Organization: University of Calgary
Dr. Matthew Hill, from the University of Calgary, began his research career as an undergraduate at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Biological Psychology by volunteering in the laboratory of Dr. Boris Gorzalka examining the impact of chronic stress on sexual motivation and behaviour. From here, he discovered his interest in studying the effects chronic stress has on brain and body and pursued graduate research examining the biological effects of chronic stress on the brain. His graduate work examined how exposure to chronic stress impaired the neurochemical systems normally involved in stress recovery and adaptation, providing a putative mechanism by which chronic stress may result in the breakdown of compensatory “anti-stress” systems and produce wear and tear on the brain and body. Following the completion of his graduate work at UBC, he left for a post doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Bruce McEwen at the Rockefeller University in New York City. Matthew is examining structural and functional changes within the brain which occur following chronic stress that relate to the development of anxiety and fear, and how targeting these changes may help to treat stress-related mental illnesses, such as generalized anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.