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 Introductory Psychology, Research Methods and Health Psychology. I enjoy teaching introductory level courses as a way to begin to open minds about
how much there is to learn about human behavior, and how a better understanding can
allow us to lead better lives. As an Assistant Professor of Biopsychology, my teaching
interests lie in courses that focus on biological and experimental psychology. In
the past I have taught Drugs and Behavior, Human Learning and Memory, and General
Psychology at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. In the future I hope to teach
courses that bridge the gap between biology and psychology and would be appropriate
for either major, such as Behavioral Neuroscience, The Human Brain, and Biological
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.
This involves the background literature review, the planning, design, and conduct
of experiments, and the collection, analysis and interpretation of data – and presentation
and/or publication of the results.
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.
Creeley, C.E., & Olney, J.W. (2010). The young: Neuroapoptosis induced by anesthetics
and what to do about it. Anesthesia and Analgesia, 1, 110-15.
Creeley, C.E., Wozniak, D.F., Nardi, A., Farber, N.B., & Olney, J.W. (2008). Donepezil
markedly potentiates memantine neurotoxicity in the adult rat brain. Neurobiology Aging, 29, 153-67.
Creeley, C.E., Wozniak, D.F., Bayly, P.V., Olney, J.W., & Lewis, L.M. (2004). Multiple
episodes of mild traumatic brain injury result in impaired cognitive performance in
mice. Acadademic Emergency Medicine, 11, 809-19.
Kelemen W.L., & Creeley, C. E. (2001). Caffeine (4 mg/kg) influences sustained attention
and delayed free recall but not memory predictions. Human Psychopharmacology, 16, 309-319.