Center for Neuroendocrine Studies

Center Director: Geert J. de Vries

The Center for Neuroendocrine Studies (CNS) of the University of Massachusetts Amherst consists of the research groups of seventeen faculty members who share an interest in understanding the relationships among hormones, the brain, physiology, and behavior. The specific research interests of the members of CNS are diverse, and include the relationship of environmental pollutants to reproduction, the role of nutrition in determining fertility, behavioral and environmental influences on neurohormone production and hormonal response, sexual differentiation of nervous system and behavior, neuroendocrine control of circadian rhythms, hormonal regulation of behaviors, and more. Research subjects include animals such as zebra fish, naked mole rats, and prairie voles, in addition to the more traditional rats and mice.

The Center fosters neuroendocrine research by sponsoring scientific meetings, facilitating the flow of information among laboratories, and coordinating efforts to obtain funding for training, equipment, and research.

The members of the CNS come mainly from three departments -- Biology, Psychology, and Veterinary and Animal Sciences. All faculty members are members of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience and Behavior, an interdisciplinary graduate program which offers coordinated and comprehensive training and research leading to the Ph.D. degree. Individual members of the CNS are also associated with the Graduate Programs in Molecular and Cellular Biology and in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology.

Training at the CNS is funded in part by a training grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, which provides slots for graduate students and postdocs. In addition to monthly research meetings, the CNS offers team-taught seminars, hands-on technical workshops, and an Annual Symposium on Neuroendocrinology, which is held when the fall foliage reaches its peak. The laboratories also offer numerous research opportunities for undergraduate students, during the academic year as well as in the summer.

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