Kwang H Choi


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Office Phone


1992 BSc, Dong Guk University, South Korea
1994 MA, Dong Guk University, South Korea
2000 PhD, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB Canada


1. Kim SY, Yeh PH, Ollinger JM, Morris HD, Hood MN, Ho VB, and Choi KH Military-related mild traumatic brain injury: clinical characteristics, advanced neuroimaging, and molecular mechanisms (accepted) Translational Psychiatry

2. Berman R, Spencer H, Boese M, Kim S, Radford K, and Choi K. Loss of Consciousness and Righting Reflex Following Traumatic Brain Injury: Predictors of Post-Injury Symptom Development (A Narrative Review) Brain Sciences (2023) 13: 750

3. Kim SY, Soumoff AA, Raiciulescu S, Kemezis PA, Spinks EA, Brody EL, Capaldi VF, Ursano RJ, Benedek DM, and Choi KH. Association of Traumatic Brain Injury Severity and Self-Reported Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Wounded Military Service Members. Neurotrauma Reports (2023) vol (4.1): 14-24

4. Spencer HF, Berman RY, Boese M, and Choi KH. Ketamine, a trauma analgesic with sex-specific immunomodulatory function. Neural Regeneration Research (2023) 18(6):1263-1264.

5. Spencer HF, Berman RY, Boese M, Zhang M, Kim SY, Radford KD, and Choi KH. Effects of an intravenous ketamine infusion on inflammatory cytokine levels in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats. J Neuroinflammation. 2022 Apr 4;19(1):75. doi: 10.1186/s12974-022-02434-w. PMID: 35379262

6. Kim SY, Cohen SP, Rodriguez SE, McCabe J, and Choi KH. Central effects of stellate ganglion block mediated by the vagus nerve? An alternate hypothesis for treating PTSD. Medical Hypotheses (2022) 162 110833

7. Kim SY, Buckenmaier Iii CC, Howe E, and Choi KH. Sublingual Sufentanil May Reduce Risk for Psychiatric Sequalae and Chronic Pain Following Combat Trauma: Editorial for the Newest Battlefield Opioid, Sublingual Sufentanil. Mil Med. 2022 Mar 10:usac053. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usac053. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35266520

8. Radford KD, Berman RY, Jaiswal S, Kim SY, Zhang M, Spencer HF, and Choi KH. Enhanced Fear Memories and Altered Brain Glucose Metabolism (18F-FDG-PET) following Subanesthetic Intravenous Ketamine Infusion in Female Sprague-Dawley Rats. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Feb 8;23(3):1922. doi: 10.3390/ijms23031922. PMID: 35163844

9. Soumoff AA, Driscoll MY, Kim SY, Benedek DM, and Choi KH: Hospitalization for Physical Injury May Contribute to Recovery of Invisible War Wounds: Response to Commentary. J Trauma Stress. 2022 Feb;35(1):341-342. doi: 10.1002/jts.22765. Epub 2021 Nov 13. PubMed PMID: 34773715.

10. Kim SY, Buckenmaier C, Howe EG, and Choi KH: The Newest Battlefield Opioid, Sublingual Sufentanil: A Proposal to Refine Opioid Usage in the United States Military. Military Medicine, Sept 29, 2021, PMID: 34586416

11. Soumoff AA, Clark NG, Spinks EA, Kemezis PA, Raiciulescu S, Driscoll MY, Kim SY, Benedek DM, and Choi KH: Severity of Somatic Symptoms, Not Injury Severity, Predicts Probable Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder in Wounded Service Members. Journal of Traumatic Stress 2021 Aug 9. doi: 10.1002/jts.22722. PMID: 34374129

12. Kostelnik C, Lucki I, Choi KH*, and Browne CA*: Mild traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder: A mini review of translationally relevant animal models of fear conditioning after mTBI. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review. 2021 Aug;127: 365-376. PMID: 33961927. *Co-corresponding authors.

13. Langlois LD, Berman RY, Shepard RD, Simmons SC, Tsuda M, Gouty S, Choi KH*, and Nugent FS*: Potentiation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission onto lateral habenula neurons following early life stress and intravenous morphine self-administration in rats. Addiction Biology. 2021 May 25;e13064. PMID: 34036710. *Co-corresponding authors

14. Zhang M, Spencer HF, Berman RY, Radford KD, and Choi KH: Effects of Subanesthetic Intravenous Ketamine Infusion on Neuroplasticity-Related Proteins in Brain Regions of Male and Female Rats. IBRO Neuroscience Report. 2021 Jul 3;11:42-51. PMID: 34286313

15. Choi KH, Berman RY, Zhang M, Spencer HF, and Radford KD: Effects of Ketamine on Rodent Fear Memory. International Journal. Molecular. Sciences 2020 Sep 28;21(19):E7173, PMID: 32998470

16. Radford KD, Berman RY, Zhang M, Wu TJ, and Choi KH: Sex-related differences in intravenous ketamine effects on dissociative stereotypy and antinociception in male and female rats Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2020 Sep 22;199:173042, PMID: 32976859

17. Radford KD, Spencer HF, Zhang M, Berman RY, Girasek Q, and Choi KH: Association Between Intravenous Ketamine-induced Stress Hormone Levels and Fear Memory Renewal in Sprague-Dawley Rats. Behav Brain Res, 2019, 378: 112259, PMID: 31560919

18. Eklund KE, Nishida KS, Barry ES, Choi KH, and Grunberg NE: Examination of the gateway hypothesis in a rat model. Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior 2019, Apr;179:89-97, PMID: 30797762

19. Zhang M, Radford KD, Driscoll M, Purnomo S, Kim J, and Choi KH: Effects of subanesthetic intravenous ketamine infusion on neuroplasticity-related proteins in the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus of Sprague-Dawley rats. IBRO Reports, 2019, Jan 16, 6:87-94, PMID: 30723838

20. Radford KD, Park TY, Jaiswal S, Pan H, Knutsen A, Zhang M, Driscoll M, Osborne-Smith LA, Dardzinski BJ, and Choi KH: Enhanced fear memories and brain glucose metabolism (18F-FDG PET) following sub-anesthetic intravenous ketamine infusion in Sprague Dawley rats. Translational Psychiatry, 2018, 8(1): 263 PMID: 30504810

21. Radford KD, Park TY, Osborne-Smith LA, and Choi KH: The effects of sub-anesthetic intravenous ketamine infusion on corticosterone and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the plasma of male Sprague-Dawley rats. American Association of Nurse Anesthetist American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Journal, 2018, 86(5): 393-400, PMID: 31584409

22. Jin W, Kim MS, Jang EY, Lee JY, Lee JG, Kim HY, Yoon SS, Lee BH, Chang S, Kim JH, Choi KH, Koo H, Gwak YS, Steffensen SC, Ryu YH, Kim HY, and Yang CH: Acupuncture reduces relapse to cocaine-seeking behavior via activation of GABA neurons in the ventral tegmental area. Addiction Biology, 2018, Jan;23 (1):165-181, PMID: 28271626

23. Park TY, Nishida KS, Wilson CM, Jaiswal S, Scott J, Hoy AR, Selwyn RG, Dardzinski BJ, and Choi KH: Effects of isoflurane anesthesia and intravenous morphine self-administration on regional glucose metabolism ([18F]FDG PET) of male Sprague-Dawley rats. European Journal of Neuroscience, Feb 14, 2017 PMID: 28196306

24. Radford KD, Park TY, Lee BH, Moran S, Osborne LA, and Choi KH: Dose-response characteristics of intravenous ketamine on locomotion, dissociative stereotypy, sensorimotor gating, and antinociception in Sprague-Dawley rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 2017, 153: 130-140 PMID: 28024909

25. Lee BH, Park TY, Lin E, Li H, Yang CH, and Choi KH: Altered Acoustic Startle, Pre-pulse Inhibition, and Peripheral Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor in Morphine Self-administered Rats. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2016, 20 (5): 383–391

26. Nishida KS, Park TY, Lee BH, Ursano RJ, and Choi KH: Individual differences in initial morphine sensitivity as a predictor for the development of opiate addiction in rats. Behavioural Brain Research, 2016, 313: 315-323 PMID: 27457135

27. Akula N, Wendland JR, Choi KH, and McMahon FJ: An integrative genomic study implicates the post-synaptic density in the pathogenesis of bipolar disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2016, 41: 886-895 PMID: 26211730

28. Le T, Xia M, Jia M, Sarkar N, Chen J, Li H, Wynn GH, Ursano RJ, and Choi KH: Association between initial morphine self-administration and weight change, acoustic startle reflex and drug seeking in rats. Psychopharmacology, 2014, 231(23): 4569-77 PMID: 24819733

29. Akula N, Barb J, Jiang X, Wendland J, Choi KH, Sen S, Hou L, Chen D, Laje G, Johnson K, Lipska B, Kleinman J, Corrada-Bravo H, Detera-Wadleigh S, Munson P, and McMahon F: RNA-sequencing of the brain transcriptome implicates dysregulation of neuroplasticity, circadian rhythms, and GTPase binding in bipolar disorder. Molecular Psychiatry, 2014, 19(11): 1179-85 PMID: 24393808

30. Zhang L, Hu XZ, Benedek DM, Fullerton CS, Forsten RD, Naifeh JA, Li X, Li H, Benevides KN, Smerin S, Le T, Choi KH and Ursano RJ: The interaction between stressful life events and leukocyte telomere length is associated with PTSD. Molecular Psychiatry, 2013, 19(8): 855-6 PMID: 24189343

31. McGuire JL, Bergstrom HC, Parker CC, Le T, Morgan M, Tang H, Selwyn RG, Silva AC, Choi KH, Ursano RJ, Palmer AA, and Johnson LR: Traits of fear resistance and susceptibility in an advanced intercross line. Eur J. Neurosci, 2013, 38(9): 3314-3324 PMID: 23968228

32. Choi K, Im HJ, JH Kim, Choi KH, Jon DI, Hong H, Hong N, Lee L, and Seok JH: Relationship of early-life stress and resilience to military adjustment in a young adulthood population. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol, 2013, 48: 1767–1776 PMID: 23275973

33. Chambers RA, McClintick JN, Sentir AM, Berg SA, Runyan M, Choi KH, and Edenberg HJ: Cortical-striatal gene expression in neonatal hippocampal lesion (NVHL)-amplified cocaine sensitization. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 2013, 12: 564-575 PMID: 23682998

34. Choi KH, Le T, McGuire J, Coyner J, Higgs BW, Diglisic S, Johnson LR, Benedek DM, and Ursano RJ: Expression Profiles of Mitochondrial Genes in the Frontal Cortex and the Caudate Nucleus of Developing Humans and Mice Selectively Bred for High and Low Fear. PLOS ONE, 2012, 7: 11, e49183 PMID: 23152871

35. Ye T, Lipska BK, Tao R, Hyde T, Wang L, Li C, Choi KH, Straub R, Kleinman JE, and Weinberger DR: Analysis of CNVs in Brain DNA from Patients with Schizophrenia and Other Psychiatric Disorders. Biol Psychiatry, 2012, 72: 651-654 PMID: 22795968

36. Choi KH, Le T, McGuire J, Xing G, Zhang L, Li H, Parker CC, Johnson LR and Ursano RJ: Expression pattern of the cannabinoid receptor genes in the frontal cortex of mood disorder patients and mice selectively bred for high and low fear. J Psychiatric Research, 2012, 46: 882-889 PMID: 22534181

37. Choi KH, Le T, Xing G, Johnson LR and Ursano RJ: Analysis of Kinase Gene Expression in the Frontal Cortex of Suicide Victims: Implications of Fear and Stress. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 2011, 5: 1-9 PMID: 21847376

38. Choi KH, Edwards, S, Graham, DL, Han, MH, Larson, EB, Whisler, KN, Simmons, D, Rahman, Z, Monteggia, LM, Eisch, AJ, Neve, RL, Nestler, EJ, and Self, DW: Reinforcement-Related Regulation of AMPA Glutamate Receptor Subunits in the Ventral Tegmental Area Enhances Cocaine Reinforcement. Journal of Neuroscience, 2011, 31: 7927–7937 PMID: 21613507

39. Ernst C, Nagy C, Kim S, Yang J, Deng X, Hellstrom IC, Choi KH, Gershenfeld H, Meaney MJ, and Turecki G: Dysfunction of astrocyte connexins 30 and 43 in dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex of suicide completers. Biological Psychiatry, 2011, 70 (4): 312-319

40. Choi KH, Higgs BW, Wendland JR, Song J, McMahon FJ, and Webster MJ: Gene expression and genetic variation data implicate PCLO in bipolar disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 2011, 69: 353-359 PMID: 21185011

41. Zhang L, Su TP, Choi KH, Webster MJ, Li CT, Chung MY, Chen YS, Bi YM, Chou YH, Barker JL, Barrett JE, Li XX, Li H, and Ursano RJ: P11 (S100A10) as a potential biomarker of psychiatric patients at risk of suicide. J Psychiatr Res, 2011, 45: 435-441

42. Yoon SS, Kim H, Choi KH, Lee BH, Lee YK, Lim SC, Choi SH, Hwang M, Kim KJ, and Yang CH: Acupuncture suppresses morphine self-administration through the GABA receptors. Brain Res Bull, 2010, 81: 625–630

43. Hamazaki K, Choi KH, and Kim HY: Differential phospholipid and fatty acid profiles of the postmortem hippocampus of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. J. Psychiatric Res, 2010, 44: 688

44. Choi KH, Zepp ME, Higgs, BW, Weickert CS, and Webster MJ: Expression profiles of schizophrenia susceptibility genes during human prefrontal cortex development. J. Psychiatry and Neuroscience 2009, 34: 450 PMID: 19949721

45. Choi KH, Higgs BW, Weis S, Song J, Llenos IC, Dulay JR, Yolken RH, and Webster MJ: Effects of typical and atypical antipsychotic drugs on gene expression profiles in the liver of schizophrenia subjects. BMC Psychiatry, 2009, 9: 57

46. Yoon SS, Kim JA, Lee BH, Choi KH, Shim I, Choi SH, Hwang M, and Yang CH: Role for GABA agonists in the nucleus accumbens in regulating morphine self-administration. Neurosci. Lett. 2009, 462: 289–293

47. Kim S, Zhang S, Choi KH, Baykiz AF, and Gershenfeld HK: An E3 Ubiquitin Ligase, Neuregulin Receptor Degrading Protein 1, is associated with anxiety-like behavior, -carboline-induced seizures, and major depression. Biol. Psychiatry, 2009 65: 425

48. Noonan MA, Choi KH, Self DW, and Eisch AJ: Withdrawal from cocaine self-administration normalizes deficits in proliferation and enhances maturity of adult-generated hippocampal neurons. J of Neuroscience, 2008, 28(10): 2516-2526.

49. Bachtell RK, Choi KH, Simmons DL, Falcon E, Monteggia LM, Neve RL, and Self DW: Role of GluR1 expression in nucleus accumbens neurons in cocaine sensitization and cocaine-seeking behavior. Eur. J of Neurosci. 2008, 27(9): 2229-2240

50. Choi KH, Elashoff M, Higgs BW, Song J, Kim S, Sabunciyan S, Diglisic S, Yolken RH, Knable M, Torrey EF and Webster MJ: Putative psychosis genes in the prefrontal cortex: combined analysis of gene expression microarrays. BMC Psychiatry, 2008, 8: 87

51. Kim S, Choi KH, Baykiz AF, and Gershenfeld HK: Suicide candidate genes associated with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia: An exploratory gene expression profiling analysis of post-mortem prefrontal cortex. BMC Genomics, 2007, 8: 413

52. Zhao RJ, Yoon SS, Lee BH, Kwon YK, Kim KJ, Shim I, Choi KH, Kim MR, Golden GT, and Yang CH: Acupuncture normalizes the release of accumbal dopamine during the withdrawal period and after the ethanol challenge in chronic ethanol-treated rats. Neurosci. Lett. 2006, 395: 28-32

53. Choi KH, Whisler K, Graham DL, and Self DW: Antisense-induced reduction in nucleus accumbens CREB attenuates cocaine reinforcement. Neuroscience, 2006, 137: 373-383 PMID: 16359811

54. Perrotti LI, Bolanos CA, Choi KH, Russo SJ, Edwards S., Ulery PG, Wallace-Black D., Self DW, Nestler EJ, and Barrot M: Delta FosB accumulation in a GABAergic cell population in the posterior tail of the ventral tegmental area after psychostimulat treatment. Eur. J of Neurosci. 2005, 21: 2817-2824

55. Kumar A, Choi KH, Renthal W, Tsankova NM, Theobald DEH, Truong H-T, LaPlant QC, Russo SJ, Sasaki TS, Whisler KN, Neve RL, Self DW, and Nestler EJ: Chromatin remodeling is a key mechanism underlying cocaine-induced plasticity in striatum. Neuron, 2005, 48: 303-314

56. Choi KH, Clements RLH, and Greenshaw AJ: Simultaneous AMPA/kainite receptor blockade and dopamine D2/3 receptor stimulation in the nucleus accumbens decreases brain stimulation reward in rats. Behav. Brain Res. 2005, 158: 79-88 PMID: 15680196

57. Self DW, Choi KH, Simmons D, Walker JR, and Smagula CS: Extinction training regulates neuroadaptive responses to chronic cocaine self-administration. Learning and Memory, 2004, 11: 648-657

58. Self DW and Choi KH: Extinction-induced neuroplasticity attenuates stress-induced cocaine seeking: A state-dependent learning hypothesis. Stress, 2004, 7(3): 145-155 PMID: 15764012

59. Rahman Z, Schwarz J, Gold SJ, Wein MN, Choi KH, Kovoor A, Chen CK, Dileone R, Schwarz SC, Barrot M, Luedtke RR, Self DW, Neve RL, Lester HA, Simon MI, and Nestler EJ: RGS9 modulates dopamine signaling in the basal ganglia. Neuron, 2003, 38: 941-952

60. Sutton MA, Schmidt EF, Choi KH, Schad CA, Whisler K, Simmons D, Karanian DA, Monteggia LM, Neve RL, and Self DW: Extinction-induced plasticity in AMPA receptors reduces cocaine-seeking behavior. Nature, 2003, 421: 70-75 PMID: 12511956

61. Choi KH, Rahman Z, Edwards S, Hall S, Neve RL, and Self DW: Opposite effects of GluR1 and PKA-resistant GluR1 overexpression in the ventral tegmental area on cocaine reinforcement. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2003, 1003: 372-374

62. Son JY, Shin S, Choi KH, and Park IK: Purification of soluble acetylcholinesterase from Japanese quail brain by affinity chromatography. Intl. J. Biochem. & Cell Biol. 2002, 34: 204-210

63. Choi KH, Zarandi B, Todd KG, Biondo AM, and Greenshaw AJ: Effects of AMPA/kainate receptor blockade on responses to dopamine receptor agonists in the core and shell of the nucleus accumbens. Psychopharmacology, 2000, 150 (1): 102-111

64. Koh YH, Choi KH, and Park IK: Effects of niacin deficiency on the levels of soluble proteins and enzyme activities in various tissues of Japanese quail. Intl. J. Biochem. & Cell Biol. 1998, 30: 943-953

Career Highlights: Positions, Projects, Deployements, Awards and Additional Publications

Dissertation Advisor for PhD Students

Thesis and Qualifying Committee Member for Neuroscience Program

Organizing Committee for PTSD and Amygdala Conference - Scientific lead

Director of Behavioral Neuroscience (NSO 530) Graduate Course at USUHS

University of Alberta PhD Recruitment Scholarship (1995-1996)

Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Scholarship (1997-2000)

Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, Bethesda, MD (2013)

Research Advisor for Summer High School Internship Program at USUHS

Top View Papers of International Journal of Molecular Sciences Certificate (2023)

Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (2013)

Representative Bibliography

Post-Doctoral Researcher at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, TX

Instructor at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, TX

Scientist at Stanley Laboratory of Brain Research, Rockville, MD

Assistant Professor in Program of Neuroscience at Uniformed Services University

Assistant Professor at Graduate School of Nursing, USUHS

International Journal of Molecular Sciences Special Issue Editor (2023)

Recruitment Committee for Neuroscience Program

Faculty Advisory for the Preclinical Behavior and Models Core (PBMC)