Michelle Hook, Ph.D.

Michelle Hook, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience (TAMU/TAMHSC)
8447 Riverside Pkwy
1010 Medical Research and Education Building
Bryan, TX   77807-3260

Phone: 979-436-0568
Fax: 979-436-0086


  • Ph.D., University of New England (1998)

Research Interests

Effects of morphine on recovery of function after spinal injury

The primary focus of my current research is examining the effects of morphine on recovery of function after spinal cord injury. This research includes examination of the potential for addiction after SCI as well as the behavioral and molecular changes associated with administration of morphine in a rodent model of spinal cord injury.

Psychological wellbeing in a rodent model of spinal cord injury

We are conducting pioneering studies of depression in the rodent SCI model. Despite the increased incidence of depression following SCI, in the human population, this area of research has been completely neglected in animal studies. We use behavioral tests of depression-like symptoms (e.g. sucrose preference, forced swim) as well as physiological data recording with implantable telemetry devices to characterize ‘depression’ in the rats. We have initiated studies of commonly used anti-depressants, testing the efficacy for reversing depression-like symptoms and the effects on recovery.

Recent Grants

  • 2012-2014 Interaction between SCI and Noxious Input: Modulation of Pain Hypersensitivity, NINDS R21 (CoI, $275,000)
  • 2012-2013 Neurotrophin Delivery Using Injectable Hydrogels for Increased Plasticity after Spinal Cord Injury, MISSION CONNECT, (CoI, $100, 000)
  • 2011-2015 Morphine undermines recovery of function after SCI: Neurobiological mechanisms, NIH NIDA RO1, (PI, $1,172,000)

Selected Publications

  • Grau, J.W., Huie, J.R., Lee, K.H., Hoy, K.C., Huang, Y.J., Turtle, J.D., Strain, M.M., Baumbauer, K.M., Miranda, R.C., Hook, M.A., Ferguson, A.R., and Garraway, S.M. (2014). Metaplasticity and behavior: how training and inflammation affect plastic potential within the spinal cord and recovery after injury. Front. Neural Circuits, 8:100. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2014.00100.
  • Strickland, E.R., Woller, S.A., Garraway, S.M., Hook,A M.., Grau, J.W. and Miranda, R.C. (2014). Regulatory effects of intermittent noxious stimulation on spinal cord injury-sensitive microRNAs and their presumptive targets following spinal cord contusion Front. Neural Circuits, 8:117. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2014.00117.
  • Garraway, S.M., Woller, S.A., Huie, J.R., Hartman, J.J., Hook, M.A., Miranda, R.C., Huang, Y.J., Ferguson, A.R., and Grau, J.W. (2014). Peripheral noxious stimulation reduces withdrawal threshold to mechanical stimuli after spinal cord injury: Role of tumor necrosis factor alpha and apoptosis. Pain, 155 (11): 2344-2359.
  • Strickland, E.R., Woller, S.A., Hook, M.A., Grau, J.W. and Miranda, R.C. (2014). The association between spinal cord trauma-sensitive miRNAs and pain sensitivity, and their regulation by morphine. Neurochemistry International, 77: 40-49. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2014.05.005.
  • Woller, S.A., Malik, J.S., Aceves, M., and Hook, M.A. (2014). Morphine self-administration following spinal cord injury. Journal of Neurotrauma, 31(18): 1570-1583.
  • Maldonado Bouchard, S. and Hook, M.A. (2014). Psychological stress as a modulator of functional recovery following spinal cord injury. Frontiers in Neurology, 5: 44
  • Luedtke, K., Maldonado Bouchard, S., Woller, S.A., Funk, M.K., Aceves, M., and Hook M.A. (2014). Assessment of depression in a rodent model of spinal cord injury. Journal of Neurotrauma, 31(12):1107-21.
  • Woller, S.A. & Hook, M.A. (2013). Opioid administration following spinal cord injury: Implications for pain and motor recovery. Experimental Neurology, 247: 328-341.
  • Woller, S.A., Moreno, G.L., Hart, N., Wellman, P.J., Grau, J.W., & Hook, M.A. (2012). Analgesia or addiction: implications for morphine use after spinal cord injury. Journal of Neurotrauma, 9(8):1650-62.
  • Hook, M.A., Washburn, S.N., Moreno, G., Woller, S.A., Puga, D., Lee, K.H. & Grau, J.W. (2011). An IL-1 receptor antagonist blocks a morphine-induced attenuation of locomotor recovery after spinal cord injury. Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 25 (2), 349-359.
  • Brown, A.K., Woller, S.A., Moreno, G., Grau, J.W. & Hook, M.A. (2011). Exercise therapy and recovery after SCI: evidence that early intervention improves recovery of function. Spinal Cord, 49 (5), 623-628.
  • Strickland, E.R., Hook, M.A., Balaraman, S, Huie, R., Grau, J.W., & Miranda, R.C. (2011). MicroRNA dysregulation following spinal cord contusion: implications for neural plasticity and repair. Neuroscience, 186, 146-160.
  • Garraway, S.M., Turtle, J.D., Huie, J.R., Lee, K.H., Hook, M.A., Woller, S.A., & Grau, J.W. (2011). Intermittent noxious stimulation following spinal cord contusion injury impairs locomotor recovery and reduces spinal BDNF-TrkB signaling in adult rats. Neuroscience, 199: 86-102.
  • Hook, M.A., Moreno, G., Woller, S., Puga, D., Hoy, K., Balden, R., & Grau, J.W. (2009). Intrathecal morphine attenuates recovery of function after a spinal cord injury. Journal of Neurotrauma, 26 (5), 741-752.
  • Hook, M.A., Huie, J.R., & Grau, J.W. (2008). Peripheral inflammation undermines the plasticity of the isolated spinal cord. Behavioral Neuroscience, 122 (1), 233-249.