Professor and Assistant Vice President for Research
Arizona State University
Dr. Conrad received her Bachelor’s of Science from the University of California, Irvine in 1986 before completing her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1994. She did her postdoctoral research at the Rockefeller University in New York, New York under the mentorship of Bruce McEwen from 1994 to 1997. Her research interests include the neurobiology of chronic stress, sex differences in neuroplasticity following chronic stress, and links between stress and depression or anxiety disorders.
Current Research Update: “I seek to understand the long-term consequences of chronic stress on the brain and behavior with the goal of finding interventions or treatments to facilitate cognitive improvement. I have two lines of research. In one, we are investigating the mechanisms by which one can improve cognition in the face of chronic stress. In the other, we seek to determine the underlying mechanisms that lead to robust fear memories so that we can identify new targets for potential therapeutic intervention to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder.”
How IMHR Helped Facilitate This Work: “IMHR helped me to establish research investigating the role of the prefrontal cortex in modulating fear memories and to show that the outcomes were sexually dimorphic. Chronic stress in males led to potentiated fear memories that resisted extinction, an effect that was not found in females.”