Research. I am interested in understanding basolateral amygdala circuitry during exposure to stress. Specifically, I am investigating the anatomical distribution and functional role of various projection neuron populations in the basolateral amygdala. To answer these questions, I use retrograde tracing, immunohistochemistry, Gi DREADDs, optogenetics, fiber photometry, and behavioral tests.
Hobbies. Outside of the lab, I am a whole-hearted fan of the mountains, my 2006 Hyundai Sante-Fe, the squash court, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Favourite paper. “Organization of valence-encoding and projection-defined neurons in the basolateral amygdala” (Beyeler et al, 2018; PubMed link). A beautiful and detailed anatomical description of three projection neuron populations in the amygdala, and how they interact to encode valence of stimuli.
Endocannabinoids, cannabinoids and the regulation of anxiety
Petrie GN, Nastase AS, Aukema RJ, Hill MN (2021)
Up-regulation of Anandamide Hydrolysis in the Basolateral Complex of the Amygdala Reduces Fear Memory Expression and Indices of Stress and Anxiety.
Morena M, Aukema RJ, Leitl K, Rashid A, Vecchiarelli HA, Josselyn SA, Hill MN (2019).
Journal of Neuroscience 39(7), 1275-1292.
Protective Effects of Elevated Anandamide on Stress and Fear-related Behaviors: Translational Evidence from Humans and Mice
Mayo LM, Asratian A, Linde J, Holm L, Natt D, Augier G, Stensson N, Vecchiarelli HA, Balsevich G, Aukema RJ, Ghafouri B, Spagnolo PA, Lee FS, Hill MN, Heilig M (2020)
Molecular Psychiatry 25(5):993-1005
Full list of publications
I am extremely grateful to have received funding support from:
I received my undergraduate degree (B.Sc. 2012-2016) at Carleton University in Ottawa, ON, where I completed an Honor’s Thesis in Dr. Alfonso Abizaid’s lab – a place that first truly fuelled my interest in neuroscience.