Kathy Steece-Collier, PhD

Kathy  Steece-Collier, PhD
  • Professor of Translational Neuroscience
  • Department of Translational Neuroscience
  • Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
  • Teaching Faculty, MSU Neuroscience Program


Kathy Steece-Collier received a dual Bachelor of Science with honors in Chemistry and Biology at Eureka College and a Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago. After studying basic neurochemistry in graduate school she decided to focus her subsequent research efforts on improving human health. Toward to this goal she did a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Rochester studying neural grafting in experimental Parkinson’s disease (PD) under the tutelage of Dr. John Sladek. Dr. Steece-Collier has held faculty positions at University of Rochester, Chicago Medical School, Rush University in Chicago, University of Cincinnati, and since 2010 has been a Professor in the Department of Translational Neuroscience in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. The focus of her research over the past 20+ years has been on development of improved therapeutics for individuals with PD with particular emphasis in understanding how the brain responds to, and remodels itself in response to neurodegeneration (i.e.: neuronal death) and therapeutic interventions for PD.


Institution Field of Study Degree Earned Year
Eureka College, Eureka, IL Chemistry B.S. 1981
Eureka College, Eureka, IL Biology B.S. 1981
University of Illinois School of Medicine, Chicago, IL Physiology Ph.D. 1986
University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY Neuroanatomy Postdoctoral Fellow 1986-1990

Research Interests

Over the past 20+ years, I have maintained my dedication to the development of improved therapeutics for individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) with particular emphasis in understanding how striatal pathology impacts therapeutics for PD including levodopa (Sinemet) and regenerative dopamine terminal replacement strategies. Over the past 10+ years, our research has resulted in a series of studies examining the structural reorganization of cells and circuits in the basal ganglia associated with graft- and levodopa-induced dyskinesias, and molecular triggers that induce and/or maintain the dyskinetic state, and/or result in failure of DA treatment strategies. My current funding includes two R01 grants from NINDS to investigate: 1) the capacity and limitations of gene level silencing of a particular population of calcium channels, CaV1.3 channels, in the striatum using rAAV-CaV1.3-shRNA to prevent and reverse the devastating side-effect of the antiparkinsonian medication levodopa known as levodopa-induced dyskinesias (LID) using parkinsonian animal models (award period: 09/01/2018-08/31/2024); and 2) the impact of a common human single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) on the on the ability to remodel the parkinsonian striatum with new DA terminals using neural grafting in a CRISPR knock-in rat model of the human SNP rs6265 BDNF as a model system (award period: 01/01/2019 – 12/31/2023).

Technical Expertise

  • Stereotaxic surgery
  • In vivo gene therapy
  • Behavioral evaluations of motor performance in rodents
  • Embryonic and adult brain microdissection
  • Immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, immunoelectron microscopy
  • Confocal and electron microscopy
  • Stereological analyses
  • Western blot
  • In situ hybridization
  • In vivo microdialysis
  • Cell culture