Erin Hisey, PhD

Assistant Professor, Psychiatry

Erin Hisey
1400 VFW Parkway


My long-term research interests center on how early life experiences shape adult behavior and how trauma can reshape formerly adaptive behaviors into maladaptive ones. As a postdoctoral fellow with Kerry Ressler, I developed a model of juvenile chronic social defeat stress in mice in order to model the effects of physical trauma in childhood. My current research uses optogenetic, in vivo imaging and RNA manipulation techniques in this early life trauma model to examine how specific neural circuits can be altered by early life trauma to impact the encoding and recall of fear memories in adulthood. As childhood abuse occurs in nearly 25%, and up tp 50%, of the civilian and veteran population, respectively, I am highly motivated to model early life trauma and determine how neural circuits are reshaped by it. Using a combination of circuits- and molecular-level techniques, I hope to advance the knowledge of how early life trauma reshapes neural circuits to influence adult behavior with the ultimate goal of providing novel targets for the reduction of symptoms related to trauma-based disorders.


  • Duke University, PhD
  • University of Chicago, AB


  • Published on 5/31/2023

    Hisey EE, Fritsch EL, Newman EL, Ressler KJ, Kangas BD, Carlezon WA. Early life stress in male mice blunts responsiveness in a translationally-relevant reward task. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2023 Nov; 48(12):1752-1759. PMID: 37258714.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/19/2023

    Hisey E, Purkey A, Gao Y, Hossain K, Soderling SH, Ressler KJ. A Ventromedial Prefrontal-to-Lateral Entorhinal Cortex Pathway Modulates the Gain of Behavioral Responding During Threat. Biol Psychiatry. 2023 Aug 01; 94(3):239-248. PMID: 36925415.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/12/2019

    Uezu A, Hisey E, Kobayashi Y, Gao Y, Bradshaw TW, Devlin P, Rodriguiz R, Tata PR, Soderling S. Essential role for InSyn1 in dystroglycan complex integrity and cognitive behaviors in mice. Elife. 2019 Dec 12; 8. PMID: 31829939.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/22/2019

    Kearney MG, Warren TL, Hisey E, Qi J, Mooney R. Discrete Evaluative and Premotor Circuits Enable Vocal Learning in Songbirds. Neuron. 2019 Nov 06; 104(3):559-575.e6. PMID: 31447169.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/1/2019

    Gao Y, Hisey E, Bradshaw TWA, Erata E, Brown WE, Courtland JL, Uezu A, Xiang Y, Diao Y, Soderling SH. Plug-and-Play Protein Modification Using Homology-Independent Universal Genome Engineering. Neuron. 2019 Aug 21; 103(4):583-597.e8. PMID: 31272828.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/26/2018

    Hisey E, Kearney MG, Mooney R. A common neural circuit mechanism for internally guided and externally reinforced forms of motor learning. Nat Neurosci. 2018 Apr; 21(4):589-597. PMID: 29483664.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/15/2017

    Roberts TF, Hisey E, Tanaka M, Kearney MG, Chattree G, Yang CF, Shah NM, Mooney R. Identification of a motor-to-auditory pathway important for vocal learning. Nat Neurosci. 2017 Jul; 20(7):978-986. PMID: 28504672.

    Read at: PubMed

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