Kris Martens, PhD

605 Biomedical Research Tower
460 W 12th Ave, 43210

Research Focus

Dr. Martens is a Co-Investigator of the Vonder Haar lab. This lab focuses on behavioral dysfunction, particularly as it relates to disease states. Psychiatric-like impairments are very common after traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The lab uses rodent models of TBI to better understand why these problems develop and how they might be treated.

Research Approaches

The Vonder Haar lab is focused on behavioral neuroscience; we use a collection of high-throughput operant behavioral techniques to chronically assess impulsivity, decision-making, and other outcomes. We also make use of other behavioral neuroscience techniques, including mazes and motor measures. We use stereotaxic surgery to perform interventions such as brain injury or implants. In the wet lab, we use a collection of microscopy techniques (e.g., immunohistochemistry) and other protein measurements (e.g., Western blot, ELISA).

Education and Training

PhD: Psychology, 2013. Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Postdoctoral Fellowship:
Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Postdoctoral Fellowship:
Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health , University of British Columbia, 2014-2016


Martens, K. M., Pechacek, K. M., Mondrak, C., Milleson, V., Zhu, B., & Vonder Haar, C. (2019). Cathodal transcranial direct-current stimulation selectively decreases impulsivity after traumatic brain injury in rats. Journal of Neurotrauma, 36(19), 2827-2830.

Button, E. B., Boyce, G. K., Wilkinson, A., Stukas, S. K., Robert, J., Hayat, A., Fan, J., Martens, K. M., Wellington, C. L. (2019). ApoA-I deficiency increases cortical amyloid deposition, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, cortical and hippocampal astrogliosis and astrocyte reactivity to amyloid in APP/PS1 mice. Alzheimer's Research and Therapy, 11(44), 1-18.

Vonder Haar, C.*, Martens, K. M.*, Bashir, A.*, McInnes, K. A., Cheng, W. H., Cheung, H., Stukas, S., Barron, C., Ladner, T., Welch, K., Cripton, P., Winstanley, C. A., & Wellington, C. L. (2019). Repetitive closed-head impact model of engineered rotational acceleration (CHIMERA) injury in rats increases impulsivity, decreases dopaminergic innervation in the olfactory tubercle and generates white matter inflammation, tau phosphorylation and degeneration. Experimental Neurology, 317, 87-99.
*equal contributions

Cheng, W. H., Martens, K. M., Bashir, A., Cheung, H., Stukas, S., Gibbs, E., Namjoshi, D. R., Button, E. B., Wilkinson, A., Barron, C. J., Cashman, N. R., Cripton, P. A., & Wellinton, C. L. (2019). CHIMERA repetitive mild traumatic brain injury induces chronic behavioral and neuropathological phenotypes in wild-type and APP/PS1 mice. Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy, 11(6), 1-21.

Shaver, T. K., Ozga, J. E., Zhu, B., Anderson, K. G., Martens, K. M., & Vonder Haar, C. (2019). Long-term deficits in risky decision-making after traumatic brain injury on a rat analog of the Iowa gambling task. Brain Research, 1704, 103-113.

Silverman, J. M., Gibbs, E., Peng, X., Martens, K. M., Balducci, C., Wang, J., Yousefi, M., Cowan, C. M., Lamour, G., Louadi, S., Ban, Y., Robert, J., Stukas, S., Forloni, G., Hsiung, G. R., Plotkin, S. S., Wellington, C. L., & Cashman, N. R. (2018). A rational structured epitope defines a distinct subclass of toxic amyloid-beta oligomers. ACS Chemical Neuroscience, 9(7), 1591-1606.

Cheng, W. H., Stukas, S., Martens, K. M., Namjoshi, D. R., Button, E. B., Wilkinson, A., Bashir, A., Roberts, J., Cripton, P. A., & Wellington, C. L. (2018). Age at injury and genotype modify acute inflammatory and neurofilament-light responses to mild CHIMERA traumatic brain injury in wild-type and APP/PS1 mice. Experimental Neurology, 301, 26-38.

Vonder Haar, C., Martens, K. M., Riparip, L-K., Rosi, S., Wellington, C. L., & Winstanley, C. A. (2017). Frontal traumatic brain injury increases impulsive decision making in rats: A potential role for the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-12. Journal of Neurotrauma, 34, 2790-2800.