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Colin Saldanha

Professor and Department Chair, Biology
Department of Biology

  • Additional Positions at AU

    Affiliate Professor - Department of Psychology
  • Hormones are profound modulators of brain structure and function; with influences that span the lifetime of an organism. The muti-faceted and pluripotent neural effects of steroids require that a specific hormone be delivered to the right target at precisely the right time. Members of my laboratory and I are curious as to how this process occurs. We have discovered that estrogen is synthesized in synaptic boutons and in astroglia (a type of non-neuronal cell in the brain). This compartment- and cell-specific hormone provision may be responsible for the effects of estrogen on learning, memory, neural degeneration and perhaps neuroprotection and repair.
  • Degrees

    Postdoc, Brain Research Institute - UCLA School of Medicine
    PhD, Biopsychology, Columbia University
    MPhil, Biopsychology, Columbia University
    MA, Biopsychology, Columbia University
    BA, Biology & Psychology, Gustavus Adolphus College
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  • OFFICE

  • CAS - Biology
  • Hurst - 101
  • CONTACT INFO

  • (202) 885-2156 (Office)
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  • FOR THE MEDIA

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Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Colin Saldanha's research interests include  neuroendocrinology, neuroplasticity, and neuroscience.

Grants and Sponsored Research

       
  • 2011-2013: PI, NSF.  15th & 16th Annual Meetings for the SBN
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  • 2009- 2012: PI, NIH (NINDS). Supplement to Promote Diversity (Kelli A Duncan Ph.D – trainee)
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  • 2009-2011: Sponsor, AHA Predoctoral Fellowship (Bradley J. Walters – trainee)
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  • 2008- 2010: Co-Inv, NIH (NINDS) R21.  Estrogen & central auditory processing in birds.  C. Mello (PI)
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  • 2007-2009: PI, Pennsylvania Dept. of Health.  Structural Bases of Cellular Communication.
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  • 2003-2004: PI, Pennsylvania Dept. of Health.  Structural plasticity of the vertebrate brain.
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  • 2002- 2013: PI, NIH (NINDS) RO1.  Synaptic Aromatase; a novel form of estrogen delivery.
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  • 1999-200: PI, Investigator Initiated Grant.  Alzheimer’s Association.
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  • 1997-2001: PI, John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation.   

Professional Presentations

       
  • Buttons and Glue:  Estrogen provision in the songbird brain.  Biology.  American University, Washington, DC., 2011
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  • Local estrogen synthesis and neuroprotection – lessons from songbirds.  Biology & Neuroscience.  University of Puget Sound.  Tacoma, WA., 2011
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  • Synaptic and Glial Aromatase: constitutive and inducible sources of estrogen in the vertebrate brain. Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics. Texas A&M. College Station, TX., 2011
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  • Buttons and Glue: Constitutive and inducible estrogen provision in the passerine brain.  International Ornithological Congress.  Campos de Jordaon, SP.  Brazil. 2010
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  • Estrogen synthesis in curious cells and novel compartments of the songbird brain.  Department of Biology.  Willamette University.  Salem, OR. 2009
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  • Targeted hormone provision:  estrogen synthesis in novel neural cells and compartments.  Department of Biomedical Sciences.  Colorado State University.  Fort Collins, CO. 2008
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  • Estrogen, brain damage, and learning in the songbird brain.  Department of Biology.  St. Norbert College,  De Pere, WI. 2008
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  • Targeted hormone provision: estrogen synthesis in curious cells and compartments of the songbird brain.  Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology.  UCLA.  Los Angeles, CA. 2008
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  • The Synaptocrine Hypothesis: A novel form of estrogen delivery.  Cognitive Science Program.  Lehigh University.  Bethlehem, PA. 2008
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  • The Synaptocrine Hypothesis.  What it is and what it ain’t.  Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology.  Session Organizer and Chair.  Pacific Grove, CA. 2007
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  • Multiple modes of estrogen provision in the songbird brain.  Dept. of Biology.  Columbia University.  New York City, NY. 2006
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  • Compartment and cell-specific aromatization in a plastic vertebrate brain.  Neurological Sciences Institute.  Oregon Health Sciences University.  Portland, OR. 2006
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  • The role of cell- and compartment-specific estrogen provision in neuroplasticity.  Dept. of Biology.  Hope College.  Holland, MI. 2006
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  • Steroids in Context:  Lessons from the Real World.  Workshop on Steroids and Brain Function.  Breckenridge, CO. 2005
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  • Neural and Glial aromatase in the plastic songbird brain.  Dept. of Animal Sciences.  University of Maryland, College Park, MD. 2005

Selected Publications

Published Journal Articles

       
  • Remage-Healey, L, Saldanha, CJ & Schlinger, BA.  (2011).  Estradiol synthesis and action at the synapse:  evidence for “synaptocrine” signaling.  Frontiers in Neuroendocrine Science.  2(28):  1-13.
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  • Taves, MD, Ma, C, Heimovics, SA, Saldanha, CJ & Soma, KK. (2011).  Measurement of steroid concentrations in brain tissue: methodological considerations.  Frontiers in Neuroendocrine Science.  2(39):  1-13.
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  • Duncan, KA. & Saldanha, CJ.  (2011).  Neuroinflammation induces glial aromatase expression in the uninjured songbird brain.  J. Neuroinflammation.  July 18, 18(1):  81.  Epub ahead of print.
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  • Charlier, TD, Newman, AEM, Heimovics, SA, Po, KWL, Saldanha, CJ & Soma, KK.  (2011).  Rapid effects of aggressive interactions on aromatase activity and estradiol in discrete brain regions of wild male white-crowned sparrows.  J. Neuroendocrinology.  May 28 (epub ahead of print).
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  • Saldanha, CJ, Remage-Healey, L & Schlinger, BA.  (2011).  Synaptocrine signaling:  steroid synthesis and action at the synapse.  Endocrine Reviews.  May 26 (epub ahead of print).
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  • Ash, LA, Saldanha, CJ & Bailey, DJ. (2011).  Calbindin-D28K expression increases in the dorsolateral hippocampus following corticosterone treatment in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).  Hippocampus.  Feb 4 (epub ahead of print).
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  • Walters, BJ, Alexiades, NG & Saldanha, CJ.  (2011).  Intracerebral estrogen provision increases neurogenesis and cell proliferation in the injured zebra finch brain.  Developmental Neurobiology.  71(2):  170-81.
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  • Mirzatoni, A, Spence, RD, Naranjo, KC, Saldanha, CJ & Schlinger, BA.  (2010).  Injury-induced regulation of steroidogenic gene expression in the cerebellum.  Journal of Neurotrauma. 27(10):1875-82
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  • Charlier, TD, Po, KW, Newman, AE, Shah, AH, Saldanha, CJ & Soma KK.  (2010).  17beta-estradiol levels in male zebra finch brain: combining Palkovits punch technique and an ultrasensitive radioimmunoassay.  General & Comparative Endocrinology.  167(1):18-26.
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  • Saldanha, CJ, Walters, BJ & Fraley, G.  (2010).  Neurons that colocalize kisspeptin- and aromatase-like immunoreactivity may modulate the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis in the mallard drake (Anas platyrhynchos).  General & Comparative Endocrinology. 166(3):606-13.
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  • Bailey, DJ & Saldanha, CJ.  (2010).  Ecological validity and the study of procedural and episodic memory in songbirds.  Cognitive Sciences.  5(1):  1-20.       

Published Book Chapters

       
  • Saldanha, CJ & Schlinger BA.  (2008).  Steroidogenesis and Neuroplasticity in the songbird brain.  In:  Neuroactive Steroids in Brain Function, Behavioral and Neuropsychiatric Disorders.  Novel Strategies for Research and Treatment.  M.S. Ritsner and A. Weizman (eds).  Springer.
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  • Saldanha, CJ & Schlinger, BA. (1998).  The effects of estrogens in birds.  In:  Encyclopedia of Reproduction.  (Knobil, E & Neill, J. (eds)).  Academic Press.
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  • Saldanha, CJ & Silver, R.  (1998).  A general introduction to hormones.  In:  Comparative Psychology: a Handbook.  (Greenberg, G & Haraway, M. (eds)).
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  • Silver, R & Saldanha, CJ.  (1993).  VIP and prolactin in avian reproduction.  In:  Advances in Comparative Endocrinology  I.  (Menon, GE (ed)).  pp 127 145.  CSRI. Trivandrum.

 

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

       
  • Hillman Award for Graduate Advising Nominee (student nominated), 2010
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  • Donald & Dorothy Stabler Award for Excellence in Teaching (student nominated) 2006
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  • Eleanor & Joseph F. Libsch Early Career Research Award (faculty nominated) 2005
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  • Christian & Mary Lindback Foundation, Minority Faculty Award 2003       

AU Expert

Area of Expertise: Neuroendocrinology; neuroscience; neuroplasticity

Additional Information: Carl Saldanha's research focuses on neuroendocrinology, neuroscience, and neuroplasticity and how hormones interact. Hormones are profound modulators of brain structure and function, with influences that span the lifetime of an organism. The mutifaceted and pluripotent neural effects of steroids require that a specific hormone be delivered to the right target at precisely the right time. Saldanha and his team are curious as to how this process occurs. They have discovered that estrogen is synthesized in synaptic boutons and in astroglia (a type of non-neuronal cell in the brain). This compartment- and cell-specific hormone provision may be responsible for the effects of estrogen on learning, memory, neural degeneration, and perhaps neuroprotection and repair.
 

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