Skip to Content

Department of Psychology

Faculty and Staff Directory

Charles F. Mactutus

Title: Professor
Department: Psychology
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-2825
Office: Barnwell, 544
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Department of Psychology

*** Dr. Mactutus is accepting students for Fall 2022 ***


Dr. Mactutus is currently Professor of Psychology mentoring trainees in the area of Behavioral Neuroscience. He has served as Department chair, 2005-2008, during which time he helped to shepherd the faculty through three top-ten nationally ranked accomplishments. Dr. Mactutus extended his background in Experimental Psychology with post-doctoral training in Neurotoxicology and Pharmacology at The Johns Hopkins University, and served as a scientist in the intramural program at NIH(NIEHS) for six years before joining the academic ranks. Dr. Mactutus has been a PI on NIH grants from the NIEHS, NICHD, and NIDA, and has participated on other NIH grants funded through NIDA, NIMH and NIA. His current funded projects are through NICHD and NIDA. Dr. Mactutus has been a charter member of an NIH Study Section, and serves on and ad hoc basis on others.  He has also served the U.S.E.P.A. as a Scientific Advisory Panel member on Developmental Neurotoxicity. He is an active ad hoc reviewer and currently serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Developmental Neurobiology and HIV/AIDS-Research and Palliative Care. Dr. Mactutus recently elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of distinguished contributions to the field of experimental psychology, particularly for basic and applied studies of animal cognition to neurobehavioral teratology and developmental neurotoxicology.


Dr. Mactutus' major research interests are in the areas of cognitive processes and their dysfunction in disease and addictions. 

Dr. Mactutus’ research group is very active with trainees at undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels.  Students are expected to present their discoveries at major meetings (Society for Neuroscience; International Behavioral Neuroscience Society; Internationa Society for Developmental Psychobiology; Society for Neuroimmune Pharmacology, etc.) on a regular basis. His trainees are now employed in the pharmaceutical industry, at major research universities, and in distinguished clinical/academic positions. He is on the executive committee of the prestigious NIH funded Biomedical-Behavioral Training Grant, a vehicle for supporting students interested in the neurological basis of behavior ( 

With our focus on NeuroAIDS, using the viral proteins tat and gp120, we have been studying pediatric AIDS, HIV-1 cognitive impairments, and potential neuroprotective agents that may underlie the apparent gender differences in HIV-1 infection. One main current project capitalizes upon the availability of the non-infectious HIV-1 transgenic (HIV-1Tg) rat, a unique and exciting opportunity that offers tremendous yet unexplored potential in neuroAIDS research. Besides providing a thorough quantitative assessment of cognitive, motor, and behavioral deficits along the trajectory of disease progression to cognitive disorders, the impact of the research will provide the foundation and guidance for the field for future evaluation of CNS therapeutics to treat neurocognitive dysfunction.

Recent Publications (student authors are underlined)

Moran, LM., Booze RM, Mactutus CF. (2013). Time and time again: Temporal processing demands implicate perceptual and gating deficits in the HIV-1 transgenic rats. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol, e-pub ahead of print. Link

Bertrand, S.J., Mactutus, C.F., Aksenova, M.V., Epsensen-Sturges, T.D., Booze, R.M. (2013). Synaptodendtritic recovery following HIV-1 Tat exposure: Neurorestoration by phytoestrogens. J Neurochem, e-pub ahead of print. Link

Moran,  L.M., Booze, R.M., Webb, K.M., Mactutus, C.F. (2013) Neurobehavioral alterations in HIV-1 transgenic rats: evidence for dopaminergic dysfunction. Exp Neurol. 239:139-47. 2013. Link

Bertrand, S.J., Aksenova, M.V., Mactutus, C.F., Booze, R.M. (2013). HIV-1 Tat protein variants: Critical role for the cysteine region in synaptodendritic injury. Exp Neurol, e-pub ahead of print. Link

Landhing M. Moran, Rosemarie M. Booze, Charles F. Mactutus. (in press). Animal Models: Behavior and Pathology: Preclinical Assessment of the Putative Cognitive Deficits in HAND. In H. Xiong and H.E. Gendelman (Eds.), Current Laboratory Methods in Neuroscience Research. Springer, New York.

Gomez, A.M., Midde, N.M., Mactutus, C.F., Booze, R.M., Zhu, J. (2012) Environmental enrichment alters nicotine-mediated locomotor sensitization and phosphorylation of DARPP-32 and CREB in rat prefrontal cortex.  PLoS One. 7(8):e44149. PMID: 22952905 Free PMC Article

Adams, S.M., Aksenova, M.V., Aksenov, M.Y., Mactutus, C.F., Booze, R.M. (2012) Soy isoflavones genistein and daidzein exert anti-apoptotic actions via a selective ER-mediated mechanism in neurons following HIV-1 Tat(1-86) exposure.  PLoS One. 7(5):e37540.  PMID: 22629415 Free PMC Article

Moran, L.M., Aksenov, M.Y., Booze, R.M., Webb, K.M., Mactutus, C.F. (2012) Adolescent HIV-1 transgenic rats: evidence for dopaminergic alterations in behavior and neurochemistry revealed by methamphetamine challenge.  Curr HIV Res. 10(5):415-24.  PMID: 22591365 Free PMC Article

Aksenov, M.Y., Aksenova, M.V., Mactutus, C.F., Booze, R.M. (2012) D1/NMDA receptors and concurrent methamphetamine+ HIV-1 Tat neurotoxicity. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol.  7(3):599-608.  PMID: 22552781 Link

Patel, D.A., Booze, R.M., Mactutus, C.F. (2012) Prenatal cocaine exposure alters progenitor cell markers in the subventricular zone of the adult rat brain. Int J Dev Neurosci. 30(1):1-9. PMID: 22119286 Link


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.