Carlee Toddes

Entering Class - 2016


PhD Thesis 2022

Mu Opioid Receptor Modulation of Social Behavior.

Current Position:

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Washington

Undergraduate Institution and Major:

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire B.S., Psychology 2015 

Graduate Advisor:

Graduate Research:

I study how the mu opioid receptor regulates social behavior.

Graduate Publications:

  • Trieu BH, Remmers BC, Toddes C, Brandner DD, Lefevre EM, Kocharian A, Retzlaff CL, Dick RM, Mashal MA, Gauthier EA, Xie W, Zhang Y, More SS, Rothwell PE. Angiotensin-converting enzyme gates brain circuit-specific plasticity via an endogenous opioid. Science. 2022 Mar 11;375(6585):1177-1182.
  • Brown JL, Lyons CE, Toddes C, Monko T, Tyshynsky R. Reevaluating tear gas toxicity and safety. Inhal Toxicol. 2021 Sep 12:1-16.
  • Toddes C, Lefevre EM, Brandner DD, Zugschwert L, Rothwell PE. Mu opioid receptor (Oprm1) copy number influences nucleus accumbens microcircuitry and reciprocal social behaviors. J Neurosci. 2021 Sep 22;41(38):7965-7977.
  • Brown JL, Lyons CE, Toddes C, Monko T, Tyshynsky R. Tear gas safety and usage practices. Journal of Science Policy and Goverance. 2021;18(1):
  • Lefevre EM, Pisansky MT, Toddes C, Baruffaldi F, Pravetoni M, Tian L, Kono TJY, Rothwell PE. Interruption of continuous opioid exposure exacerbates drug-evoked adaptations in the mesolimbic dopamine system. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2020;45(11):1781-1792.

Graduate Level Abstracts:

  • Toddes C, Rothwell P. The Social Brain and Mu, Society for Neuroscience meeting. 2018.

Graduate Level Awards:

  • Ruth Kirschstein Individual National Research Service Award 2020-2023
  • Stark Travel Award 2018
  • Sping and Ying Ngoh Lin Award

Graduate Level Committees:

  • Career Facilitation Committee  2018-2020

Professional Societies:

  • Society for Neuroscience

Thesis Committee Members:

Undergraduate or Post-Bac Research:

As an undergraduate I worked in several different laboratories, beginning in a Behavioral Neuroscience lab studying the neurochemical regulation of eating in Sprague Dawley rats. I later joined a laboratory that focused on the experimental analysis of behavior in order to study the environmental variables which affect behavior. After graduation I went to work for the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease in San Francisco where I used several transgenic mouse models to study neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.

What Got You Interested In Research?

I became interested in research after learning about different neurodevelopmental disorders and how they affect the brain. I had originally wanted to pursue a career as a psychiatrist but felt that I could make a greater impact as a research scientist. I became very interested in merging the two fields of psychiatry and neuroscience, and working within those fields to produce more effective therapies for severe mental disorders.


Kelvin O. Lim, MD, Department of Psychiatry
Matthew Chafee, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Patrick Rothwell, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience

Why Did You Choose MN?

I choose UMN for the amazing collaborative spirit, the amount and quality of laboratories available to me, and the investment that the university puts into their graduate students. I am very interested in translational neuroscience and was drawn to the collaborative nature of the University of Minnesota where I could work with several different investigators on complimentary projects.

Student Mentor and the Best Advice They Gave.

Brendan Hasz: He really helped me to stay calm about rotations and helped me pick several amazing scientists to work with!

Carlee Toddes