Kwang Ho Choi, Ph.D.

Kwang Ho Choi, Ph.D.

Name: Kwang Ho Choi, Ph.D.

Department of Primary Appointment: Psychiatry
Position: USU Faculty
Title: Assistant Professor

Email: (link sends e-mail)
Office Phone: (301) 295-3294




Kwang Choi, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Choi received B.S. and M.A. in Biology from the Dongguk University in South Korea and Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Psychiatry from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. He completed a postdoctoral work at the Dept of Psychiatry of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, TX, and worked as a Scientist in the Stanley Laboratory of Brain Research, Rockville, MD.

The long-term goal of Dr. Choi's research is to better understand the biological mechanisms of stress, anxiety and substance abuse. He is conducting a translational research using clinically relevant animal models of stress and drug abuse as well as postmortem brain tissue of psychiatric patients including mood and anxiety disorders. He is currently using various animals models such as intravenous drug self-administration and fear/anxiety behavior as well as non-invasive brain imaging technology (FDG-PET and MRI) to study molecular mechanisms of comorbid anxiety disorders and substance abuse. These approaches complement each other by elucidating the neurobiological mechanisms mediated by biological and environmental factors contributing to vulnerability or resilience to fear/anxiety and substance abuse. By identifying the mechanisms in which drugs and environment interact, and change the brain to lead to psychiatric symptoms, we can develop improved treatments of a comorbid substance abuse and anxiety disorders.

Selected Publications

Choi KH, Clements RLH, Greenshaw AJ (2005) Simultaneous AMPA/kainite receptor blockade and dopamine D2/3 receptor stimulation in the nucleus accumbens decreases brain stimulation reward in rats. Behav. Brain Res. 158:79-88

Choi KH, Elashoff M, Higgs BW, Song J, Kim S, Sabunciyan S, Diglisic S, Yolken RH, Knable M, Torrey EF and Webster MJ (2008) Putative psychosis genes in the prefrontal cortex: combined analysis of gene expression microarrays. BMC Psychiatry 8:87

Choi KH, Zepp ME, Higgs, BW, Weickert CS, Webster MJ (2009) Expression profiles of schizophrenia susceptibility genes during human prefrontal cortex development. J. Psychiatry and Neuroscience 34:450

Choi KH, Higgs BW, Wendland JR, Song J, McMahon FJ, Webster MJ (2011) Gene expression and genetic variation data implicate PCLO in bipolar disorder. Biological Psychiatry 69:353-9

Choi KH, Edwards, S, Graham, DL, Han, MH, Larson, EB, Whisler, KN, Simmons, D, Rahman, Z, Monteggia, LM, Eisch, AJ, Neve, RL, Nestler, EJ, Self, DW (2011) Reinforcement-Related Regulation of AMPA Glutamate Receptor Subunits in the Ventral Tegmental Area Enhances Cocaine Reinforcement. Journal of Neuroscience, 31:7927–7937

Choi KH, Le T, McGuire J, Xing G, Zhang L, Li H, Parker CC, Johnson LR and Ursano RJ (2012) Expression pattern of the cannabinoid receptor genes in the frontal cortex of mood disorder patients and mice selectively bred for high and low fear. J Psychiatric Research, 46:882-889