Nellie E. Byun, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor
Faculty Appointments
Research Assistant Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences
Ph.D., Neuroscience , Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeB.A., University of California, Berkeley, California
Office Address
1161 21st Avenue South
AA3101 Medical Center North
Nashville, TN 37232
Research Description
Dr. Nellie Byun's research focuses on understanding how individual metabotropic glutamate and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors differentially modulate dopamine and glutamate and the effects of such manipulation on brain circuits and behavior in the context of schizophrenia, cognition, and movement disorders. Her lab uses functional MRI techniques to non-invasively study neurotransmitter modulation and brain circuits, focusing on the nucleus accumbens, caudate putamen, amygdala, and thalamus, as well as neurochemistry and neurobehavioral/cognition approaches in preclinical models of brain disorders. Her work has been awarded by the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, NIDA/Eli Lilly at the Society of Neuroscience, and funded by NIMH (R01) .

Dr. Byun also uses functional neuroimaging to pharmacologically interrogate and map brain areas and network changes underlying impulsivity, anxiety, and effects of chronic drug use. A final area of focus is the development and application of new imaging approaches for pharmacological MRI in multiple species and translational biomarker development. She also lectures in Biomedical Engineering, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience graduate courses.

Dr. Byun earned her B.A. in Molecular & Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, M.S. in Biochemistry from California State University, Hayward, and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University. She completed her postdoctoral training fellowship at the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science and joined the Vanderbilt University faculty as Instructor at the Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, Department of Pharmacology in 2010. In 2016, she joined the Vanderbilt University Medical Center as Assistant Professor of Research in the Department of Radiology & Radiological Sciences and Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science.
Wu TL, Wang F, Mishra A, Wilson GH, Byun N, Chen LM, Gore JC. Resting-state functional connectivity in the rat cervical spinal cord at 9.4 T. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2017 Sep 9/14/2017; PMID: 28905408, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.26905, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Barry RL, Byun NE, Tantawy MN, Mackey CA, Wilson GH, Stark AJ, Flom MP, Gee LC, Quarles CC. In vivo neuroimaging and behavioral correlates in a rat model of chemotherapy-induced cognitive dysfunction. Brain Imaging Behav [print-electronic]. 2017 Jan 1/20/2017; PMID: 28108946, PII: 10.1007/s11682-017-9674-2, DOI: 10.1007/s11682-017-9674-2, ISSN: 1931-7565.

Rook JM, Xiang Z, Lv X, Ghoshal A, Dickerson JW, Bridges TM, Johnson KA, Foster DJ, Gregory KJ, Vinson PN, Thompson AD, Byun N, Collier RL, Bubser M, Nedelcovych MT, Gould RW, Stauffer SR, Daniels JS, Niswender CM, Lavreysen H, Mackie C, Conde-Ceide S, Alcazar J, Bartolomé-Nebreda JM, Macdonald GJ, Talpos JC, Steckler T, Jones CK, Lindsley CW, Conn PJ. Biased mGlu5-Positive Allosteric Modulators Provide In Vivo Efficacy without Potentiating mGlu5 Modulation of NMDAR Currents. Neuron [print-electronic]. 2015 May 5/20/2015; 86(4): 1029-40. PMID: 25937172, PMCID: PMC4443790, PII: S0896-6273(15)00287-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.03.063, ISSN: 1097-4199.

Byun NE, Grannan M, Bubser M, Barry RL, Thompson A, Rosanelli J, Gowrishankar R, Kelm ND, Damon S, Bridges TM, Melancon BJ, Tarr JC, Brogan JT, Avison MJ, Deutch AY, Wess J, Wood MR, Lindsley CW, Gore JC, Conn PJ, Jones CK. Antipsychotic drug-like effects of the selective M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor positive allosteric modulator VU0152100. Neuropsychopharmacology [print-electronic]. 2014 Jun; 39(7): 1578-93. PMID: 24442096, PMCID: PMC4023154, PII: npp20142, DOI: 10.1038/npp.2014.2, ISSN: 1740-634X.

Gregory KJ, Herman EJ, Ramsey AJ, Hammond AS, Byun NE, Stauffer SR, Manka JT, Jadhav S, Bridges TM, Weaver CD, Niswender CM, Steckler T, Drinkenburg WH, Ahnaou A, Lavreysen H, Macdonald GJ, Bartolomé JM, Mackie C, Hrupka BJ, Caron MG, Daigle TL, Lindsley CW, Conn PJ, Jones CK. N-aryl piperazine metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 positive allosteric modulators possess efficacy in preclinical models of NMDA hypofunction and cognitive enhancement. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther [print-electronic]. 2013 Nov; 347(2): 438-57. PMID: 23965381, PMCID: PMC3807069, PII: jpet.113.206623, DOI: 10.1124/jpet.113.206623, ISSN: 1521-0103.

Digby GJ, Noetzel MJ, Bubser M, Utley TJ, Walker AG, Byun NE, Lebois EP, Xiang Z, Sheffler DJ, Cho HP, Davis AA, Nemirovsky NE, Mennenga SE, Camp BW, Bimonte-Nelson HA, Bode J, Italiano K, Morrison R, Daniels JS, Niswender CM, Olive MF, Lindsley CW, Jones CK, Conn PJ. Novel allosteric agonists of M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors induce brain region-specific responses that correspond with behavioral effects in animal models. J. Neurosci. 2012 Jun 6/20/2012; 32(25): 8532-44. PMID: 22723693, PMCID: PMC3398407, PII: 32/25/8532, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0337-12.2012, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Bubser M, Byun N, Wood MR, Jones CK. Muscarinic receptor pharmacology and circuitry for the modulation of cognition. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2012; (208): 121-66. PMID: 22222698, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-23274-9_7, ISSN: 0171-2004.

Jones CK, Byun N, Bubser M. Muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists and allosteric modulators for the treatment of schizophrenia. Neuropsychopharmacology [print-electronic]. 2012 Jan; 37(1): 16-42. PMID: 21956443, PMCID: PMC3238081, PII: npp2011199, DOI: 10.1038/npp.2011.199, ISSN: 1740-634X.

Hackler EA, Byun NE, Jones CK, Williams JM, Baheza R, Sengupta S, Grier MD, Avison M, Conn PJ, Gore JC. Selective potentiation of the metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 2 blocks phencyclidine-induced hyperlocomotion and brain activation. Neuroscience [print-electronic]. 2010 Jun 6/16/2010; 168(1): 209-18. PMID: 20350588, PMCID: PMC3598608, PII: S0306-4522(10)00285-X, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.02.057, ISSN: 1873-7544.

Sheffler DJ, Williams R, Bridges TM, Xiang Z, Kane AS, Byun NE, Jadhav S, Mock MM, Zheng F, Lewis LM, Jones CK, Niswender CM, Weaver CD, Lindsley CW, Conn PJ. A novel selective muscarinic acetylcholine receptor subtype 1 antagonist reduces seizures without impairing hippocampus-dependent learning. Mol. Pharmacol [print-electronic]. 2009 Aug; 76(2): 356-68. PMID: 19407080, PMCID: PMC2713127, PII: mol.109.056531, DOI: 10.1124/mol.109.056531, ISSN: 1521-0111.