Karmen K. Yoder, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Radiology and Imaging Sciences
Indiana University Center for Neuroimaging
Co-Director of the Medical Neuroscience Graduate Program
Adjunct, Department of Psychology, IUPUI

Primary Investigator, Stark Neurosciences Research Institute
Primary Investigator, Indiana Spinal Cord Brain Injury Research Group

B.A., Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (1991)
Ph.D., Neurobiology, Indiana University School of Medicine (2002)

In Vivo Neurochemistry of CNS Disorders and Cognition using PET.

Dr. Yoder's work focuses on using quantitative PET techniques to study in vivo neurochemical processes in humans and in animal models of abnormal brain function.  Tracers of interest include [11C]raclopride (dopamine D2 antagonist used to study striatal dopamine function), [18F]fallypride (DA D2 antagonist, permits study of extrastriatal DA systems), [11C]PIB and [18F]AV-45 (markers for amyloid deposition), [11C]PBR28 (binds to the Translocator Protein 18 kDa, a mitochondrial binding site believed to be a marker of neuroinflammation), [18F]FDG (measures relative glucose utilization), and [64Cu]PTSM (a blood flow marker). 

Dr. Yoder’s major research focus involves understanding the role of dopamine in cognitive processes that are likely involved in the development and maintenance of alcoholism.  She has received three grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to study the phenomena of prediction error and salience attribution in nontreatment-seeking alcoholics and social drinkers.  The data from these projects will also permit examination of the relationships between the dopamine system and impulsivity – a typical phenotype of substance abusers -- in humans.  One of Dr. Yoder’s major collaborators is Dr. David Kareken, who studies how dopamine is involved with the conditioned cues of alcohol that often trigger hazardous drinking. Additionally, her lab has recently completed a National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded project that collected preliminary information about the dopamine system in a chronic pain condition.  Dr. Yoder plans to extend this work to understanding the relevance of dopamine to pain perception in opiate addiction.    

Dr. Yoder also maintains collaborations within the IU Center for Neuroimaging (CfN), the Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Group (ISCBIRG), and the Alcohol Research Center.  Specifically, she works closely with Dr. Andrew Saykin on studies concerning amyloid in inflammation in normal aging, dementia, and traumatic brain injury.  Dr. Yoder recently completed several pilot studies with Drs. Xiaoming Xu and Nai-kui Liu to demonstrate the feasibility of imaging changes in brain glucose uptake, blood flow, and TSPO binding in a mouse model of traumatic brain injury. 

Search for Dr. Yoder on PubMed

Recent and Relevant Publications:

Yoder KK, Territo PR, Hutchins GD, Hannestad J, Morris ED, Gallezot J-D, Normandin MD, Cosgrove KP.  (2014) Comparison of standardized uptake values with volume of distribution for quantitation of [11C]PBR28 brain uptake.  Nuclear Medicine and Biology 42(3):305-8.

Oberlin BG, Albrecht DS, Herring CM, Walters JW, Hile KL, Kareken DA, Yoder KK. (2015) Monetary discounting and ventral striatal dopamine receptor availability in nontreatment-seeking alcoholics and social drinkers. Psychopharmacology 232(12):2207-16.

Albrecht DS, MacKie PJ, Kareken DA, Hutchins GD, Chumin EJ, Christian BT, Yoder KK.  (2015)  Differential dopamine function in fibromyalgia.  Brain Imaging and Behavior [in press].

Yoder KK, Albrecht DS, Dzemidzic M, Normandin MD, Federici LM, Graves T, Herring CM, Hile KL, Walters JW, Liang T, Plawecki MH, O’Connor S, Kareken DA.  (2016)  Differences in IV alcohol-induced dopamine release in the ventral striatum of social drinkers and nontreatment-seeking alcoholics.  Drug Alcohol Depend [in press].

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