Erin E. Hisey, PhD
Assistant Professor
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine

PhD, Duke University
AB, University of Chicago

My long-term research interests center on how early life experiences shape adult behavior and how trauma can reshape formerly adaptive behaviors into maladaptive ones. As a postdoctoral fellow with Kerry Ressler, I developed a model of juvenile chronic social defeat stress in mice in order to model the effects of physical trauma in childhood. My current research uses optogenetic, in vivo imaging and RNA manipulation techniques in this early life trauma model to examine how specific neural circuits can be altered by early life trauma to impact the encoding and recall of fear memories in adulthood. As childhood abuse occurs in nearly 25%, and up tp 50%, of the civilian and veteran population, respectively, I am highly motivated to model early life trauma and determine how neural circuits are reshaped by it. Using a combination of circuits- and molecular-level techniques, I hope to advance the knowledge of how early life trauma reshapes neural circuits to influence adult behavior with the ultimate goal of providing novel targets for the reduction of symptoms related to trauma-based disorders.

Circuit And Molecular Alterations In The Adult Brain Of Mice Exposed To Early Life Trauma
01/15/2024 - 01/14/2026 (PI)
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. Hisey EE, Fritsch EL, Newman EL, Ressler KJ, Kangas BD, Carlezon WA. Early life stress in male mice blunts responsiveness in a translationally-relevant reward task. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2023 Nov; 48(12):1752-1759. PMID: 37258714; PMCID: PMC10579416; DOI: 10.1038/s41386-023-01610-7;
  2. Hisey E, Purkey A, Gao Y, Hossain K, Soderling SH, Ressler KJ. A Ventromedial Prefrontal-to-Lateral Entorhinal Cortex Pathway Modulates the Gain of Behavioral Responding During Threat. Biol Psychiatry. 2023 Aug 01; 94(3):239-248. PMID: 36925415; PMCID: PMC10354215; DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2023.01.009;
  3. Uezu A, Hisey E, Kobayashi Y, Gao Y, Bradshaw TW, Devlin P, Rodriguiz R, Tata PR, Soderling S. Essential role for InSyn1 in dystroglycan complex integrity and cognitive behaviors in mice. Elife. 2019 Dec 12; 8. PMID: 31829939; PMCID: PMC6944460; DOI: 10.7554/eLife.50712;
  4. Kearney MG, Warren TL, Hisey E, Qi J, Mooney R. Discrete Evaluative and Premotor Circuits Enable Vocal Learning in Songbirds. Neuron. 2019 Nov 06; 104(3):559-575.e6. PMID: 31447169; PMCID: PMC6842112; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.07.025;
  5. Gao Y, Hisey E, Bradshaw TWA, Erata E, Brown WE, Courtland JL, Uezu A, Xiang Y, Diao Y, Soderling SH. Plug-and-Play Protein Modification Using Homology-Independent Universal Genome Engineering. Neuron. 2019 Aug 21; 103(4):583-597.e8. PMID: 31272828; PMCID: PMC7200071; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.05.047;
  6. Hisey E, Kearney MG, Mooney R. A common neural circuit mechanism for internally guided and externally reinforced forms of motor learning. Nat Neurosci. 2018 Apr; 21(4):589-597. PMID: 29483664; PMCID: PMC5963939; DOI: 10.1038/s41593-018-0092-6;
  7. Roberts TF, Hisey E, Tanaka M, Kearney MG, Chattree G, Yang CF, Shah NM, Mooney R. Identification of a motor-to-auditory pathway important for vocal learning. Nat Neurosci. 2017 Jul; 20(7):978-986. PMID: 28504672; PMCID: PMC5572074; DOI: 10.1038/nn.4563;

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 7 publications over 4 distinct years, with a maximum of 3 publications in 2019


2023 Brain and Behavior Foundation Young Investigator Award (NARSAD)
2022 McLean Hospital: Eric Dorris Memorial Award
2021 McLean Hospital: Jonathan Edward Brooking Mental Health Research Scholars Award
2020 Leading Edge Fellow
2018 Duke University: Ruth K. Broad Postdoctoral Fellowship (declined)
2018 Duke University: Clinical and Translational Science Award, Postdoctoral TL1 Scholar
2017 Marine Biological Laboratory: Grass Foundation Fellowship
2017 COSYNE New Attendees Travel Grant Program
2017 Selected talk, Computational and Systems Neuroscience Meeting (COSYNE)
In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

early life stress
neural circuits
mouse model of early life trauma
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1400 VFW Parkway
West Roxbury MA 02132
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