Department of Zoology

Phyllis A. Callahan
Professor and Dean of Arts and Science
Ph.D. Rutgers University, 1986

290 PSN

253K PSN


Office Hours:
  Monday . . . . All by appt.
  Tuesday . . . .
  Wednesday . .
  Thursday. . . .
  Friday. . . . . .

Biographical Information:

Phyllis Callahan is a neuroendocrinologist whose primary interest is the regulation of anterior pituitary hormone secretion, with a major focus on opiate regulation of prolactin secretion, including sex differences in the regulation of this hormone. Her most recent studies focus on the physiological role of the endogenous opioid peptide Orphanin FQ/Nociceptin (OFQ/N) in regulating prolactin secretion. Using OFQ/N knock-out mice, a major focus of the lab is to understand the physiological role of this peptide in mediating the prolactin response to stress and lactation, and on mediating maternal behavior in post-partum females. The role of ovarian steroids, especially estrogen, in modulating opiate regulation of prolactin release is also of major interest. She and Dr. James Janik, another neuroendocrinologist in the department, are collaborators. Students in her laboratory use cell, molecular and biochemical techniques in their research, including radioimmunoassay (RIA); electrochemical detection of catecholamines following high pressure liquid chromatographic separation (HPLC/ECD); western blot analysis and qRT-PCR.

Courses Taught:

  1. Human Physiology (ZOO 161)
  2. Animal Physiology (ZOO 305)
  3. Endocrinology (ZOO 454/554)
  4. Graduate Seminar (ZOO 710)

Recent Publications:

  1. Prince-Zullig K, E Murphree, RK Reinscheid, J Janik, P Callahan. Effect of Nociceptin/Orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) and isoflurane on the corticosterone secretory response in mice lacking the N/OFQ prepropeptide (ppN/OFQ-/-). Neuropeptides, Vol. 43 (3): 201-5, 2009.

  2. Alessio H, N Schweitzer, A Snedden, P Callahan, A Hagerman. Revisiting influences on tumor development focusing on laboratory housing.  International Journal of Sports Medicine. 48(3):1-5, 2009.

  3. Zullig KL, Murphree E, Reinscheid RK, Janik J and P Callahan. Effect of orphanin FQ/nociceptin (OFQ/N) and isoflurane on the prolactin secretory response in OFQ/N knockout mice. Peptides 28(8):1611-1614, 2007.

  4. Kaur G, J Janik, LG Isaacson and P Callahan. Estrogen regulation of neurotrophin expression in sympathetic neurons and vascular targets. Brain Research 1139:6-14.

  5. Chesterfield M, J Janik, E Murphree, C Lynn, E Schmidt and P Callahan. Orphanin FQ/Nociceptin (OFQ/N) is a physiological regulator of prolactin secretion in female rats. Endocrinology 146(11):5087-5093, 2006.