Doctor of Philosophy - Pharmacology (2013 - 2018)

  • Doctor of Philosophy-Pharmacology

  • Georgetown University

  • Advisor: Stefano Vicini

Bachelor of Science - Biochemistry (2006 - 2010)

  • University of Maryland, College Park


Learning Community Leader, Yale University (Fall 2021 - Present)

  • Led and organized a teaching-based learning community consisting of students and postdocs

  • The goal of the community is to assemble various components required for the teaching certificate including teaching statement, syllabus, and other course material

Discussion leader, Yale University, (Fall 2021)

  • Course - Principles of Neuroscience

  • Student composition: graduate students

  • Facilitated discussion on two publications related to lecture taught the previous week

Lecturer, Oxford Royale Academy at Yale (Summer 2019)

  • Workshop - Neurons and the Brain

  • Led and facilitated a hands on workshop for middle and high school aged visiting students

  • Presented and conveyed basic neuroscience ideas

Lecturer, Georgetown University (Spring 2017 - Summer 2017)

  • Course - Introduction to Neurophysiology

  • Lecture - The Cerebellum and the Basal Ganglia

Small Group Leader, Georgetown University School of Medicine (Fall 2016 - Fall 2017)

  • Course - Molecular and Cellular Physiology

  • Led and facilitated group discussion on nerve muscle physiology

  • Students were presented with four case studies and were required to answer the related questions and present the information to the group

  • Responsible for shaping the discussion and guided students in answering the questions

  • Received excellent student evaluation scores

Course Director, Georgetown University (Spring 2015 - Fall 2016)

  • Course - Drugs, the Brain, and Behavior

  • Collaborated with faculty to design curriculum and syllabus

  • Translated complex ideas using multimedia sources, including course-specific website

  • Mentored students on individual projects and assignments

  • Lectures: Addiction and Drugs of Abuse, Introduction to Neuroscience, Huntington’s Disease, Psychopathy, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

  • Received excellent student evaluation scores

Lecturer, Georgetown University (Spring 2014 - Spring 2015)

  • Course - Graduate Pharmacology

  • Lecture- Antifungals

Teaching Training and Awards

Certificate of College Teaching Preparation for Postdocs (In progress, Spring 2022)

  • Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

  • Sample of workshops taken:

    • Accessible Technology

    • Anti-racist Teaching Learning Community

    • Fundamentals of Inclusive Teaching

    • Gathering and Interpreting Feedback

    • Leading an Effective Discussion

    • Online Teaching

    • Preparing and Delivering and Effective Lecture

    • Religion in the Classroom

    • Rubrics and Grading in an Inclusive Classroom

    • Teaching First-Generation/Low-Income/Non-Traditional Students

    • Trauma Informed Teaching

    • Universal Design of Learning

An Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching (Fall 2021)

  • The Center for the Integration of Research Teaching and Learning

Mental Health First Aid Training (Fall 2020)

  • National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Graduate Student Teaching Award (Spring 2017)

  • Georgetown University, The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Areas of Teaching Interest

  • Neuroscience

  • Neurobiology

  • Pharmacology

  • Physiology

  • Cell and Molecular Physiology

  • Biology

  • Biochemistry

*Other courses can be developed and taught upon request


October 2019 - Present: Yale University (New Haven, CT), Postdoctoral Fellow

The role L-type calcium channels (LTCCs) in regulating dopaminergic activity during cocaine abstinence

  • Implanted intravenous catheters into the jugular veins of rats and carried out a cocaine self-administration paradigm on an FR1 schedule

  • Oversaw the ordering and maintenance of laboratory supplies

  • Presented at weekly laboratory meetings

July 2013 - June 2018: Georgetown University (Washington, DC), PhD Candidate

Physiological, Behavioral, and Histological Studies of Neuronal Dysfunction

  • Utilized electrophysiological measurements obtained via whole-cell patch clamp recordings

  • Analyzed excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic current properties (frequency, amplitude, rise time, decay time)

  • Examined neuronal passive and active properties obtained using current-clamp recordings

  • Probed source of altered synaptic transmission employing pharmacology

  • Determined morphological complexity utilizing confocal imaging of reconstructed immunostained biocytin filled neurons

  • Identified D1 and D2 spiny projection neurons (SPNs) via genetic expression of fluorescent markers

  • Classified the physiological and morphological characteristics of D1 and D2 SPNs in mouse nucleus accumbens (NuAcc)

  • Determined the role of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) on motor behavior and neuronal physiology in mouse NuAcc

  • Confirmed MMP-1 overexpression using western blot

  • Tested striatal activity and drug induced motor activity via i.p. injection of amphetamine

  • Utilized optogenetic activation of genetically identified neurons and pharmacology to determine GABAergic subunit composition at distinct synapses in the striatum

  • Tested the effect of neonatal phenobarbital exposure on GABAergic synaptic maturation in rat hippocampal CA1 neurons

  • Facilitated a skills group focused on electrophysiological techniques

  • Trained and supervised 1 undergraduate and 6 graduate students

  • Authored/co-authored 3 publications

Neuropathology and Assessment of Biomarkers

  • Evaluated the role of immunoglobulins as biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease in apolipoprotein (APOE) knock-in mice by examining brain, plasma, and spleen samples

  • Investigated the consequences of lipopolysaccharide treatment in rats on inflammatory marker protein and gene expression utilizing ELISA, immunohistochemistry, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Co-authored 1 publication

September 2010 - June 2013: Georgetown University (Washington, DC), Research Assistant

Design, Implementation, and Analysis: Drug Screening, Pharmacodynamic Assays

  • Developed and conducted drug binding and functional assays to determine affinity, potency, selectivity and efficacy

  • Developed and maintained (50) stable human embryonic kidney cell lines (HEK293) which express distinct neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)

  • Maintained (14) transfected cell lines and harvested tissue for binding experiments

  • Collaborated with drug discovery lab to characterize the properties of a new class of nAChR drugs

  • Screened 16 drugs for binding affinity in 8 cell lines and rat forebrain tissue

  • Determined antibody potency using immunoprecipitation following protein purification

  • Tested drug side effects in a ferret model organism

  • Screened 90+ drugs for the National Institute of Mental Health Psychoactive Drug Screening Program

  • Examined nAChR subunit composition utilizing immunoprecipitation

  • Co-authored 6 publications

Writing and Oratory Experience

  • Panelist: Yale Young Global Scholars Research Showcase (Summer 2021)

  • Invited guest on Her Royal Science podcast (Spring 2021)

  • Panelist: Strategies for a Successful Transition to the PhD (Fall 2020)

  • Created personal STEM media site to highlight and discuss topics in regard to academia

  • Authored science communication articles in Scientifica NeuroWire blog detailing electrophysiology techniques, grant writing tips, and how to choose a graduate program

  • Guest panelist for PhD Balance YouTube series: #GradChats

  • Invited guest on HerSTEMStory podcast which focuses on women in the STEM fields

  • Invited guest on The Science Pawdcast, a podcast focused on science, dogs, and empathy

  • Journal of Neuroscience Collaborating Reviewer (Fall 2018)

  • Authored an article detailing factors to consider when choosing a graduate school mentor

  • Presented data at local (4) and inter/national conferences (3)

  • Panelist: Life After College, Spring Career Night (Spring 2018)

Service Work

Woman’s and Gender Minorities Mental Health Conference Coordinator

  • Fall 2021 – Present

  • Panels subcommittee member

  • Session’s submission reviewer

Yale Postgrad Symposium Abstract Reviewer (Summer 2021)

The Yale BBS Diversity and Inclusion Collective (YBDIC) Mentor (Spring 2021 – Present)

eNeuro Reviewer (Spring 2021 – Present)

Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) Abstract Reviewer (Fall 2020 – Present)

Molecular Psychiatry Journal Club Leader (Summer 2020)

Yale Postdoctoral Association Advocacy Committee Member (Winter 2019 – Present)

Planned Mental Health First Aid Course

Search Committee Member, Seminars at Yale Neuroscience (SYNAPSES)

  • Fall 2018 - Spring 2020

  • Developed application and related questions

  • Reviewed and selected applicants

  • Hosted and coordinated visit of speaker

Board Member, Woman in Science at Yale (WISAY)

  • Summer 2018 - Fall 2019

  • Coordinated Distinguished Woman in Science Luncheon

  • Mentored two graduate students

Winter Care Package Drive Organizer Winter 2017 – Present

  • Developed list of needed items

  • Fundraised via social media and listservs, raised over $2700 in monetary funds in 2021

  • Coordinated the distribution of packages with local soup kitchen

Society for Neuroscience Member

Treasurer, Medical Center Graduate Student Organization

  • Fall 2015 - Spring 2017

  • Developed and managed budget

  • Coordinated with school officials to process reimbursements

  • Managed 4 officers

  • Implemented new program that provides PhD candidates with business cards


  • Nour Al-muhtasib, P. Forcelli, S. Vicini. (2018). Differential electrophysiological properties of D1 and D2 spiny projection neurons in the mouse nucleus accumbens core. Physiological Reports. Full article.

  • Fitch RW, Snider BB, Zhou Q, Foxman BM, Pandya AA, Yakel JL, Olson TT, Al-Muhtasib N, Xiao Y, Welch KD, Panter KE. Absolute configuration and pharmacology of the poison frog alkaloid phantasmidine. Journal of natural products, 81(4):1029-1035. Full article.

  • Nour Al-muhtasib, A. Sepulveda-Rodriguez, S. Vicini, and P. Forcelli. (2018). Neonatal phenobarbital exposure disrupts GABAergic synaptic maturation in rat CA1 neurons. Epilepsia,59(2):333-344. Full article.

  • Tuan EW, Horti AG, Olson TT, GAO Y, Stockmeier CA, Al-muhtasib N, Bowman Dalley C, Lewin AE, Wolfe BB, Sahibzada N, Xiao Y, Kellar KJ. (2015) AT-1001 is a partial agonist with high affinity and selectivity at human and rat alpha3beta4 nicotinic cholinergic receptors. Molecular pharmacology. 88(4):640-9. Full article.

  • Y. Zhou, W. Zhao, N. Al-muhtasib, GW. Rebeck. (2015) APOE genotype: alters immunoglobulin subtypes in knock-in mice. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Full article.

  • Y. Liu, M. Paige, T. Olson, N. Al-muhtasib, T. Xie, S. Hou, M. White, A. Cordova, J. Guo, K. Kellar, Y. Xiao, M. Brown. (2014) Synthesis and pharmacological characterization of new neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ligands derived from Sazetidine-A. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, 24(13):2954-6. Full article.

  • V. Yenogonda, Y. Xiao, E. Levin, A. Rezvani, T. Tran, N. Al-muhtasib, N. Sahibzada, T. Xie, C. Wells, S. Slade, J. Johnson, S. Dakshanamurthy, H. Kong, Y. Tomita, Y. Lieu, M. Paige, K. Kellar, M. Brown. (2013) Design, synthesis and discovery of picmolar selective alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ligands. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 52(21):8404-21. Full article.

  • Y. Liu, J. Richardson, T. Tran, N. Al-muhtasib, T. Xie, V. Yenugonda, H. Sexton, A. Rezvani, E. Levin, N. Sahibzada, K. Kellar, M. Brown, Y. Xiao, M. Paige. (2013) Chemistry and pharmacological studies of 3-alkoxy02,5-substituded-pyridyl compounds, novel selective alpha4beta2 nAChRs ligands that reduces alcohol Intake in Rats. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 56(7):3000-11. Full article.

  • C. Beinat, SD. Banister, S. van Prehn, D. MR. Doddareddy, D. Hibbs, M. Sako, M. Chebib, T. Tran, N. Al-muhtasib, Y. Xiao, M. Kassiou. (2012). Consequences of linker length alteration of the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonist, SEN12333. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, 22(7):2380-4. Full article.

Awards and Honors

  • Awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F32) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • Awarded Graduate School of Arts and Sciences travel grant

  • Awarded Medical Center Graduate Student Organization travel grants (3) and a course grant (1)

  • Recognized and awarded for exemplary poster presentation at American Physiological Society DMV Chapter Annual meeting

  • Journal of Neuroscience Review Mentoring Program (Spring 2018)