Assistant Professor

Associate Director, Master’s Program in Neuroscience

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 Differences, Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, and Society for Neuroscience. Her research is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation.

Selected Publications

  • Wiersielis, K.R., Wicks, B., Simko, H., Cohen, S. R., Khantsis, S., Baksh, N., Waxler, D.E., & Bangasser, D.A. (2016). Sex differences in corticotropin releasing factor-evoked behavior and activated networks, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 73, 204-216.
  • Cole, R., Kawasumi, Y.S., Parikh, V., & Bangasser, D.A. (2016). Corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) impairs sustained attention in male and female rats, Behavioral Brain Research, 296, 30–34.
  • Bangasser, D.A., Wiersielis, K.W., & Khantsis, S. (2015) Sex differences in the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system and its regulation by stress, Brain Research, Brain Research, 641, 177–188 .
  • Bangasser, D.A., & Kawasumi, Y. S. (2015). Cognitive impairments in stress-related psychiatric disorders: A role for corticotropin releasing factor, Hormones and Behavior, 76, 125-135.
  • Bangasser, D.A. & Valentino, R.J. (2014). Sex differences in stress related psychiatric disorders: Neurobiological perspectives. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 35, 303–319.
  • 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.

Courses Taught

  • Neurobiology of Disease
  • Functional Neuroanatomy