A.J. Baucum Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Biology


Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, GPA 3.895, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.


B.S., Magna Cum Laude; Major: Biology, Minor: Spanish. Honors Program, GPA: 3.79.  Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA


Research in the Baucum laboratory focuses on the identification and characterization of synaptic protein complexes in a brain region called the striatum. The striatum is critical in allowing for fine motor control as well as being responsible for multiple effects of drugs of abuse. A decrease in dopamine innervation to the striatum underlies motor deficits associated with normal aging and age-related pathological conditions such as Parkinson Disease. Moreover, enhanced dopaminergic tone via blockade of dopamine reuptake or enhanced dopamine release caused by drugs of abuse such as cocaine and amphetamine can lead to motor and euphoric effects. How modulation of dopaminergic tone effects synaptic signaling and synaptic protein complexes in striatal medium spiny neurons has not been fully characterized.

The lab focuses on a synaptic protein, spinophilin, which is known to act as a scaffold, brining multiple proteins together to allow for efficient organization and signalling. In particular, spinophilin binds to F-actin and can regulate actin and spine dynamics. Also, it binds to protein phosphatase 1 to target this phosphatase to various substrates, allowing for modulation of normal signaling. In collaboration with the proteomics core facility at IUPUI, we will be using mass spectrometry-based technologies to identify and quantify changes in specific spinophilin post-translational modifications and protein-protein interactions in animal models of Parkinson's Disease and following exposure to drugs of abuse. These studies will be followed up with biochemical and imaging-based technologies to further characterize and understand the role that altered spinophilin signaling and protein complexes have on regulating changes observed under pathological conditions.

Professional Affiliations

Member, American Society for Mass Spectrometry

2011 – present

Member, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

2007 – present

Member, Society for Neuroscience

2004 – present

Teaching Assignments

K451 - Neuropharmacology

Biol697 - Special Topics - Neurodegenerative Diseases

Current Research

Current research in the laboratory utilizes immunoprecipitation techniques, western blotting, imaging, and proteomics-based studies to characterize spinophilin protein complexes in health and disease.

Select Publications

Anthony J. Baucum II, Brian C. Shonesy, Kristie L. Rose, and Roger C. Colbran. Quantitative proteomics analysis of CaMKII phosphorylation and the CaMKII interactome in the mouse forebrain. ACS Chemical Neuroscience. 2015. In Press

Shonesy BC, Wang X, Rose KL, Ramikie TS, Cavener VS, Rentz T, Baucum AJ 2nd, Jalan-Sakrikar N, Mackie K, Winder DG, Patel S, Colbran RJ. CaMKII regulates diacylglycerol lipase-α and striatal endocannabinoid signaling. Nat Neurosci 2013 Apr 16(4):456-63.

Anthony J. Baucum II, Abigail M. Brown, Roger J. Colbran. Differential association of postsynaptic signaling protein complexes in striatum and hippocampus. J. Neurochem 2013 Feb; 124(4):490-501

Anthony J. Baucum II, Stefan Strack, and Roger J. Colbran. Age-Dependent Targeting of Protein Phosphatase 1 to Ca2+/Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase II by Spinophilin in Mouse Striatum. PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31554

Anthony J. Baucum II, Nidhi Jalan-Sakrikar, Yuxia Jiao, Richard M. Gustin, Leigh C. Carmody, David L. Tabb, Amy-Joan L. Ham, Roger J. Colbran.  Identification and validation of novel spinophilin-associated proteins in rodent striatum using an enhanced ex vivo shotgun proteomics approach.  Mol Cell Proteomics. 2010 Jun;9(6):1243-59.

Anthony J. Baucum II, Kristi S. Rau, Evan L. Riddle, Glen R. Hanson, Annette E. Fleckenstein.  “Methamphetamine Increases Dopamine Transporter Complex Formation via a Dopamine- and Hyperthermia-Associated Mechanism”  J Neurosci. 2004 Mar 31;24(13):3436-3443.

 Click here to search for A.J. on Pubmed

Awards & Honors


2nd place, Neuropharmacology Division of ASPET postdoctoral award competition, Experimental Biology Meeting


Neuroscience Scholars Award, Society for Neuroscience

2007 – 2009


Best poster award Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Science Day, cellular and molecular neuroscience postdoc division.


Vanderbilt University Medical Center Postdoc of the Year


Best poster award Vanderbilt Postdoc Poster Symposium – Neuroscience division


Best poster award Vanderbilt Brain Institute Neuroscience Retreat


Best poster award Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Science Day, cellular and molecular neuroscience postdoc division.


Best poster award Vanderbilt Postdoc Poster Symposium – Neuroscience division



IDRC Pilot and Feasibility grant

CTSI Core Pilot Grant

NINDS K01 – K01NS073700





UNCF-Merck Postdoctoral Fellowship


Neurogenomics Training Grant 5T32MH065215-04