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Michael Kerchner, Ph.D. graduated with a B.S. in psychology in 1978 from American International College in Springfield MA. His graduate degrees were earned at Lehigh University in 1984 (M.S.) and 1988 (Ph.D.). From 1988-1991, Dr. Kerchner was a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at Villanova University in the laboratory of Ingeborg Ward, where he studied the effects of prenatal stress on the development of neuroanatomical sex differences in the rat brain. His research interests span such topics as the hormonal regulation of behavior, rodent chemo-communication, psychopharmacology, developmental neuroanatomy, and comparative psychology. Professor Kerchner has published articles in such journals as Brain Research, Hormones and Behavior, Behavioral and Neural Biology, The Journal of Comparative Psychology, and Psychological Bulletin.
During 2005-06, Dr. Kerchner was the President of the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN). Dr K has helped organize and been a presenter at several workshops sponsored by Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) and has been a member of PKAL Faculty for the 21st Century since 1996. From 2008 to 2011, he served as a co-PI on the Keck/PKAL Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning project. A summary of the project can be obtained from the Association of Colleges and Universities website = "What Works in Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning in Science and Mathematics".
Kerchner, M. (2012). Brain and mind (Vol.3) In Beans, B.B. (General Ed.) Student handbook to psychology (Vols. 1-7). New York: Facts on File, Inc.
Current Student Projects in Dr. Kerchner's Laboratory
Recently, students and I have been conducting a number of studies designed to identify the influence of steroid hormones on the behavior of mice in variety of behavioral paradigms in addition to ASR and PPI. These studies will first examine the activational effects of androgens and estrogens in each of these paradigms and subsequent studies will examine what role these same hormones may play early in the development to establish sex differences in mature mice. Building upon the research conducted during my most recent sabbatical, some studies will also examine the neuroprotectant properties of various neurosteroids and sex difference in recovery from neurotrauma.
Here are a few capstone projects completed by recent graduates of the behavioral neuroscence program:
Allison Normile ('12) The Teratogenic Effect of Valproic Acid: Possible Link to Autism?
Courtney Burton ('12) Assessing Free-running Rodent Circadian Rhythms Induced by Constant Light of Different Wavelengths: An Animal Model of Depression.
Meaghan Moxley ('11) Sex Differences in Response to Inherent Stressors in a Rodent Model of Nicotine Oral Self-Administration.
Shaina Garrison ('10) The Effects of an NMDA Receptor Antagonist on Object Recognition and Spatial Memory in Female Mice.
Sarah Macht ('10) The Determination of Fluoxetine in Biological Specimens by 19F-NMR Spectroscopy.
Dominique Scutella ('10) Uncovering the Neural Basis of Stress and Neurogenesis in a Predator Odor Model of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
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