVries, A.C. (2010) Stress and IL- 1beta contribute to the development of depressive-like behavior following peripheral nerve injury. Molecular Psychiatry, 5(4):404-14.

Walton, J.C., Waxman, B., Hoffbuhr, K., Kennedy, M., Beth, E., Scangos, J., Thompson, R.R. (2010) Behavioral effects of hindbrain vasotocin in goldfish are seasonally variable but not sexually dimorphic. Neuropharmacology, 58(1):126-34.

Thompson, R.R., George, K., Walton, J.C., Orr, S.P., Benson, J. (2006) Sex-specific influences of vasopressin on human social communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 103(20):7889-94.

Thompson, R.R., Walton, J.C. (2004) Peptide effects on social behavior: effects of vasotocin and isotocin on social approach behavior in male goldfish (Carassius auratus). Behavioral Neuroscience. 118(3):620-6.

Gainey, L.F., Walton, J.C., Greenberg, M.J. (2003) Branchial musculature of a venerid clam: pharmacology, distribution and innervation. Biological Bulletin. 204(1):81-95.

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