Dr. Catherine E. Creeley
My research involves using animal models to investigate the effects of early drug exposure on brain development. The human fetal or infant brain is exposed to many different agents for a variety
of reasons during critical and sensitive periods of neurodevelopment. The fetal brain
may be exposed to drugs either through drug abuse by or therapeutic treatment of the
mother – these psychoactive drugs easily cross the placenta into the fetal system
and may affect neurodevelopmental processes critical to normal brain development.
These drugs include sedatives, painkillers, antidepressants, antipsychotics and epilepsy
medications. After birth, premature infants are exposed to weeks or even months of
drug therapies that usually involve heavy doses of sedatives and analgesics that have
the potential to disrupt normal neurodevelopment. It is well-known that very premature
infants experience significant developmental delays, and we are just beginning to
recognize that drug exposure may play a role in neurobehavioral outcome. The research
in my lab involves using mouse models to investigate the effects of drugs on brain
development and subsequent behavioral outcome.
I have also examined the effects of caffeine on memory and metamemory. Many students have beliefs about caffeine and memory that influence daily living
and habits and especially may affect cognitive performance during test preparation
and exams. The combination of caffeine with other agents available commercially and
combining stimulants with alcohol is a relatively new practice that we do not know
enough about. I hope to further this research at SUNY Fredonia so that college students
can make informed decisions about caffeine use and abuse.
I am currently teaching Health Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Research Methods. As the Assistant Professor of Biopsychology, my teaching interests lie in courses
that focus on biological and experimental psychology. My courses are focused on how
the scientific method is used to learn about the human brain and our behavior. In
the past I have taught Drugs and Behavior, Human Learning and Memory, and Introductory
Psychology. In the future I hope to teach more courses that bridge the gap between
biology and psychology, and would be appropriate for either major, such as Behavioral
Neuroscience, The Human Brain, and Psychopharmacology.
Student - Faculty Collaborations
An important part of the undergraduate experience, especially for those planning to
attend graduate school, is to participate in laboratory research. It is my goal to
provide students with the opportunity to be involved in all phases of scientific research,
including literature reviews, designing and conducting experiments, collecting, analyzing,
and interpreting data, and presentation and/or publication of the results. My behavioral
neuroscience lab is in Jewett Hall. Each fall semester I accept independent study
students who want to work in the lab for a full academic year, and get experience
participating in a research project from start to finish. [If you are interested in pursuing an independent study position in the lab, please
contact me by email to inquire].
Urtz K., Miller J., Kumar A., Michel K., Young J., and Creeley C. (2015). The developmental
and behavioral effects of neonatal exposure to lithium. Poster presented at the17th
annual Student Research and Creativity Exposition, State University of New York at
Creeley, C. E., Dikranian, K. T., Dissen, G. A., Back, S. A., Olney, J. W., & Brambrink,
A. M. (2014). Isoflurane-induced apoptosis of neurons and oligodendrocytes in the
fetal Rhesus Macaque brain. Anesthesiology, 120(3), 626–638. http://doi.org/10.1097/ALN.0000000000000037
Creeley, C. E., Dikranian, K. T., Johnson, S. A., Farber, N. B., & Olney, J. W. (2013).
Alcohol-induced apoptosis of oligodendrocytes in the fetal macaque brain. Acta Neuropathologica Communications, 1, 23. http://doi.org/10.1186/2051-5960-1-23
Creeley, C.E., & Olney, J.W. (2013). Drug-induced apoptosis: Mechanism by which alcohol
and many other drugs can disrupt brain development. Brain Sciences, 3, 1153-1181.
Yuede, C.M., Olney, J.W., & Creeley, C.E. (2013). Developmental neurotoxicity of alcohol
and anesthetic drugs is augmented by co-exposure to caffeine. Brain Sciences, 3, 1128-1152.
Creeley, C., Dikranian, K., Dissen, G., Martin, L., Olney, J., & Brambrink, A. (2013).
Propofol-induced apoptosis of neurones and oligodendrocytes in fetal and neonatal
rhesus macaque brain. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 110, 29-38.
Brambrink, A.M., Back, S.A., Riddle, A., Gong, X., Moravec, M.D., Dissen, G.A., Creeley,
C.E., Dikranian, K.T., & Olney, J.W. (2012). Isoflurane-induced apoptosis of oligodendrocytes
in the neonatal primate brain. Annals of Neurology, 72(4), 525-35.
Brambrink, A.M., Evers, A.S., Avidan, M.S., Farber, N.B., Smith, D.J., Martin, L.D.,
Dissen, G.A., Creeley, C.E., & Olney, J.W. (2012). Ketamine-induced neuroapoptosis
in the fetal and neonatal rhesus macaque brain. Anesthesiology, 116, 372-84.
Dribben, W.H., Creeley, C.E., & Farber, N. (2011). Low-level lead exposure triggers
neuronal apoptosis in the developing mouse brain. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 33, 473-80.