Project Scientist
Department of Psychology-Behavioral Neuroscience
University of California, Los Angeles


Ph.D., Neurobiology and Behavior, 2012, University of California, Irvine

B.S., Neurobiology, 2006, University of California, Irvine


Malvaez M. Neural substrates of habit. J Neurosci. Res. 2019 (In Press) doi: 10.1002/jnr.24552.

Malvaez M, Shieh C, Murphy MD, Greenfield VY, Wassum KM. Distinct cortical-amygdala projections drive reward value encoding and retrieval. Nature Neuroscience. 2019. doi: 10.1038/s41593-019-0374-7

M. Malvaez and K.M. Wassum. Regulation of habit formation in the dorsal striatum. (2018) Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 20, 67-74

M. Malvaez, V.Y. Greenfield, D.P. Matheos, N.A. Angelillis, M.D. Murphy, P.J. Kennedy, M.A. Wood, K.M. Wassum. Habits Are Negatively Regulated by Histone Deacetylase 3 in the Dorsal Striatum. Biological Psychiatry (2018)

M. Malvaez, Greenfield VY, Wang AS, Yorita AM, Feng L, Linker KE, Monbouquette HG, Wassum KM. Basolateral amygdala rapid glutamate release encodes an outcome-specific representation vital for reward-predictive cues to selectively invigorate reward-seeking actions. Scientific Reports (2015); 5, 12511

Nakauchi S., M. Malvaez, H. Su, E. Kleeman. R. Dang, M.A. Wood, K. Sumikawa, Early postnatal nicotine exposure causes hippocampus-dependent memory impairments in adolescent mice: Association with altered nicotinic cholinergic modulation of LTP, but not impaired LTP. Neurobiol. Learn Mem (2015); 118:178-88

Intlekofer, K.A., N.C.Berchtold, M. Malvaez, A.J. Carlos, S.C. McQuown, M.J. Cunningham, M.A. Wood, C.W. Cotman. Excersice and sodium butyrate transform a sub-threshold learning event into long-term memory via a BDNF-dependent mechanism. Neuropsych. (2013); 38(10):2027-34.

M. Malvaez, S. C. McQuown, G. A. Rogge, V. Jacques, S. Carreiro, J. Rusche, M. A. Wood. HDAC3 inhibition enhances memory processes involved in extinction of cocaine-seeking behavior in a persistent manner. PNAS (2013); 110(7):2647-52.

McNulty, S. E., R. M. Barrett, A. Vogel-Ciernia, M. Malvaez, N. Hernandez, M. F. Davatolhagh, D. P. Matheos, A. Schiffman, M. A. Wood. Differential roles for Nr4a1 and Nr4a2 in object location versus object recognition long-term memory. Learn Mem. (2012); 19(12):588-92.

Neelamegam R, E.L. Ricq, M. Malvaez, D. Patnaik, S. Norton, S.M. Carlin, I.T. Hill, M.A. Wood, S.J. Haggarty, J.M. Hooker. Brain-penetrant LSD1 inhibitors can block memory consolidation. ACS Chem. Neurosci. (2012); 3(2):120-128.

M. Malvaez, E. Mhillaj, D.P. Matheos, M. Palmery, M.A. Wood. CBP in the nucleus accumbens regulates cocaine-induced histone acetylation and is critical for cocaine-associated behaviors. Journal of Neuroscience (2011) vol 31(47) pp. 16941-8

R.M. Barrett, M. Malvaez, E. Kramar, D.P. Matheos, A. Arrizon, S.M. Cabrera, G. Lynch, R.W. Greene, and M.A. Wood. Hippocampal focal knockout of CBP affects specific histone modification, long-term potentiation, and long-term memory. Neuropsychopharmacology (2011) vol. 36 (8) pp. 1545-56

Izquierdo, A.M. Belcher, L. Scott, V.A. Cazares, J. Chen, S.J. O’Dell, M. Malvaez, T. Wu, J.F. Marshall. Reversal-specific learning impairments after a binge regimen of methamphetamine in rats: possible involvement of striatal dopamine. Neuropsychopharmacology (2010) vol. 35 (2) pp. 505-14

Roozendaal, A. Hernandez, S.M. Cabrera, R. Hagewoud, M. Malvaez, D.P. Stefanko, J. Haettig, M.A. Wood. Membrane-Associated Glucocorticoid Activity Is Necessary for Modulation of Long-Term Memory via Chromatin Modification. Journal of Neuroscience (2010) vol. 30 (14) pp. 5037-46

M. Malvaez, C. Sanchis-Segura, D. Vo, K.M. Lattal, M.A. Wood. Modulation of Chromatin Modification Facilitates Extinction of Cocaine-Induced Conditioned Place Preference. Biological Psychiatry (2010) vol. 67; (1) pp. 36-43

M. Malvaez, R.M. Barrett, M. Wood, C. Sanchis-Segura. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying extinction of memory and drug-seeking behavior. Mamm Genome (2009) vol. 20 (9-10) pp. 612-23