Research Collaborate Lab Bench

Medical Scientist Training Program

Casey Vickstrom

Casey Vickstrom

G4 Student

Faculty Advisor

  • Qing-song Liu, PhD, Pharmacology and Toxicology


  • Medical Scientist Training Program

Contact Information


BA, Biological Sciences, Northwestern University, 2014

Research Interests

I am interested in molecular and systems-level neuroscience, in particular in the context of neurobiological pathophysiology.

Research Experience

Medical College of Wisconsin, 2016-present
Advisor: Qing-Song Liu, PhD
Project: Our lab investigates the neural mechanisms of reward and drug addiction, with a particular interest in the endocannabinoid system in these and other processes.

Northwestern University, 2012-2014
Advisor: Dr. Geoffrey Kansas
Project: I studied the molecular mechanisms of cell extravasation from blood vessels, with a focus on selectin:selectin ligand interactions in the mechanism of small cell lung cancer metastasis.


Zhong P, Vickstrom CR, Liu X, Hu Y, Yu L, Yu HG & Liu QS. HCN2 channels in the ventral tegmental area regulate behavioral responses to chronic stress. eLife 7, e32420 (2018).

Tong J, Liu X, Vickstrom CR, Li Y, Yu L, Lu Y, Smrcka AV & Liu QS. The Epac-Phospholipase Cepsilon Pathway Regulates Endocannabinoid Signaling and Cocaine-Induced Disinhibition of Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Neurons. J Neurosci 37, 3030-3044 (2017).

Liu X, Zhong P, Vickstrom CR, Li Y & Liu QS. PDE4 Inhibition Restores the Balance Between Excitation and Inhibition in VTA Dopamine Neurons Disrupted by Repeated In Vivo Cocaine Exposure. Neuropsychopharmacology 42, 1991-1999 (2017).

Liu X, Li Y, Yu L, Vickstrom CR & Liu QS. VTA mTOR Signaling Regulates Dopamine Dynamics, Cocaine-Induced Synaptic Alterations, and Reward. Neuropsychopharmacology (2017).

Liu X, Chen Y, Vickstrom CR, Li Y, Viader A, Cravatt BF & Liu QS. Coordinated regulation of endocannabinoid-mediated retrograde synaptic suppression in the cerebellum by neuronal and astrocytic monoacylglycerol lipase. Sci Rep 6, 35829 (2016).

Chen Y, Liu X, Vickstrom CR, Liu MJ, Zhao L, Viader A, Cravatt BF & Liu QS. Neuronal and Astrocytic Monoacylglycerol Lipase Limit the Spread of Endocannabinoid Signaling in the Cerebellum. eNeuro 3(2016).

General Interests

Soccer, basketball, skiing, music