Nicole Calakos, M.D., Ph.D.

Photo of Nicole Calakos

Phone: 919-684-2423

Box 2900
Bryan Research Building 201E
Durham, NC 27710

Email: nicole DOT calakos AT duke DOT edu

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Associate Professor

Center for Translational Neuroscience

Neurology and Neurobiology, School of Medicine

DIBS Faculty

Research Description

My laboratory studies the molecular basis and functional significance of synaptic plasticity. We focus this interest on the role of synaptic plasticity in the basal ganglia circuitry during normal learning and its disruption in disease states such as dystonia, Tourette's, and OCD.


Neurology residency, University of California, San Francisco, 2000

Ph.D., Stanford University, 1996

M.D., Stanford University, 1996

A.B., University of California, Berkeley, 1988

Recent Publications

Chen, M., Wan, Y., Ade, K., Ting, J., Feng, G., and N. Calakos. Sapap3 deletion causes anomalous endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic plasticity by enhancing group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor activity. 2011. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31(26):9563-73.

Ade, K., Wan, Y., Chen, M., Gloss, B. and N. Calakos. An improved BAC transgenic fluorescent reorter line for sensitive and specific identification of striatonigral medium spiny neurons. 2011. Frontiers in Neuroscience 5 (32):1-9.

Yang, Y. and N. Calakos. Munc13 is required for presynaptic long-term potentiation. 2011. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31(33):12053-7.

Yang, Y. and N. Calakos. Acute in vivo genetic rescue demonstrates that phosphorylation of RIM1a serine 413 is not required for mossy fiber LTP. 2010. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30(7):2542-6, PMCID2947440.

Research Areas

Research Topics

  • Synaptic plasticity mechanisms
  • Dystonia, tourette's and obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Basal ganglia circuitry and behavior