C. Sue Carter, Ph.D.
Professor & Co-Director, Brain-Body Center,


Integrative Systems, Cellular/Molecular
Dr. Carter’s research program is a translational and multidisciplinary approach to understanding the neuroendocrinology of mammalian social behavior. This work is done in the context of evolution, with implications for mental illnesses such as autism, schizophrenia, anxiety and depression. Emphasis is on developmental mechanisms through which hormones regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and protect against stress. Dr. Carter's laboratory specifically examines the behavioral and neuroendocrine consequences of hormones, including oxytocin, vasopressin and estrogen across the life span. Species under investigation include humans, other primates and other socially monogamous mammals such as prairie voles. Among the specific methodologies in use are behavioral measures, endocrine assays for steroids and peptides, methods for describing functional neural circuitry including c-Fos and ICC for peptides and neurotransmitters, and methods for using heart rate and other autonomic measures to assess emotional and behavioral states in freely moving animals.

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