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Christianne Strang.

Assistant ProfessorThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
CH 238
(205) 975-7222

Research and Teaching Interests: The expression and function of acetylcholine receptors in the retina, retinal anatomy, retinal development, developmental neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience

Office Hours: By appointment


  • B.S., University of Miami, Art Education
  • M.A., Vermont College of Norwich University, Art Therapy
  • Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham, Behavioral Neuroscience

Christianne Strang is a board-certified art therapist with 25 years of clinical art therapy experience. She earned her M.A. in Art Therapy from Vermont College of Norwich University in 1987, and has served as treasurer for the American Art Therapy Association and for the Art Therapy Credentials Board. In July 2015 she will take office as the President-Elect of the American Art Therapy Association.

Dr. Strang received her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2004, followed by a position as a Research Associate in the lab of Dr. Kent Keyser. She joined the faculty of the Department of Vision Sciences at UAB in May 2011. Dr. Strang’s primary research focus is the study of the expression patterns and physiological roles of nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the retina. Her work uses RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, and fluorescence microscopy to identify the complement of AChR mRNA transcripts and proteins in the mammalian retina, and patch clamp electrophysiology to characterize the effects of AChR activation on basic retinal processing.

Recently Dr. Strang has begun extending her research towards increased clinical relevance using molecular, imaging, and electrophysiological techniques to characterize the pathophysiological changes in the retinas of transgenic mice that serve as a model for Alzheimer’s disease. She is actively involved in the didactic and laboratory training of students in the Departments of Vision Sciences, Psychology, and Neurobiology, and received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in March of 2015. She is co-course director for the UAB introductory undergraduate and graduate introductory neurobiology courses held at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

  • Select Publications

    Book Chapters

    • Keyser, K.T., Wotring V.E., & Strang, C.E. (2017) The Role of Acetylcholine and its Receptors in Retinal Processing. In Reference Module in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology, Elsevier, 2017.
    • Keyser, K.T., & Strang, C.E. (2009). Optical Imaging of Cancer: Enhancing Detection and Resection. In Optical Imaging in Cancer, Rosenthal EN & Zinn, KR, Eds. New York, NY: Springer.
    • Keyser, K.T., Wotring, V.E., & Strang, C.E. (2010) Nicotinic receptor expression in the retina. 204. In Encyclopedia of the Eye, Vol 4 (pp. 153). Besharse, J., Co- Editor, Dartt, D, Editor-in-Chief. Elsevier: Oxford, UK.


    • Oliveira-Souza F.G., DeRamus M.L., van Groen T., Lambert A.E., Bolding M.S., Strang C.E. (2017) Retinal Changes in the Tg-SwDI Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease. Neuroscience 354:43-53DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.04.021 PMCID: PMC5495115.
    • Strang, C.E., Long, Y.,Gavrikov, K.E., Amthor, F.R., Keyser, K.T. (2015) Nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors shape ganglion cell response properties. Journal of Neurophysiology, 113(1), 203-17. doi: 10.1152/jn.00405.2014. Epub 2014 Oct 8. PMCID: PMC4294565
    • Smith, M.L., Oliveira Souza, F.G., Bruce, K.S., Strang, C.E., Morely, B.J., Keyser, K.T. (2014) Acetylcholine receptors in the retinas of the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor knockout mouse. Molecular Vision, 20, 1328-1356.
    • Hannibal, L., Kankipati, L., Strang, C.E., Peterson, B.B., Dacey, D., Gamlin, P.D. (2014). Central projections of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells in the macaque monkey. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 522(10), 2231-2248. doi: 10.1002/cne.23555. PMCID: PMC3996456.
    • Strang, C.E., Renna, J.M., Amthor, F.R., Keyser, K.T. (2010) Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptor Localization and Modulation of Ganglion Cell Responses. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 51, 2778-2789.
    • Lui, J., McGlinn, A., Fernandes, A., Milam, A.H., Strang, C.E., Andison, M.E., Lindstrom, J.M., Keyser, K.T., Stone, R.A. (2009) Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Subunits in Rhesus Monkey Retina. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 50, 1408-1415.
  • Research Interests

    The Strang Lab uses electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry and imaging techniques to study the functional effects of activation of neuronal nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (AChR) in the retina in health and in disease states. ACh release in the retina affects the response properties of many types of ganglion cells through the activation of both nicotinic and muscarinic AChRs, but until recently there little has been known about the receptors involved, or the mechanisms by which these effects are mediated. Understanding the fundamentals of visual processing in healthy retinas will allow for insight into the effects of decreased ACh in disease processes such as Alzheimer's disease.