THE CENTANNI LAB TEAM

Samuel W Centanni, PhD

Education

  • 2015
    • Ph.D., Biomedical Neuroscience- Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, SC)
  • 2010
    • B.S., Biological Sciences- University at Albany (Albany, NY)

Research Experience

  • 2015-2020
    • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
    • Research Focus: Determine the role of the insular cortex-bed nucleus of the stria terminalis neural circuit in stress and alcohol withdrawal
    • Advisor: Danny Winder, PhD
  • 2010-2015
    • Graduate Research Fellow, Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, SC)
    • Research Focus: The effect of adolescent alcohol on dopaminergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in the adult prefrontal cortex
    • Advisor/Co-Advisor: L. Judson Chandler, PhD and Heather Trantham-Davidson, PhD
  • 2008-2010
    • Undergraduate Research Assistant, University at Albany (Albany, NY)
    • Research Focus: Examine the role of Par1b protein in salivary gland morphogenesis
    • Advisor: Melinda Larsen, PhD

Professional Experience

  • 2021-present
    • Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Winston-Salem, NC)
  • 2020-2021
    • Research Instructor, Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (Nashville, TN)

Fellowship & Grant Funding

Current:

  • December 2021 – November 2024
    • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award (R00AA027774)

Pending:

  • January 2023 – January 2025
    • Brain & Behavior Research Foundation: NARSAD Young Investigator Award (30996)

Completed:

  • June 2020 – November 2021
    • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award (K99AA027774)
  • January 2019 – January 2021
    • Brain & Behavior Research Foundation: NARSAD Young Investigator Award (27172)
  • June 2015 – June 2016
    • National Institute of Mental Health: Postdoctoral Training in CNS Drug Discovery Research Training Grant (T32MH093366)
  • October 2013 – June 2015
    • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award Fellowship (F31AA022843)
  • February 2011 – September 2013
    • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Predoctoral Training in Alcohol Research Training Grant (T32AA007474)

Academic & Professional Honors

  • 2022
    • Brain and Behavior Research Foundation NARSAD Young Investigator Award
  • 2021
    • Travel Award, Winter Conference on Brain Research
  • 2020
    • Neuropsychopharmacology Editor’s Award for a Transformative Original Report (NEATOR)
    • Vanderbilt University Postdoc of the Year Award- Honorable Mention
    • K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award (NIAAA K99/R00)
    • Poster Award Winner, Alcohol and the Nervous System GRC
    • Poster Abstract Selected for Oral Presentation, Alcohol and the Nervous System GRC
    • Travel Award, NIAAA Volterra Stress and Alcohol Conference
  • 2019
    • Warren Alpert Distinguished Scholars Fellowship, LSO VU-VUMC Institutional Nominee
    • Junior Investigator Award, Research Society on Alcoholism
    • Symposium Chair, Winter Conference on Brain Research
  • 2018
    • Poster Award Winner, Alcohol and the Nervous System GRS
    • Junior Investigator Award, Research Society on Alcoholism
  • 2017
    • Travel Award, NIAAA Volterra Stress and Alcohol Conference
  • 2016
    • Travel Award Winner, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
  • 2015
    • Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (Postdoctoral NIMH T32)
  • 2014
    • Best Poster Award, Frontiers in Neuroscience MUSC Research Day
    • Student Merit Travel Award, Research Society on Alcoholism
    • Poster Award Winner, Alcohol and the Nervous System GRC
  • 2013
    • Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (Predoctoral NIAAA F31)
  • 2011
    • Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (Predoctoral NIAAA T32)
  • 2010
    • Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research, University at Albany
    • Undergraduate Research Endowed Fellowship, University at Albany
    • Graduated cum laude with B.S., University at Albany

Professional Service & Membership

  • 2022
    • Ad hoc Study Section Member- AA4 Neuroscience and Behavior
  • 2022
    • Ad hoc Study Section Member- ZAA1- GG-(32) NRSA Individual Fellowships
  • 2022-present
    • Program Planning Committee- 2023 Winter Conference on Brain Research
  • 2022-present
    • Ad hoc Reviewer- Nature Communications
  • 2022-present
    • Ad hoc Reviewer- Addiction Neuroscience
  • 2022-present
    • Ad hoc Reviewer- Journal of Neuroscience
  • 2021-present
    • Ad hoc Reviewer- Science Advances
  • 2021-present
    • Ad hoc Reviewer- Alcohol Research: Current Reviews
  • 2021-present
    • Ad hoc Reviewer- Behavioral and Brain Functions
  • 2020-2021
    • Vanderbilt School of Medicine Dean’s Advisory Council for Mental Health and Wellness
  • 2020-2021
    • Vanderbilt Postdoc Association- Board Member
  • 2020-2021
    • Vanderbilt Postdoc Association- Annual Symposium planning committee
  • 2020-present
    • Ad hoc Reviewer- European Neuropsychopharmacology
  • 2020-present
    • Ad hoc Reviewer- Hormones and Behavior
  • 2016-present
    • Ad hoc Reviewer- Neuropharmacology
  • 2015-2020
    • Vanderbilt Brain Blast booth organizer
  • 2015-2021
    • Founder/Director of VCAR Addiction Journal Club and VCAR Work in Progress series
  • 2011-present
    • Research Society on Alcoholism member
  • 2011-present
    • Society for Neuroscience member
  • 2010-present
    • American Association for the Advancement of Science member

Invited Scientific Talks

  1. “Delineating the Insula-Centric Negative Affective Circuitry Engaged by Stress and Alcohol Exposure.” International Drug Abuse Research Society. Nice, France. September 2022.
  2. “The Lasting Effects of Pharmacologically Enhancing Endocannabinoid Levels During a Critical Period of Alcohol Withdrawal.” Research Society on Alcoholism Annual Meeting. Orlando, FL. June 2022.
  3. “Delineation of an Insula-BNST Circuit Engaged by Stress”. Winter Conference on Brain Research. Snowmass, CO. January, 2022. (Chair of Panel “Insular Cortex: The Island of Mis-regulated Motivational and Affective States”)
  4. “The Use of Whole Brain Imaging and Circuit Mapping to Identify Upstream Control Networks for the Stress Sensitive Insula-BNST Pathway”. Winter Conference on Brain Research. Snowmass, CO. January, 2022.
  5. “The Impact of Exercise on Mouse Alcohol Drinking and Abstinence-Associated Affective Behavior and Physiology”. National Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center July Conference Call. July 2021.
  6. “Delineation of an Insula-BNST Circuit Engaged by Stress and Alcohol Abstinence”. Research Society on Alcoholism Annual Meeting. June 2021.
  7. “An Insular-BNST Circuit Regulates Negative Affect Associated with Stress and Alcohol Abstinence”. ADACE Postdoctoral Seminar Series at LSU Health Sciences Center- New Orleans. New Orleans, LA (Virtual). April 2021.
  8. “An Insular-BNST Circuit Regulates Stress Coping Behavior”. Vanderbilt Brain Institute Annual Retreat. October 2020.
  9. “An Insular-BNST Circuit Regulates Negative Affect Associated with Stress and Alcohol Abstinence”. Staying Connected: Neuroscience of Mental Health and Addiction Postdoctoral Virtual Seminar Series. July 2020.
  10. “The Insula: A Key Contributor at the Intersection of Alcohol and Stress Responses”. Alcoholism and Stress: A Framework for Future Treatment Strategies. Volterra, Italy. May 2020. *postponed until May 2023.
  11. “An Insular-BNST Circuit Regulates Negative Affect Associated with Stress and Alcohol Abstinence”. Gordon Research Conference: Alcohol and the Nervous System. Galveston, TX. March 2020.
  12. “An Endocannabinoid-Sensitive Insular Cortex-BNST Circuit Regulates Negative Affect Associated with Stress and Alcohol Withdrawal”. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Neuroscience Postdoc Seminar Series. New York City, NY, October 2019.
  13. “BNST Neural Circuitry and Negative Affect in Alcohol Abstinence”. Winter Conference on Brain Research. Snowmass, CO. January, 2019. (Chair of Panel: “The Use of In Vivo Imaging Techniques to Link Neural Activity and Behavior”)
  14. “Adolescent Alcohol and GABAergic Neurotransmission in the PFC”. Neuropalooza Itinerary, Charleston, SC: Neuropalooza, 2014.
  15. “Adolescent Alcohol Exposure Decrease d-GABAA Receptor Mediated Currents in the Adult Medial Prefrontal Cortex”. Society for Neuroscience Itinerary, San Diego, CA, 2013.