Shawn K. Acheson

Shawn K. Acheson

Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

External Address: 
PO Box 108, Waynesville, NC 28786
Internal Office Address: 
PO Box 108, Waynesville, NC 28786


In collaboration with Dr. Scott Swartzwelder, research in our lab has focused on the neurodevelopmental effects of alcohol and other drugs of abuse. In particular, we have been interested in how and why adolescents are more sensitive to some effects of ethanol and THC (e.g., learning and memory) and less sensitive to other effects (e.g., sedation). Beginning in Fall 2011, my lab will begin a new line of research focused on potential pharmacotherapies for TBI and the basic underlying mechanisms of recovery of function following acquired brain injury. This work is funded by a Career Development Award from the Veterans Administration Biomedical Laboratory Research & Development service.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Southern Illinois University 1997

Swartzwelder, H. Scott, et al. “Adolescent Intermittent Alcohol Exposure: Deficits in Object Recognition Memory and Forebrain Cholinergic Markers.Plos One, vol. 10, no. 11, 2015, p. e0140042. Pubmed, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0140042. Full Text

Centanni, Samuel W., et al. “Adolescent alcohol exposure alters GABAA receptor subunit expression in adult hippocampus.Alcohol Clin Exp Res, vol. 38, no. 11, Nov. 2014, pp. 2800–08. Pubmed, doi:10.1111/acer.12562. Full Text

Klein, Rebecca C., et al. “Altered neurotransmission in the lateral amygdala in aged human apoE4 targeted replacement mice.Neurobiol Aging, vol. 35, no. 9, Sept. 2014, pp. 2046–52. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.02.019. Full Text

Swartzwelder, H. S., et al. “Effect of sub-chronic intermittent ethanol exposure on spatial learning and ethanol sensitivity in adolescent and adult rats.Alcohol, vol. 48, no. 4, June 2014, pp. 353–60. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.alcohol.2014.02.003. Full Text

Klein, Rebecca C., et al. “Regional-specific effects of ovarian hormone loss on synaptic plasticity in adult human APOE targeted replacement mice.Plos One, vol. 9, no. 4, 2014, p. e94071. Pubmed, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094071. Full Text

Li, Qiang, et al. “Long-term modulation of A-type K(+) conductances in hippocampal CA1 interneurons in rats after chronic intermittent ethanol exposure during adolescence or adulthood.Alcohol Clin Exp Res, vol. 37, no. 12, Dec. 2013, pp. 2074–85. Pubmed, doi:10.1111/acer.12204. Full Text

Fleming, Rebekah L., et al. “Binge-pattern ethanol exposure during adolescence, but not adulthood, causes persistent changes in GABAA receptor-mediated tonic inhibition in dentate granule cells.Alcohol Clin Exp Res, vol. 37, no. 7, July 2013, pp. 1154–60. Pubmed, doi:10.1111/acer.12087. Full Text

Wang, Haichen, et al. “ApolipoproteinE mimetic peptides improve outcome after focal ischemia.Exp Neurol, vol. 241, Mar. 2013, pp. 67–74. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.expneurol.2012.11.027. Full Text

Risher, Mary-Louise, et al. “Long-term effects of chronic intermittent ethanol exposure in adolescent and adult rats: radial-arm maze performance and operant food reinforced responding.Plos One, vol. 8, no. 5, 2013, p. e62940. Pubmed, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062940. Full Text

Acheson, Shawn K., et al. “Effects of acute or chronic ethanol exposure during adolescence on behavioral inhibition and efficiency in a modified water maze task.Plos One, vol. 8, no. 10, 2013, p. e77768. Pubmed, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077768. Full Text