Behavioral Neuroscience Research in Stress (Conrad)

Research Area: 
Behavioral Neuroscience

Welcome to Cheryl Conrad’s research webpage. Scientific advances in this lab are accomplished through an amazing group of individuals and we have fun too!

THEME: Nearly all organisms will face persistent stressors, but how do they deal with the challenge? Chronic stressors may range from heavy predation pressure, prolonged food shortages, extended financial burdens, or family illnesses and yet, some individuals succumb to the physiological toll, whereas others become resilient. What mechanisms produce the vulnerable phenotype and how does that differ from those who are resilient? Could pharmacological or behavioral changes be put into place that will shift a vulnerable phenotype into a resilient one? These questions and more are part of the overarching targets of our research program’s areas of investigation. We study the neuroplasticity of the brain in response to chronic stress using rodent models in order to uncover mechanisms of stress resilience. We have also investigated the hippocampus and one of its functions, spatial learning and memory, because the hippocampus is very sensitive to stressors and stress hormones. However, depending upon our research question, other brain areas and functions are also being investigated to expose mechanisms that lead to stress vulnerability and resilience. Please go to the sidebar under “Projects” to learn more about our ongoing studies.

BREAKING NEWS! Our research lab is officially moved on July 28, 2014 until next summer (2015) while our research lab in the Psychology main building is renovated! Yes, ASU is renovating the whole Psychology building and creating a new Behavioral Neuroscience suite. We are currently co-habitating in the laboratory of Dr. Miles Orchinik in the School of Life Sciences (the building is pictured behind us). This will provide opportunities for additional collaboration and brainstorming. Our new lab photo is a blend of people from both laboratories.


Congratulations to Dr. Sara Taylor for her new tenure track position at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. She is starting an undergraduate Neuroscience Program this fall 2014.  As much as we will miss her, she will be an amazing mentor to many students!

Congratulations to Dr. Hoffman for passing her dissertation defense on November 15, 2013! Annie is now a postdoctoral associate at UCLA with Dr. Michael Fanselow.

Congratulations to Bryce Ortiz for passing his master's thesis defense on October 29, 2013!

Please see the 2013 news release about Annie Hoffman's research

Congratulations to Bryce Ortiz for receiving the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP, 2013-2016)

Congratulations to Bryce Ortiz and Annie Hoffman for receiving second and third place, respectively, at the International Behavioral Neuroscience conference in Ireland, June 2013.

In Photo: Starting from the back, left to right: Natasha Conway, Nick Maalouf, Marketta Kachemov, Emmanuel Fonseca, Cheryl Conrad, Jessica Judd, Jeremiah Molinaro, Miles Orchinik. In the front row, left to right: Salma Kemmou, Eshaan Daas, Bryce Ortiz, Piper Boyll, Pooja Paode, Julia Anglin, Emily Hoegh, Logan Bingham. We accomplish much though the hard work and dedication of many individuals: graduate students, technicians, undergraduate research volunteers, honor’s students, and collaborations with other faculty and scientists.

ASU Psychology Building, 950 S. McAllister Ave | P.O. Box 871104, Tempe, AZ 85287-1104
Phone: 480-965-7598 | Fax: 480-965-8544 | Contact Us