Jared Schwartzer

Associate Professor of Psychology and Education
Behavioral neuroscience, neuroimmunology, neurodevelopment, animal models of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Jared Schwartzer is a behavioral neuroscientist studying preclinical models of neurodevelopmental disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorders. He is particularly interested in understanding how genetic and environmental interactions alter the development of the brain to produce behavioral and cognitive deficits. Currently, Jared Schwartzer's research focuses on how changes in a pregnant mother’s immune system can affect the offspring’s social development and brain function. This work highlights the importance of a gene-environment interaction, such as genetic predisposition, when evaluating the adverse effects of environmental insults.

Before coming to Mount Holyoke, Jared Schwartzer was a postdoctoral fellow in the Autism Research Training Program at the University of California, Davis MIND Institute where he studied with leaders in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders. While at UC Davis, Jared Schwartzer taught an introductory seminar in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

As a doctoral student at Northeastern University, Jared Schwartzer was awarded a Lagerspetz Award for outstanding research from the International Society for Research on Aggression. More recently, he has received funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to explore the link between maternal allergies and asthma and its consequences on offspring brain and behavior development. His research has been published in journals such as Translational Psychiatry, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, and Neurotoxicology and Teratology.

The Schwartzer Lab

Ongoing research in the Schwartzer lab focuses on the growing field of immune-induced mental health by translating clinical observations into testable hypotheses. This work lies at the intersection of behavioral neuroscience, neuroimmunology, and biomedical research to identify how interactions between the immune system and nervous system throughout gestation shape offspring brain and behavior development. We employ a range of molecular and behavioral approaches to untangle the complex gene-environment interactions that lead to neurodevelopmental disorders including autism spectrum disorders


  • Psychopharmacology
  • Statistics 
  • Clinical Neuroscience 
  • Laboratory in Behavioral Neuroscience

Selected Publications

Schwartzer J.J., Careaga M., Chang C., Onore C.E., Ashwood P. (2015) Allergic fetal priming leads to developmental, behavioral, and neurobiological changes in mice. Translational Psychiatry. 5, e543 

Careaga M., Schwartzer J.J. Ashwood P. (2015) Inflammatory profiles in the BTBR mouse: How relevant are they to Autism Spectrum Disorders? Brain, Behavior & Immunity. 43:11-6 

Onore C.E. , Schwartzer J.J. , Careaga M. , Berman R.F. , Ashwood P. (2014)  Maternal immune activation leads to activated inflammatory macrophages in offspring. Brain, Behavior & Immunity. 38:220-6  

Schwartzer J.J. Careaga M., Onore C.E., Rushakoff  J.A., Berman  J.A, Ashwood P.  (2013) Maternal immune activation and strain specific interactions in the development of autism-like behaviors in mice. Translational Psychiatry. 3:e240 

Schwartzer, J.J., Koenig, C.M., Berman, R.F. (2013) Using mouse models of autism spectrum disorders to study the neurotoxicology of gene-environment interactions. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 36:17-35

Schwartzer, J.J., Ricci L.A., Melloni R.H., Jr. (2013) Prior fighting experience alters fighting ability in Syrian hamsters: Implications for a role of dopamine in the establishment of dominance. Aggressive Behavior. 39(4):290-300

Recent Campus News

Nine faculty members have been granted tenure. Top row, l-r: Olivia Aguilar; Riché J. Daniel Barnes; Thomas Ciufo. Middle row, l-r: Naomi Darling; Nina Emery; Kerstin Nordstrom. Bottom row, l-r: Heather Pon-Barry; Jared Schwartzer; Jennifer Wallace Jacoby

Nine faculty receive tenure

The Mount Holyoke College Board of Trustees has voted to grant tenure to nine faculty members spanning disciplines from gender studies to physics. 

Jared Schwartzer, Ph.D. Visiting Assistant Professor

Vaping while pregnant threatens offspring

Mount Holyoke’s Jared Schwartzer went on Connecting Point to discuss his research on vaping during pregnancy and the effects on offspring.

Glial cells of a fruit fly brain express green fluorescence protein, as visualized with an integrated laser scanning/spinning disk microscopy system.

MHC receives NSF grant for microscopy

The new advanced microscopy system will bring new research, interdisciplinary collaboration and community outreach opportunities to Mount Holyoke.

This is an aerial view of the Mount Holyoke campus, gothic style buildings against greenery, with a lake in the foreground.

MHC scholarships available to Maria survivors

A year after Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, Mount Holyoke continues to offer scholarships to those affected.

Students in San Juan, Puerto Rico, releasing turtles

Science is everywhere – and for everyone

The pilot year of a STEM camp for girls, a joint offering from Mount Holyoke College and the city of San Juan, brings education and renewed hope.

Recent Publications

Church J.S., Chase-Donahue F. [MHC ’20], Blum J.L.,  Ratner J.R., Zelikoff J.T.,  Schwartzer J.J.(2020) Gestational exposure to e-cigarette aerosols in mice induces hyperactivity and regional neuroinflammation in adult offspring in a sex-dependent manner. Environmental Health Perspectives. Vol. 128, No. 4 

Church J.S., Tijerina P.B., Emerson F.J. [MHC ’17], Coburn M.A. [MHC ’17], Blum J.L., Zelikoff J.T., Schwartzer J.J. (2018) Perinatal exposure to concentrated ambient particulates results in autism-like behavioral deficits in adult mice. NeruoToxicology.  65:231-240

Schwartzer J.J., Onore C.E., Rose D.R., Ashwood P. (2017) C57BL/6L bone marrow transplant increases sociability in BTBR T+ Itpr3tf/J mice. Brain Behavior & Immunity. 59:55-61

Schwartzer J.J., Careaga M., Coburn M.A. [MHC ‘ 17], Rose D.R., Hughes H.K., Ashwood P. (2017) Behavioral impact of maternal allergic-asthma in two genetically distinct mouse strains. Brain, Behavior & Immunity. 63:99-107