School of MCB COVID-19 Information

Catherine Christian-Hinman

Catherine  Christian-Hinman

523 Medical Sciences Building

Office: (217) 244-8230

Mail to: 524 Burrill Hall
407 S. Goodwin Ave
Urbana, IL 61801
Lab Page

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology

Research Topics

Endocrinology, Ion Channels, Neurobiology, Synaptic Transmission

Disease Research Interests

Neurological and Behavioral Disorders, Reproductive Diseases, Infertility, and Menopause


A.B. 2001 Smith College, Northampton, MA
Ph.D. 2007 University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Postdoc 2008-2014 Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

Teaching Interests

Cellular, synaptic, and circuit neurophysiology in neuroendocrinology and epilepsy

My laboratory explores research questions at the intersection of neuroscience, physiology, and endocrinology. We are particularly interested in the neural mechanisms linking epilepsy and comorbid reproductive endocrine disorders. Both women and men with temporal lobe epilepsy, the most common form of epilepsy seen in adults, show higher rates of reproductive endocrine disorders in comparison with the general population. Importantly, reproductive endocrine problems can reciprocally impact the severity of epilepsy and influence the choice and efficacy of anti-seizure treatments. We aim to understand how temporal lobe seizures impact the hypothalamic control of reproduction, and how altered hypothalamic function reciprocally affects seizure activity and epilepsy severity. Other ongoing areas of research in the lab include exploring the roles that astrocytes play in modulating synaptic transmission, and building on our recent finding of reduced social motivation in mice that lack the diazepam binding inhibitor peptide. We use several research techniques including patch clamp electrophysiology, optogenetics/chemogenetics, stereotactic surgeries, electroencephalography (EEG), viral vectors, neuroanatomy, and behavioral assays.


Center for Advanced Study Fellow, UIUC 2020-2021
Brain Research Foundation Fay/Frank Seed Grant 2016-2018
Whitehall Foundation Research Grant, 2016-2019
NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, 2016-2018
Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) Taking Flight Award, 2014
McCormick Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford School of Medicine, 2012
Epilepsy Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2011
Endocrine Scholars Award, The Endocrine Society, 2008
Peach Outstanding Graduate Student Award, University of Virginia, 2006
NIH National Research Service Award, 2005-2007
Fulbright Fellowship to Italy, 2001
Beckman Foundation Science Scholarship, 2000

Representative Publications

Li J, Leverton LK, Naganatanahalli LM, Christian-Hinman CA (2020) Seizure burden fluctuates with the female reproductive cycle in a mouse model of chronic temporal lobe epilepsy. Exp Neurol in press

Christian CA, Reddy DS, Maguire J, Forcelli PA (2020) Sex differences in the epilepsies and associated comorbidities: Implications for use and development of pharmacotherapies. Pharmacol Rev, 72:767-800

Christian CA (2020) Nucleus-specific modulation of phasic and tonic inhibition by endogenous neurosteroidogenesis in the murine thalamus. Synapse 74:e22144

Lawande NV, Ujjainwala AL, Christian CA (2020) A single test to study social behavior and repetitive self-grooming in mice. Bio Protoc 10:e3499

Pantier LK, Li J, Christian CA (2019) Estrous cycle monitoring in mice with rapid data visualization and analysis. Bio Protoc 9:e3354

Ujjainwala AL, Courtney CD, Wojnowski NM, Rhodes JS, Christian CA (2019) Differential impacts on multiple forms of spatial and contextual memory in diazepam binding inhibitor knockout mice. J Neurosci Res 97:683-697

Li J, Robare JA, Gao L, Ghane MA, Flaws JA, Nelson ME, Christian CA (2018) Dynamic and sex-specific changes in gonadotropin-releasing hormone neuron activity and excitability in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy. eNeuro 5:e0273-18.2018

Courtney CD, Christian CA (2018) Subregion-specific impacts of genetic loss of diazepam binding inhibitor on synaptic inhibition in the murine hippocampus. Neuroscience 388:128-138

Ujjainwala AL, Courtney CD, Rhoads SG, Rhodes JS, Christian CA (2018) Genetic loss of diazepam binding inhibitor in mice impairs social interest. Genes Brain Behav 17:e12442

Li J, Kim JS, Abejuela VA, Lamano JB, Klein NJ, Christian CA (2017) Disrupted female estrous cyclicity in the intrahippocampal kainic acid mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsia Open, 2:39-47

Christian CA (2017) Neurophysiology of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons. Hormones, Brain and Behavior, 3rd ed. Vol. 3, 379-400

Complete Publications List