Our current research focuses on the effects of early adverse life experience on brain development and the subsequent behavioral and neuroanatomical changes in both males and females. We are particularly interested in the consequences of exposure to depression, stress, or glucocorticoids during pregnancy or the postpartum period and how this affects brain neurochemistry and stress responsivity later in life. Further, my lab studies the effects of early pain exposure as well as medications such as anti- depressants on brain development using rats as the animal model of choice. The research will address important questions on how exposure to early adverse conditions such as pharmacological treatments can influence the maturation of the nervous system and the long-term outcome of the offspring.
Potential projects for students in the lab include slicing rat brains, helping with immunohistochemistry (i.e. staining brain slices) and protein assays, counting brain cells and helping with animal observations and behavioral testing. We usually expect students to commit at least 10hr per week (or more) and to be willing to work in the lab for at least a year (as it takes some time to get trained), preferably more.