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Professor Cliff Abraham

Cliff Abraham

Email cliff.abraham@otago.ac.nz
Tel +64 3 479 7648

Professor Cliff Abraham has research interests in the neural mechanisms of memory. He has played a leading role in promoting neuroscience research and teaching at the University of Otago, and has promoted neuroscience at a national level by serving as chair of the Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research, New Zealand’s annual neuroscience meeting in Queenstown, for 12 years.

In 1997 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and in 2007 was awarded a James Cook Fellowship. He was awarded the University of Otago Distinguished Research Medal in 2009 and the Division of Sciences Researcher of the Year in 2018. Currently he is Director of a major HRC-funded research programme investigating biomarkers and therapeutic agents for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Cliff received a BA with Distinction in Psychology from the University of Virginia, and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Florida. He then undertook five years of postdoctoral research at the University of Otago and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, before taking up a Lectureship in Psychology at Otago. He chaired the Department in 2003–2005.

Teaching

  • PSYC 430 Synaptic Plasticity Mechanisms
  • PSYC 438 Nervous System Plasticity in Health and Disease

Research Interests

  • Mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Limbic system function and dysfunction

Find out more about Professor Abraham's research

Downloadable list of publications

Download a complete list of Professor Abraham's publications (PDF)

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Publications

Abraham, W. C. (2008). Metaplasticity: Tuning synapses and networks for plasticity. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9(5), 387-399.

Ryan, M., Tan, V. T. Y., Thompson, N., Guévremont, D., Mockett, B. G., Tate, W. P., Abraham, W. C., Hughes, S. M., & Williams, J. (2021). Lentivirus-mediated expression of human secreted amyloid precursor protein-alpha promotes long-term induction of neuroprotective genes and pathways in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 79, 1075-1090. doi: 10.3233/JAD-200757

Hegemann, R. U., & Abraham, W. C. (2021). Postsynaptic cell firing triggers bidirectional metaplasticity depending on the LTP induction protocol. Journal of Neurophysiology, 125, 1624-1635. doi: 10.1152/jn.00514.2020

Livingstone, R. W., Elder, M. K., Singh, A., Westlake, C. M., Tate, W. P., Abraham, W. C., & Williams, J. M. (2021). Secreted amyloid precursor protein-alpha enhances LTP through the synthesis and trafficking of Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 14, 660208. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2021.660208

Vemula, P. K., Jing, Y., Cicolini, J., Zhang, H., Mockett, B. G., Abraham, W. C., & Liu, P. (2020). Altered brain arginine metabolism with age in the APPswe/PSEN1dE9 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Neurochemistry International, 140, 104798. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2020.104798

Abraham, W. C. (2008). Metaplasticity: Tuning synapses and networks for plasticity. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9(5), 387-399.

Journal - Research Article

Ryan, M., Tan, V. T. Y., Thompson, N., Guévremont, D., Mockett, B. G., Tate, W. P., Abraham, W. C., Hughes, S. M., & Williams, J. (2021). Lentivirus-mediated expression of human secreted amyloid precursor protein-alpha promotes long-term induction of neuroprotective genes and pathways in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 79, 1075-1090. doi: 10.3233/JAD-200757

Journal - Research Article

Hegemann, R. U., & Abraham, W. C. (2021). Postsynaptic cell firing triggers bidirectional metaplasticity depending on the LTP induction protocol. Journal of Neurophysiology, 125, 1624-1635. doi: 10.1152/jn.00514.2020

Journal - Research Article

Livingstone, R. W., Elder, M. K., Singh, A., Westlake, C. M., Tate, W. P., Abraham, W. C., & Williams, J. M. (2021). Secreted amyloid precursor protein-alpha enhances LTP through the synthesis and trafficking of Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 14, 660208. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2021.660208

Journal - Research Article

Vemula, P. K., Jing, Y., Cicolini, J., Zhang, H., Mockett, B. G., Abraham, W. C., & Liu, P. (2020). Altered brain arginine metabolism with age in the APPswe/PSEN1dE9 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Neurochemistry International, 140, 104798. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2020.104798

Journal - Research Article

Reuben, A., Elliott, M. L., Abraham, W. C., Broadbent, J., Houts, R. M., Ireland, D., Knodt, A. R., Poulton, R., Ramrakha, S., … Caspi, A., & Moffitt, T. E. (2020). Association of childhood lead exposure with MRI measurements of structural brain integrity in midlife. JAMA, 324(19), 1970-1979. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.19998

Journal - Research Article

Kyrke-Smith, M., Logan, B., Abraham, W. C., & Williams, J. M. (2020). Bilateral histone deacetylase 1 and 2 activity and enrichment at unique genes following induction of long-term potentiation in vivo. Hippocampus. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/hipo.23297

Journal - Research Article

Mathiesen, S. N., Lock, J. L., Schoderboeck, L., Abraham, W. C., & Hughes, S. M. (2020). CNS transduction benefits of AAV-PHP.eB over AAV9 are dependent on administration route and mouse strain. Molecular Therapy: Methods & Clinical Development, 19, 447-458. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2020.10.011

Journal - Research Article

Chiamulera, C., Piva, A., & Abraham, W. C. (2020). Glutamate receptors and metaplasticity in addiction. Current Opinion in Pharmacology, 56, 39-45. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2020.09.005

Journal - Research Article

Sateesh, S., & Abraham, W. C. (2021). Neurophysiological and molecular approaches to understanding the mechanisms of learning and memory. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 51(1), 4-23. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2020.1796719

Journal - Research Other

Morrissey, J. A., Mockett, B. G., Singh, A., Kweon, D., Ohline, S. M., Tate, W. P., Hughes, S. M., & Abraham, W. C. (2019). A C-terminal peptide from secreted amyloid precursor protein-α enhances long-term potentiation in rats and a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Neuropharmacology, 157, 107670. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2019.107670

Journal - Research Article

Hegemann, R. U., & Abraham, W. C. (2019). Electrophysiological investigation of metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent metaplasticity in the hippocampus. In C. Burger & M. J. Velardo (Eds.), Glutamate receptors: Methods and protocols: Methods in molecular biology (Vol. 1941). (pp. 79-91). New York, NY: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9077-1_7

Chapter in Book - Research

Ohline, S. M., & Abraham, W. C. (2019). Environmental enrichment effects on synaptic and cellular physiology of hippocampal neurons [Invited]. Neuropharmacology, 145(A), 3-12. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2018.04.007

Journal - Research Other

Schoderboeck, L., Wicky, H. E., Abraham, W. C., & Hughes, S. M. (2019). Genetic targeting and chemogenetic inhibition of newborn neurons. Human Gene Therapy Methods, 29(6), 259-268. doi: 10.1089/hgtb.2018.182

Journal - Research Article

Mockett, B. G., Guévremont, D., Elder, M. K., Parfitt, K. D., Peppercorn, K., Morrissey, J., Singh, A., Hintz, T. J., … Tate, W. P., Williams, J. M., & Abraham, W. C. (2019). Glutamate receptor trafficking and protein synthesis mediate the facilitation of LTP by secreted amyloid precursor protein-alpha. Journal of Neuroscience, 39(17), 3188-3203. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.1826-18.2019

Journal - Research Article

Abraham, W. C., Jones, O. D., & Glanzman, D. L. (2019). Is plasticity of synapses the mechanism of long-term memory storage? npj Science of Learning, 4, 9. doi: 10.1038/s41539-019-0048-y

Journal - Research Other

Livingstone, R. W., Elder, M. K., Barrett, M. C., Westlake, C. M., Peppercorn, K., Tate, W. P., Abraham, W. C., & Williams, J. M. (2019). Secreted amyloid precursor protein-alpha promotes arc protein synthesis in hippocampal neurons. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 12, 198. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2019.00198

Journal - Research Article

Morrissey, J. A., Bigus, E., Necarsulmer, J. C., Srinivasan, V., Peppercorn, K., O'Leary, D. J., Mockett, B. G., Tate, W. P., Hughes, S. M., … Abraham, W. C. (2019). The tripeptide RER mimics secreted amyloid precursor protein-alpha in upregulating LTP. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 13, 459. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2019.00459

Journal - Research Article

Singh, A., Jones, O. D., Mockett, B. G., Ohline, S. M., & Abraham, W. C. (2019). Tumor necrosis factor-α-mediated metaplastic inhibition of LTP is constitutively engaged in an Alzheimer's disease model. Journal of Neuroscience, 39(46), 9083-9097. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.1492-19.2019

Journal - Research Article

Ohline, S. M., Wake, K. L., Hawkridge, M.-V., Dinnunhan, M. F., Hegemann, R. U., Wilson, A., Schoderboeck, L., Logan, B. J., … Hughes, S. M., & Abraham, W. C. (2018). Adult-born dentate granule cell excitability depends on the interaction of neuron age, ontogenetic age and experience. Brain Structure & Function, 223(7), 3213-3228. doi: 10.1007/s00429-018-1685-2

Journal - Research Article

Ryan, M. M., Guévremont, D., Mockett, B. G., Abraham, W. C., & Williams, J. M. (2018). Circulating plasma microRNAs are altered with amyloidosis in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 66(2), 835-852. doi: 10.3233/jad-180385

Journal - Research Article

Tan, V. T. Y., Mockett, B. G., Ohline, S. M., Parfitt, K. D., Wicky, H. E., Peppercorn, K., Schoderboeck, L., Yahaya, M. F. b., Tate, W. P., Hughes, S. M., & Abraham, W. C. (2018). Lentivirus-mediated expression of human secreted amyloid precursor protein-alpha prevents development of memory and plasticity deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Molecular Brain, 11, 7. doi: 10.1186/s13041-018-0348-9

Journal - Research Article

Singh, A., & Abraham, W. C. (2017). Astrocytes and synaptic plasticity in health and disease. Experimental Brain Research, 235(6), 1645-1655. doi: 10.1007/s00221-017-4928-1

Journal - Research Article

Bilkey, D. K., Cheyne, K. R., Eckert, M. J., Lu, X., Chowdhury, S., Worley, P. F., … Abraham, W. C. (2017). Exposure to complex environments results in more sparse representations of space in the hippocampus. Hippocampus, 27(11), 1178-1191. doi: 10.1002/hipo.22762

Journal - Research Article

Mockett, B. G., Richter, M., Abraham, W. C., & Müller, U. C. (2017). Therapeutic potential of secreted amyloid precursor protein APPsα. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 10, 30. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2017.00030

Journal - Research Article

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