Catherine Croft Swanwick, Ph.D.

Catherine Croft Swanwick, Ph.D.

Tel: 703-288-4420             8280 Greensboro Drive Suite 150
Fax: 703-288-4430            McLean, VA 22102

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Dr. Swanwick earned her B.S. from Duke University and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Virginia. She conducted five years of postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health before joining the MindSpec team in 2010. Her laboratory research focused on the formation and regulation of synapses in the hippocampus, a brain region important for learning and memory. She has published nine research articles, two commentaries, and two book chapters.

During her first two years at MindSpec, Dr. Swanwick conducted research focused on defining protein interaction networks underlying autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  She led development of the Protein Interaction (PIN) module of AutDB, for which she constructed interactomes of proteins translated from ASD risk genes.  She also performed network analysis of ASD risk genes in order to identify convergent molecular pathways which could be targeted for development of new ASD  drug treatments.

Dr, Swanwick currently serves as the Director of Outreach Program for MindSpec.  In this role, she leads efforts to educate parents, caregivers, service providers, and public policy makers about advances in autism research.   Her major outreach efforts include 1) Autism Reading Room, MindSpec’s new online resource designed to enhance public understanding of autism research, for which she both writes and serves as Managing Editor, and 2) community events, such as workshops, conferences, and festivals, where MindSpec hosts exhibit tables to communicate directly with the autism community.


Research Articles

Kumar A, Swanwick CC, Johnson N, Menashe I, Basu SN, Bales M, and Banerjee-Basu S (2011). A brain region-specific predictive gene map for autism derived by profiling a reference gene set. PLoS ONE 6: e28431.

Kumar A, Wadhawan R, Swanwick CC, Kollu R, Basu SN, and Banerjee-Basu S (2011). Animal model integration to AutDB, a genetic database for autism. BMC Medical Genomics 4:15.

Swanwick CC, Shapiro ME, Vicini S, and Wenthold RJ (2010). Flotillin-1 promotes formation of glutamatergic synapses in hippocampal neurons. Developmental Neurobiology 70:875-883. (cover)

Swanwick CC, Shapiro ME, Vicini S, and Wenthold RJ (2010). Flotillin-1 mediates neurite branching induced by synaptic adhesion-like molecule 4 in hippocampal neurons. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 45(3):213-225.

Swanwick CC, Shapiro ME, Yi Z, Chang K, and Wenthold RJ (2009). Interaction of NMDA receptors with flotillin-1 and -2, lipid raft-associated proteins. FEBS Letters 583:1226-1230.

Yi Z, Petralia R, Fu Z, Swanwick CC, Wang Y-X, Prybylowski K, Sans N, Vicini S, and Wenthold RJ (2007). The role of the PDZ protein GIPC in regulating NMDA receptor trafficking. Journal of Neuroscience 27(43):11663-11675.

Swanwick CC, Murthy NR, and Kapur J (2006). Activity-dependent scaling of GABAergic synapse strength is regulated by brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 31(3):481-492.

Swanwick CC, Murthy NR, Mtchedlishvili Z, Sieghart W, and Kapur J (2006). Development of GABAergic synapses in cultured hippocampal neurons. The Journal of Comparative Neurology 495(5):497-510. (cover)

Swanwick CC, Harrison MB, and Kapur J (2004). Synaptic and extrasynaptic localization of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and the tyrosine kinase B receptor in cultured hippocampal neurons. The Journal of Comparative Neurology 478(4):405-417.


Swanwick CC and Kapur J (2005). Is the tyrosine kinase B receptor a target for preventing epilepsy? Epilepsy Currents 5(1):7-10.

Swanwick CC and Kapur J (2004). Role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in catamenial epilepsy. Epilepsy Currents 4(4):154-155.

Book Chapters

“Genetic Heterogeneity of Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Catherine Croft Swanwick, Eric C. Larsen, and Sharmila Banerjee-Basu. Autism Spectrum Disorders:  The Role of Genetics in Diagnosis and Treatment. Williams, Tim (Ed.) InTech Open Access Publisher (2011)

“Molecular Properties and Cell Biology of the NMDA Receptor.” Robert J. Wenthold, Rana Al-Hallaq, Catherine Croft Swanwick, and Ronald S. Petralia. Structural and Functional Organization of the Synapse. Hell, Johannes W. and Ehlers, Michael D. (Eds.) Springer Publishers (2008).