Download in PDF fomat here: McCall CV 03.2016 3-page (Extended CV also available)

Current Position


2016 International Brain Bee Neuroscience Competition

The Hartmut Hoffmann-Berling International Graduate School of Molecular and Cellular Biology and The Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences, Heidelberg University

Schlierbacher Landstr. 200A, 69118 Heidelberg, Germany


Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany

Ph.D. Graduate Student

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Armin Blesch, Laboratory for Neuroregeneration

The Hartmut Hoffmann-Berling International Graduate School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Sept. 2011-Present.

The Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences, Nov. 2010-Present.


University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA

M.S. in Biomedical Sciences, September, 2010

GPA: 3.878/4.0, Advisor: Dr. Armin Blesch, Center for Neural Repair


Denison University, Granville, Ohio, USA

B.S. in Neuroscience, Biology, May, 2006

Magna Cum Laude Honors, GPA: 3.70/4.0

Chagrin Falls High School, Chagrin Falls, OH, USA

High School Diploma, June, 2002

GPA: 4.2/4.0



Dean K*, Fields A*, Geer M*, King E*, Lynch B*, Manohar R*, McCall J*, Palozola K*, Zhang Y*, Liebl E. An allele of sequoia dominantly enhances a trio mutant phenotype to influence Drosophila larval behavior. (* signifies equal contribution) submitted.

McCall J, Weidner N, Blesch A. Neurotrophic factors in combinatorial approaches for spinal cord regeneration. Cell and Tissue Research (2012) 349(1):27-37.

McCall J, Nicholson L, Weidner N, Blesch A. Optimization of adult sensory neuron electroporation to study mechanisms neurite growth. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience (2012) 5(11).

Paquet-Durand, F, Sanges, D, McCall J, Silva J, van Veen T, Ekström P. Photoreceptor rescue and toxicity induced by different calpain inhibitors. Journal of Neurochemistry (2010) 115(4):930-40.

McCall JR, Mead KS. Structural and functional changes in regenerating antennules in the crayfish Orconectes sanborni. Biological Bulletin (2008) 214(2):99-110.

 Sachs BD, Baillie GS, McCall JR, Passino MA, Schachtrup C, Wallace DA, Dunlop AJ, MacKenzie KF, Klussmann E, Lynch MJ, Sikorski SL, Nuriel T, Tsigelny I, Zhang J, Houslay MD, Chao MV, Akassoglou K. p75 neurotrophin receptor regulates tissue fibrosis through inhibition of plasminogen activation via a PDE4/cAMP/PKA pathway. Journal of Cell Biology (2007) 177(6):1119-32.

Presentations and Posters


McCall J, Kienle E, Grimm D, Blesch A. Development of chimeric AAV vectors for retrograde axonal transport and sensory neuron transduction . Annual Meeting of the Heidelberg University Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences, Schöntal, Germany, 2012.

McCall J, Transcriptional mechanisms regulating axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury. Guest student talk for the Heidelberg University Centre for Organismal Studies, Heidelberg, Germany, 2012.

McCall J, Transcriptional mechanisms of axonal regeneration. Annual HBIGS PhD Program Retreat, Trier, Germany, 2012.


McCall J, Nicholson LK, Blesch A. An optimized neuronal electroporation transfection protocol to study intrinsic mechanisms of axonal regeneration in vitro. Annual Meeting of the Heidelberg University Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences, Schöntal, Germany, 2011.

McCall J, Neuroscience Education. Annual Meeting of the Fulbright Academy of Sci. and Tech., Heidelberg, Germany, March, 2011.

McCall J, Spinal Cord Injury Fundamentals. The San Diego Brain Injury Foundation, Encinitas, California, May, 2010.

McCall J, Adolescent Brain Development and the Placebo Effect. Pacific Ridge High School Assemblies, Feb., 2010.

McCall J, Paquet-Durand F, Sanges D, Marigo V, van Veen T, Ekström P, 2007. Rd1 photoreceptor cell survival as a function of calpain inhibition paradigm. Pro Retina Research Colloquium, Potsdam, Germany.

McCall J, Paquet-Durand F, Ekström P, 2007. The differential effects of calpain inhibition on the retina as a whole. RetNet Annual Meeting, Budapest, Hungary.

McCall J, Paquet-Durand F, van Veen T, Ekström P, 2007. Rd1 photoreceptor cell survival depends on the in vitro calpain inhibition paradigm employed. RetNet Research Workshop, Potsdam, Germany.

McCall J, Murch C, Mead K, 2006. Structural dynamics of the regenerating peripheral olfactory system in the crayfish Orconectes sanbornii. Ohio Academy of Science Annual Meeting, Columbus, Ohio.

McCall J, Mead K, 2005. Development of a novel, non-destructive method to sample regenerating tissue in crayfish. Ohio Academy of Science Annual Meeting, Columbus, Ohio.

McCall J, Liebl E, 2005. Phenotypic analysis of dominant enhancers of the trio mutant phenotype in Drosophila. Ohio Academy of Science Annual Meeting, Columbus, Ohio.

Delivered the student address at both Denison University and Chagrin Falls High School Graduation Ceremonies, 2006 and 2002, respectively.

Research Experience

 PhD Thesis, IZN and HBIGS PhD Programs, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany

PhD Candidate. Transcriptional Regulation of Axonal Regeneration in Spinal Cord Injury. Advisor: Dr. Armin Blesch. 2010- Present. The Hartmut Hoffmann-Berling International Graduate School of Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD Program and the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences PhD Program.


Master’s Thesis, UCSD Biomedical Sciences Program, La Jolla, CA, USA

Graduate Student. Genetic dynamics and intrinsic signaling mechanisms in CNS regeneration. Advisor: Dr. Armin Blesch. Thesis Committee: Mark Tuszynski, Binhai Zheng, and Larry Brunton. 2007-2010.


UCSD Biomedical Sciences Program Rotations, La Jolla, CA

Graduate Student. Collaborations were established between three laboratories to pursue a project identifying components of the neurogenesis niche in the adult mouse hippocampus.  Advisors: Fred Gage, Salk Institute; Dr. Mark Ellisman, National Center for Microscopy Imaging Research, UCSD; and Alexey Terskikh, Burnham Institute. Image published in Cell 132, Feb, 2008. (http://www.cell.com/archive?year=2008) Aug. 2007-July 2008.


Lund University Department of Ophthalmology, Lund, Sweden

Fulbright Research fellow. Signaling mechanisms in genetically inherited retinitis pigmentosa blindness disorders and pharmacological therapy development using various calpain inhibitors. Advisor: Per Ekström, Ph.D. 2006-2007.


A Novel Method to Study Nerve Regeneration in Crayfish Olfactory System, Granville, OH

Student Researcher. Structural and functional changes in regenerating antennules in the crayfish Orconectes sanborni. Advisor: Dr. Kristina Mead, Denison Univ. Biol. Dept. Highest score received for Bachelor Honors Thesis, 2004-06.

University of California, San Diego Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, La Jolla, CA

Research Fellow.  Explored the interactions of p75 neurotrophin receptor in regenerative programs after CNS injury.  Advisor: Dr. Katerina Akassoglou, Pharmacology Dept. 16-week fellowship, May-Aug, 2005. http://www.pharmacology.ucsd.edu/other/surf


Phenotypic Analysis of Dominant Enhancers of the trio phenotype in Drosophila, Granville, OH

Student Researcher. Genetic interactions in Drosophila CNS development. Advisor: Dr. Eric Liebl, Denison Biol. Dept., ’05.


Stanford University Ophthalmic Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Palo Alto, CA

Student Intern, Assisted with the compilation of data for a case study of the etiology of an intraocular pseudotumor and shadowed material scientists in developing implantable retinal chips. Advisor: Dr. Harvey Fishman, Ophthalmology Dept. May-June 2004.


UCSD & Children’s Hospital Lab for Research on the Neuroscience of Autism, La Jolla, CA

Student Intern.  Shadowed Dr. Eric Courchesne, Lab Director.  Assisted with digital comparative analyses of MRI brain scans, attended meetings, and observed subject psychological and MRI testing.  May-June, 2003.


Baldwin Wallace Neuroscience Laboratory, Berea, OH

Student Intern.  Shadowed Dr. Andrew Mickley, Lab Director.  I assisted with research on conditioned taste aversion in prenatal rats, attended meetings, and contributed to data analysis. May-June, 2002.

Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute Neuroscience Laboratories, Cleveland, OH    

Student Intern.  Shadowed Dr. Marc Mayberg, Director of Neuroscience Labs and Dr. Albensi, Neuroscientist. Assisted in conducting electrophysiological pharmacology research on human epileptic tissue.  May-June, 2001 and 2002.

Cleveland Clinic Department of Neurosurgery, Cleveland, OH

Student Intern. Shadowed Dr. Marc Mayberg, Chief of Neurosurgery.  Observed brain surgeries, attended meetings, seminars, rounds, and appointments, and shadowed a biomedical computer imaging engineer.  May-June, 2001.




Global Exchange of International Leadership Initiatives, 2012 Fellow, accepted to participate in a meeting in Hong Kong of 100 “Global Changemakers” from 70 nations. Topics of workshops and discussions include the United Nations, Science Education, Economic Development, and Community Advancement, July, 2012.


DAAD Prize for International Students, the Heidelberg University scholarship recipient for academic achievements and exceptional commitment to social issues, German Academic Exchange Service. Dec., 2011.

Landesgraduiertenförderungsgesetz Graduate Fellowship, one of 10-15 interdisciplinary fellowship recipients of Heidelberg University in support of graduate research. 2012-Present.


Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology Delegate to the 5th World Science Forum, selected to attend the conference, a gathering of leaders from the science, government and business communities on science policy, education, and trends, organized by UNESCO, AAAS, and other societies. Budapest, Nov., 2011.


HBIGS Graduate School Student Speaker, non-voting member of the Board, coordinator of the Student Leadership Council, and co-organizer of the annual student retreat and monthly activities, Sept., 2011- Present.

International Brain Bee Leadership Award, granted for coordinating the international neuroscience contest and establishing an alumni community for student participants. Florence, Italy, 2011.


HHMI Med-Into-Grad Fellowship, clinical training in Neurosurgery, Neurology & Neurorehabilitation, VA & UCSD Hospitals, 2009-10. http://molpath.ucsd.edu/hhmi.html.

NIH UCSD Genetics Training Grant, 3-year program included courses, journal club, seminars & the annual mtg, 2008-10.

Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly Scholarship, support for attending the annual national meeting in Minneapolis, MN for purposes of developing young adult programs and youth religious education. 2010.


Association for Women in Science, San Diego Chapter Scholarship,for community science outreach and academic contribution to neuroscience research, 2008.


U.S. Fulbright Research Grant, Sweden, 1-year fellowship to conduct research and assess US foreign policy, 2006-07.


EU RetNet Research Fellowship, 3-month fellowship to continue work on retinitis pigmentosa in Lund, Sweden, 2007.

Two-time U.S. President’s Gold Medal Award for Service, national award granted for achievements and efforts in improving communities through volunteer service, 2004-06.


Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, 2005-06.


The National Scholar Honors Society, membership granted, 2006.

Denison Alumnae Endowed Scholarship, awarded for academic record and contributions to the campus, 2005-06.

Sigma Xi Award, Denison University Chapter, awarded for promoting science education to the public, 2006.


Denison University Biology Department Senior Fellow, awarded for academic performance and departmental contributions. The role involved interviewing new faculty, mentoring students, and teaching, 2005-06.

Denison University Distinguished Leadership Award, recognition award for demonstration of campus leadership, 2006.

Two-time Denison Community Association Giving Tree Award, recognition award for most volunteer hours, 2005, 06.

Denison Community Association Leadership Award, recognizing exemplary organization development, 2006.

Tylenol National Scholarship, granted nationally to 10 graduating high school seniors with aspirations in medicine or                 biomedical research, 2002.

Society for Neuroscience International “Brain Bee” Competition, Placed 3rd internationally, 2002.

Community Involvement


International Brain Bee Neuroscience Education Outreach, Chair of the 2013 International Brain Bee Committee, Assistant Coordinator of International Competitions (2010- Present), Founder and Coordinator of the German National (2011-Present) and Central Ohio (2006) and San Diego (2008-20010) regional competitions (www.sandiegobrainbee.com, http://www.germannationalbrainbee.org, http://www.internationalbrainbee.com).

International Fulbright Alumni Association, member of the organizing committee of the annual meeting of the association in October, 20012 in London, UK.


TEDx Conference Coordinator, Coordinator of TEDxFulbright in Frankfurt, Germany in November, 2012, and TEDxFulbright in Cambridge, MA in April, 2012. Team representative at the first global TEDxSummit for TEDx Organizers in Doha, Qatar, 2012.


Heidelberg Neuro Outreach, organizing and conducting neuroscience workshops in regional high schools. 2010-Present.

Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology, member of the Young Adult Council to the Board. The organization seeks to improve health, education and economic development through innovation and science. Mar, 2011-Present.

German Fulbright Alumni Association, member of the Board as the Editor of the annual publication. 2010-Present.


European Unitarian Universalists Association, Director of Religious Education, develop curricula and coordinate youth programs for education on ethics, compassion, religion, and community. 2011-Present.


Autism Speaks, San Diego Chapter Science Ambassador, attended research symposia and advocacy events to communicate research advances to family, school, and community members. Initiated the “Research Tent” at the annual Autism Walk, which is being implemented in other Walks across the USA. 2007-10.

UCSD Neuro Outreach, conducted neuroscience educational workshops in low-income area high schools and at special events, including science and career fairs to promote neuroscience education and research, 2008-10.

San Diego Science Olympiad, Assistant Event Captain, regional science competition for students , 2007-10.


Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito, Co-facilitator of the Coming of Age Program, a 10-month social justice, religion, and ethics course for youth. Relgious education activities included attending services of 12 different religions, with discussions. Volunteer activities included renovation of an orphanage in Tijuana, refurbishing an urban neighborhood, and preparing and sharing meals at a local homeless shelter. 2007-10.

Expanding Your Horizons, annual scientific workshop conference for teenage girls for the advancement of scientific comprehension and interest. Conducted neuroscience workshops on sensation and perception. 2007-10.

Surfrider Foundation, Tijuana River Valley Border Pollution and Rise Above Plastics Committees, contributed to Tijuana River clean-ups, advocacy campaigns, and water cycle education programs. 2007-10.

U.S. Presidential Campaign 2008, volunteered in a call center and counted ballots on election day. November, 2008.


Amnesty International, Lund Chapter. Coordinated a university-wide Human Rights Debate in March, 2007 on European Immigration Law. Also coordinated the First Annual Lund Human Rights Film Festival in May, 2007. 2006-07.

Teaching Assistantships, Denison Univ. Biology Dept. courses: Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Zoology, 2003-06.


HOPE for Autism, Chair, provided free ABA therapy to 22 local children with autism. Worked with the parents, consultants, and service coordinators to design therapy programs for 22 local under-privileged children with autism.  I personally trained over 100 volunteers in ABA and coordinated the 1st Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism conference at Denison University. 2002-06.

Omicron Delta Kappa, President.  National Leadership Honorary, Denison University Chapter. Directed programs for leadership skill development via establishing a Dinner & Discussion series with faculty and the campus-wide Esteemed Faculty Award. 2005-06.


Sustained Dialogue Diversity Program, Co-Founder of Sustained Dialogue at Denison University, a campus-wide program based on the campus network established by the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue to promote understanding and respect among students with conflicting perspectives. 2005-06.

Alpha Epsilon Delta, President, National Premedical Honorary, Denison University Chapter. Coordinated a campus-wide lecture on biomedical engineering and led a trip to the Center for Surgical Innovation in Cincinnati. 2004-06.

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