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Dr. Paul Sheppard
My research interests focus around behavioural neuroendocrinology, especially when it comes to sex differences and hormones in learning and memory. My graduate work explored how estrogens can rapidly affect short-term memory within a timeframe too brief for the classical genomic actions of estrogens to be responsible. In particular, my focus was on the mechanisms (cell signalling cascades, actin polymerization, protein synthesis) underlying the rapid actions of estrogens on social recognition – the ability of animals to recognize previously encountered conspecifics – in female mice.
As part of the Galea Lab, my research will investigate the cellular and molecular responses that occur within the brain in response to higher order cognitive processing and whether sex differences or estrogen level differences in females lead to different products within the brains of learning rodents. Understanding these sex and hormonal differences in typically learning animals can help us to understand why males and females are differently affected in neurological conditions in which cognitive processing is affected.