Assistant Professor
Weiss Hall 873
1701 North 13th Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122


Stress, Sex differences, Neuroscience, Anxiety, Arousal, Depression


Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from stress-related psychiatric disorders, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. As principle investigator of the Neuroendocrinology and Behavior Laboratory, Dr. Debra Bangasser uses techniques from biopsychology, neuroendocrinology, and cellular and molecular biology to investigate whether there are neurobiological factors that contribute to this disparity between men and women. Specifically, her research program explores sex differences in stress response systems that predispose females to stress and stress-related psychiatric disease. Dr. Bangasser has authored numerous publications in top journals including Nature Neuroscience and Molecular Psychiatry. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, International Behavioral Neuroscience Society, Organization for the Study of Sex Diffe rences, Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, and Society for Neuroscience. Her research is currently funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Selected Publications

Bangasser, D.A. (2013). Sex differences in stress-related receptors: “Micro” differences with “macro”
implications for mood and anxiety disorders, Biology of Sex Differences, 4, 2-15. BioMed Central designation “Highly Accessed.”

Bangasser, D.A., Reyes, B., Piel, D., Rarach, V., Zhang, X., Van Bockstaele, E.J., Beck, S.G., & Valentino, R.J. (2013). Increased vulnerability of the brain norepinephrine system of females to corticotropin-releasing factor overexpression, Molecular Psychiatry, 18,166-73. Image from the paper was the February 2013 Journal Cover.

Bangasser, D.A., Curtis, A., Reyes, B., Bethea, T.T., Parastatidis, I., Ischiropoulos, H., Van Bockstaele, E.J., & Valentino, R.J. (2010) Sex differences in corticotropin-releasing factor receptor signaling and trafficking: potential role in female vulnerability to stress-related psychopathology, Molecular Psychiatry, 15, 877, 896-904. Featured in Nature, 465, 988 Research Highlights section and Faculty of 1000 Biology

Bangasser, D.A., & Shors, T.J. (2008). The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis modulates learning after stress in masculinized but not cycling females, Journal of Neuroscience, 28, 6383–6387. Faculty of 1000 Biology.

Bangasser, D.A., & Shors T.J. (2007). The hippocampus is necessary for enhancements and impairments of learning following stressful experience, Nature Neuroscience, 10, 1401–1403.

Courses Taught

  • Neurobiology of Disease
  • Functional Neuroanatomy