People

Faculty

Chair of Psychology and Education Department, Chair of Neuroscience and Behavior, Professor of Psychology

Kathy Binder is keenly interested in how adults with low literacy skills learn to read. She has examined how these readers use various “codes” of language - phonological codes (sounds), orthographic codes (spelling patterns), and morphological codes (roots and affixes). She examines how these codes influence spelling, vocabulary, and comprehension abilities. Kathy teaches a CBL course in which her students become adult literacy tutors to better understand readers’ strengths and weaknesses. This work has been funded by the NIH and IES.

413-538-2105
207C Reese Psychology & Education Building
Contact
By appointment only
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Biologist Sarah Bacon is fascinated by the relationship between mother and fetus during pregnancy. "What I'm really interested in is fertility and miscarriage," she says. "Eighty percent of what humans conceive is lost before birth." Bacon says that most pregnancies end before a woman even knows she's pregnant. She's trying to find out why by studying reproduction in rats, which have very similar pregnancies to humans. Bacon also studies the ways in which mother and fetus communicate through the placenta. "It's so powerful, such an enigma," she says. "There's no other relationship that is that physiologically intimate."

413-538-3056
120E Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only

Mara Elizabeth Breen

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education
413-538-2067
207B Reese Psychology & Education Building
Contact
By appointment only

Kenneth Colodner

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

Ken Colodner’s research focuses on molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Colodner and his students utilize the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model organism to investigate how human disease-related proteins induce cell death and dysfunction in the brain. The Colodner Lab is particularly interested in examining the extent to which neuronal and glial cells, the two major cell-types of the brain, contribute to the neurodegenerative disease process.

413-538-3318
118 Clapp Lab
Contact
By appointment only
Gary Gillis, Associate Dean of Faculty
Associate Dean of Faculty, Professor of Biological Sciences, and Director of the Science Center

Gary Gillis is interested in the biomechanics and neuromuscular control of animal locomotion. He has worked on systems ranging from swimming fish to running mammals and has been involved in projects exploring plasticity in muscle function and the effects of body size on locomotor movements. Most recently his lab has been using toads to study the control of rapid deceleration during landing. In 2012 and 2013 Gillis served as a Program Officer for the National Science Foundation. Gillis is the point-person for Summer Student Programming, Federal Grant Submissions and Faculty Fridays.

413-538-2515
Mary Lyon 106
Contact
By appointment only
Professor of Psychology and Education
413-538-2296
103 Reese Psychology & Education Building
Contact
By appointment only
Kathryn McMenimen
Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Chemistry, on leave 2015-16

Kathryn McMenimen is interested in the chemical interactions that underlie biological systems. Her research group uses tools at the interface of chemistry, biochemistry, neuroscience, and biophysics to study one type of molecular chaperone, the small heat shock proteins. McMenimen is particularly interested in protein homeostasis and how dysfunction of molecular chaperones contributes to protein misfolding diseases, such as, cataracts, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other neurological diseases.

413-538-3375
G22B Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Professor of Psychology and Education
413-538-2076
123A Reese Psychology & Education Building
Contact
By appointment only
Jared Schwartzer, Ph.D. Visiting Assistant Professor

Jared Schwartzer

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education

Using preclinical models, Jared Schwartzer studies the interaction of the immune system and nervous system during brain development in utero, and the effects of these interactions on behavior during postnatal development. Much of his research is inspired by clinical and epidemiological trends observed in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. In the Schwartzer Lab, specialized techniques from neuroimmunology and behavioral neuroscience come together to explore how changes in the mother’s immune system influence social behavior in offspring.

413-538-2843
212 Reese Psychology & Education Building
Contact
By appointment only

Geoffrey Tanner

Visiting Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
413-538-2805
211 Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only

Staff

Dianne Baranowski

Academic Department Coordinator
413-538-2611
106 Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only

Janet Crosby

Academic Department Coordinator

Janet Crosby meets with students who need information about the following: requirements for the major, course schedules, credit for courses taken off-campus, honors thesis requirements, ethics forms, and Harap, Reese and Davol fund applications. She also administers the department budget, monitors building and equipment needs, plans department events and provides support for faculty and staff.

413-538-2422
303A Reese Psychology and Education Building
Contact
Monday-Friday 8:30 am - noon; 1:00 - 5:00 pm

Visiting Faculty

Amanda Hamel

Visiting Lecturer in Biological Sciences
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By appointment only