Dr. Andrews is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a member of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, the Hatos Center for Neuropharmacology, and the California NanoSystems Institute. Dr. Andrews received her B.S. in Chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University and earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry as a U.S. Department of Education Fellow working at the National Institute of Mental Health, where she was later a postdoctoral fellow and senior staff fellow. At the NIMH, Andrews and her mentor, Dr. Dennis Murphy, discovered and characterized a novel serotonin neurotoxin, 2’-NH2-MPTP. Dr. Andrews was also instrumental in early studies on serotonin transporter-deficient mice. Andrews is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, American Chemical Society, and Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry. She has been the recipient of an NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence, an Eli Lilly Outstanding Young Analytical Chemist Award, an American Parkinson’s Disease Association Research Award, and a Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD) Independent Investigator Award. She is a fellow of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum and a Serotonin Club elected councilor. Recently, Dr. Andrews became Associate Editor for ACS Chemical Neuroscience.
At UCLA, Andrews leads efforts in basic and translational research on anxiety and depression, and at the nexus of nanoscience and neuroscience. Andrews’ interdisciplinary research team of neuroscientists, biologists, chemists, and engineers focuses on understanding how the serotonin system and particularly, the serotonin transporter, modulate neurotransmission to influence complex behaviors including anxiety, mood, stress responsiveness, and learning and memory. Genetic and pharmacologic mouse models and human genetic variants are studied to understand the molecular basis of serotonin system function associated with the etiology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. Key proteins (e.g., brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and neuronal architectures regulated by serotonin are also investigated. Nanomaterials are designed for fundamental studies on neurotransmitter recognition by native and nonnative binding partners (aptamers) and for the development of in vivo nanobiosensors and functionally directed proteomics.
Serotonin neurotransmitter system
Above: LLC-PK1 Cells expressing fluorescently-tagged serotonin transporter
The Andrews’ group seeks to understand how the neurotransmitter serotonin encodes emotionally salient information related to anxiety, mood, and stress responsiveness.
Serotonin transmission is studied in mouse models and psychiatric patient populations. Genetics, pharmacology, and developmental timing are used to investigate the etiology and treatment of anxiety and mood disorders, and to advance personalized predictive medicine.
Aptamer-coupled field-effect transistor sensor, microelectrode voltammetry, and microdialysis methods are developed to investigate neurochemical signaling at high spatial, temporal, and chemical resolution in vivo .
Honors & Awards
- 2021 Distinguished Women in Chemistry/Chemical Engineering Award, IUPAC
- 2021 College of Fellows, AIMBE
- 2017 Fellow, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
- 2017 NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award, National Institute of Health