College of Veterinary Medicine

Research in IPN

Samantha S. Gizerian, Ph.D.


Clinical Assistant Professor
Phone: (509) 335-0986
Office: VBR rm. 207


Research Interests

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 schizophrenia.

Biographical Information  

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.

Recent Publications

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. [Abstract]

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.  Neuroscience 138(3):809-19. [Abstract]

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: 66–74. [Abstract]

Last Edited: Jul 09, 2013 8:33 AM   

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