Matthew C. Morris, Ph.D.
Dr. Matthew Morris was initially recruited as a post-doctoral fellow in the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Center (CMBN) and then became a faculty member in the Department of Family and Occupational Medicine in July 2013 supported by the RCMI program. Dr. Morris successfully obtained a mentored career development award (K01 MH101403) in July 2013. His work is focused on the neurobiology of stress - related psychopathology and gender disparities in these psychiatric disorders. Dr. Morris developed a second pilot project and obtained funding from Meharry Clinical and Translational Research Center (MeTRC; U54 RR002614/MD007593). The study is focused on the trajectories of changes in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity, coping factors, and diurnal neuroendocrine secretion over time following exposure to interpersonal violence in African-American women.
Akiko Shimamoto, Ph.D.
Dr. Akiko Shimamoto, Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology was recruited to Meharry in January 2014. Her research focuses on stress and drug addiction. Particularly, she examines how chronic stress can alter later addictive behaviors in both males and females. She uses an animal model of chronic stress, which shows some cardinal features of depression, to test their drug taking behaviors. In addition, she measures neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, glutamate and GABA. These molecules are thought to be associated with reward processing, which are responsible for complicated drug taking behaviors. She examines how these molecules can contribute to chronic stress-induced drug taking behaviors.