Clinical Assistant Professor
Phone: (509) 335-0986
Office: VBRB rm. 207
Brain development is a complex and prolonged process
that is not complete until adulthood in most mammals,
including humans, and therefore the events that may
contribute to altered functional outcome are as varied
as the human experience and may occur at any time
between gestation and adulthood. The goal of my
research is to look at discrete changes in the
environment (both internal and external) during brain
development and evaluate their relevance to altered
structural and functional outcome, such as in mental
illness, autism, or developmental delay.
In particular, our lab focuses on schizophrenia, which,
although long considered a developmental disorder, is
usually diagnosed in younger adults. Our lab utilizes a
rodent model to investigate the purported link between
of early life stress and later diagnosis with
Dr. Gizerian received her BS in Biology at the California Institute
of Technology (Caltech) before pursuing a PhD in Neurobiology at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Dr. Gizerian joined
the laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, studying the effects of
neuroactive steroids on brain development, specifically how
stress-related exposure to the progesterone derivative allopregnanolone
during development may result in changes in brain function at adulthood.
After completion of her PhD, Dr. Gizerian accepted a post as
Assistant Professor in the Biomedical Sciences department at Charles
Drew University in California. She was recently named the Undergraduate
Neuroscience Advisor at Washington State University.
Dr. Gizerian is the author of 3 peer-reviewed publications and
numerous scientific abstracts and is a member of the Society for
Neuroscience and the Council for Undergraduate Research and is a member
of the Neuroscience Faculty at WSU. She has received several honors,
including the University Merit Assistantship from UNC Chapel Hill and
both a SURF Fellowship and a TIDE Fellowship from Caltech.
Gizerian, S.S. (2008) Neurosteroids in Cortical
Development and the Etiology of Schizophrenia. In: Neuroactive Steroids
in Brain Function, Behavior and Neuropsychiatric Disorders: Novel
Strategies for Research and Treatment. Michael S. Ritsner and Abraham
Weizman, Editors. Springer-Verlag. ISBN: 978-1-4020-6853-9.
Gizerian, S.S., Lieberman, J.A., and Grobin, A.C.
(2006) Neonatal Neurosteroid Administration Results in
Development-Specific Alterations in Prepulse Inhibition and Locomotor
Activity. Psychopharmacology 186(3):334-342.
Grobin, A.C., Gizerian, S.S., Lieberman, J.A., and
Morrow, A.L. (2006) Perinatal Allopregnanolone Influences Prefrontal
Cortex Structure, Connectivity and Behavior in Adult Rats.
Gizerian, S.S., Morrow, A.L., Lieberman, J.A., and
Grobin, A.C. (2004) Neonatal neurosteroid administration alters
parvalbumin expression and neuron number in medial dorsal thalamus of
adult rats. Brain Research 1012: 66â€“74.