Nicola Grissom, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

E-MAIL:  [email protected]

Research Interests:

Using touchscreen behavioral testing and a suite of molecular and genetic techniques in mouse models, we work to uncover the molecular mechanisms in mesocorticolimbic regions that permit mice, and us, to learn new goal-directed behaviors, make decisions and choices between options, maintain motivation, and exert control over impulsive and habitual actions. Because these abilities are often altered in neuropsychiatric diseases, such as in neurodevelopmental disorders including autism and ADHD, understanding the molecular regulators of neuronal ensembles mediating these abilities may reveal what makes these brains unique and identify new therapeutic avenues. Critically, because neurodevelopmental disorders are significantly more prevalent in males, we are working to uncover potential molecular and circuit mechanisms of male vulnerability and/or female resilience to genotypes associated with these disorders.

Selected Publications:

(Click here for a comprehensive list of recent publications)

  • Grissom NM, Reyes TM. Let's call the whole thing off: evaluating gender and sex differences in executive function. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019;44(1):86-96.
  • Grissom NM, McKee SE, Schoch H, Bowman N, Havekes R, O'Brien WT, Mahrt E, Siegel S, Commons K, Portfors C, Nickl-Jockschat T, Reyes TM, Abel T. Male-specific deficits in natural reward learning in a mouse model of neurodevelopmental disorders. Mol Psychiatry. 2018;23(3):544-555.
  • Grissom NM, George R, Reyes TM. The hypothalamic transcriptional response to stress is severely impaired in offspring exposed to adverse nutrition during gestation. Neuroscience. 2017;342:200-211.
  • McKee SE, Grissom NM, Herdt CT, Reyes TM. Methyl donor supplementation alters cognitive performance and motivation in female offspring from high-fat diet-fed dams. FASEB J. 2017;31:2352-2363.
  • Grissom NM, George R, Reyes TM. Suboptimal nutrition in early life affects the inflammatory gene expression profile and behavioral responses to stressors. Brain Behav Immun. 2017;63:115-126.
  • Grissom NM, Herdt CT, Desilets J, Lidsky-Everson J, Reyes TM. Dissociable deficits of executive function caused by gestational adversity are linked to specific transcriptional changes in the prefrontal cortex. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015;40:1353-63.
  • Grissom NM, Lyde R, Christ L, Sasson IE, Carlin J, Vitins AP, Simmons RA, Reyes TM.. Obesity at conception programs the opioid system in the offspring brain. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014;39:801-10.

Current Graduate Students

Nic Glewwe (Neuroscience, University of Minnesota)

Nicola Grissom