Tusculum College’s Katherine Smith published in biomedical journal

Posted on 06 December 2013 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Tusculum College’s Assistant Professor of Psychology Katherine Smith was recently published in “Alcohol,” an international biomedical journal. The article, “Ethanol Impairs Microtublule Formation via Interactions at a Microtubule Associated Protein-sensitive Site,” was published in the June 2013 edition of the journal.

The article discusses brain injury and neurological impairment as the result of prolonged ethanol exposure in both the developing and adult brain.

Her research, which was presented in the journal article, suggests that ethanol disrupts microtubule formation via interactions with microtubule associated proteins, which may contribute to the neurodegenerative effects of binge-like ethanol intake.

“Our results suggest that there may be a direct mechanism that ethanol could affect microtubule formation in the presence of microtubule associated proteins.  Disruption of the formation of microtubules can be deleterious for the cell, even possibly inducing apoptosis, a type of cellular death.  Furthermore, our results may provide a new avenue of research into the damaging effects of ethanol both in the adult and developing brain as well as other cell types.”

Smith has taught for the college since 2012 and has been published in several journals including, “Neurochemical Research,” “Neuroscience” and “Neuroscience Letters.”

She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Ph.D. in experimental psychology with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience and psychopharmacology; she also got her Master of Science in experimental psychology from University of Kentucky. In 2004 she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in biology from East Tennessee State University.

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