Elizabeth Byrnes, PhD


Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences



BA, Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Boston
PhD, Neuroscience, Ohio State University
Postdoctoral Training, Ohio State University; Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine


Campus: Grafton
Laboratory: Peabody Pavillion

Contact Information

Office Phone: 508-839-7970
Lab Phone: 508-839-7974
E-mail   Send an e-mail


Research Web Site  Lab Research Page
Recent Publications 

Graduate Programs



Research Synopsis

In our lab we are largely interested in how experience alters neuroplasticity and how those changes manifest in future generations. Many of our studies focus on the interplay between the endocrine and central nervous system in mediating transgenerational effects of experience. These studies include analyses of behavioral, endocrine and molecular modifications. Our current projects explore the impact of two distinct and powerful experiences; adolescent exposure to opiates and pregnancy/motherhood. In our adolescent opiate work, we are attempting to determine the mechanisms underlying transgenerational epigenetic effects in an animal model of adolescent opiate exposure. In our reproductive experience work, we are examining the interaction between prior pregnancy and the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in response to stress.


Lab Members

Anika Toorie, Postdoctoral Scholar  Send an e-mail 
Fair Vassoler, Research Assistant Professer Send an e-mail 

Apply to the Sackler School


The priority application deadlines are as follows:

December 1: Basic Science Division PhD Programs

February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

March 31: Post-Baccalaureate Research Program

May 1: Clinical & Translational Science, MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development

June 15: Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Clinical Care Research