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Welcome to our Research Group
Welcome to the homepage of our research group in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The ultimate goal of our research program is to understand the factors that either promote resilience or increase vulnerability to environmental challenges.
We study how the body's internal circadian (daily) clock, and "stress response" systems help maintain mental and physical health.
We aim to uncover the fundamental mechanisms of, and potential interventions to, some of the negative mental and physical health outcomes associated with our modern always on the go society.
We invite you to explore our site and learn about our research.
Long-term disruption of the stress axis leads to major changes in the behavioral and brain responses to an acute stressor. Scott's latest work, showing that chronically disrupting the neuroendocrine axis that regulates the stress response fundamentally changes the behavioral and neural responses to acute stress in unexpected ways.
Circadian disruption promotes astrocyte activation. Fantastic collaborative work with the Musiek Lab at Washington University Medical School, St. Louis. This work demonstrates that both genetic and environmental circadian disruption can lead to activation of astrocytes in the brain, potentially leading to pathology.
Chronic glucocorticoid exposure during adolescence has persistent effects on metabolism and bone growth into adulthood. Scott's work, with our collaborator Dr. Russell Romeo at Barnard College, shows that exposing adolescent mice to high levels of stress hormones has very different effects compared to effects in adults. Moreover, there are persistent effects of this treatment into adulthood.