Biosketch and Research Interests
James received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he worked under Dr. Igor Spigelman investigating the molecular changes in the basolateral amygdala in a rodent model of post-traumatic stress disorder. After completion of his undergraduate degree, James worked for a year in the lab of Dr. Anil Bhushan at the UCLA Larry Hillblom Islet Research Center, working on a variety of projects determining the developmental dysregulation of beta cells in the pancreas that lead to Type I Diabetes.
James started his PhD training at Vanderbilt University as a Vanderbilt International Scholar in August 2014. After completing his first year, he joined the Department of Pharmacology and the Conn Lab in the spring of 2015. His research interests involve understanding the mechanism of action of novel therapeutics for psychiatric illnesses at a molecular and circuit level within the brain. He is currently utilizing a combination of biochemical, behavioral, and electrophysiological methods to investigate how metabotropic glutamate receptor modulation can improve learning in a variety of models of psychiatric illness.