Fall 2023 Barbara Stone Hollander '60 Lecture in Women’s Leadership featuring Award Winning Neuroscientist, Dr. Huda Akil

The Second Pandemic: The Mental Health Crisis- What can Science Do to Help?

Tuesday, September 19, 2023
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Chatham University, Mellon Board Room, Shadyside Campus

Cost: Free (Must Register)

Please join us for a Pre-Lecture Reception at 6:00 p.m. and a Lecture, at 6:30 p.m. with Dr. Huda Akil on Tuesday, September 19, 2023.

Dr. Huda Akil, Research Professor, Michigan Neuroscience Institute Gardner C. Quarton Distinguished University Professor of Neurosciences, Department of Psychiatry, researches the neurobiology of emotions, including pain, anxiety, depression and substance abuse. Early studies, which focused on the role of the endorphins and their receptors in pain and stress responsiveness, led to the first physiological evidence for a role of endogenous opioids in the brain. This demonstrated that endorphins are activated by stress and cause pain inhibition, a phenomenon Akil’s team termed Stress-Induced Analgesia.

The Akil laboratory investigated the molecular and neural mechanisms underlying stress reactivity and their relation to anxiety and depression. They have focused on the role of steroid stress hormone receptors in emotionality, demonstrating the involvement of the mineralocorticoid receptor in human depression. The group has created a transgenic mouse that overexpresses the glucocorticoid receptor selectively in the forebrain and exhibits increased emotional lability and responsiveness to antidepressants, two features of bipolar illness. A major focus of current research in the Akil lab is to develop animal models to understand the genetic and developmental basis of differences in temperament, and the implications of these inborn differences for vulnerability to anxiety, depression and substance abuse. Akil is also investigating factors that influence the vulnerability and resilience to developing anxiety and depression symptoms.

Research in the Akil laboratory relies on a range of molecular, genetic, anatomical, behavioral and clinical approaches, all utilized in a highly interdisciplinary environment. The goal is to use a convergence of strategies to understand the biology of emotions.

For more information about the the Barbara Stone Hollander '60 Women's Leadership Lecture & Award visit Barbara Stone Hollander '60 Women's Leadership Lecture and Award!


Fee : Free (Must Register)

Registration has closed. Please contact Thea Kalcevic at alumni@chatham.edu for additional information.


Chatham University, Mellon Board Room, Shadyside Campus

Contact Information

Thea Kalcevic
(412) 365-1258