Jared Schwartzer

Associate Professor of Psychology and Education; Chair of Neuroscience and Behavior
Behavioral neuroscience, neuroimmunology, brain development, neurotoxicology

Jared Schwartzer is a behavioral neuroscientist studying how various environmental factors during pregnancy impact offspring brain and behavioral health. His work has focused on topics of maternal inflammation, air pollution, and electronic cigarette use during pregnancy to understand the neurodevelopmental impacts of various public health issues. His lab uses a combination of behavioral observations and biological diagnostic tools to identify biomarkers that link behavior differences to brain inflammation. 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

Faculty and administrators on a Zoom call, smiling into the camera.

Four faculty members honored

Members of the Mount Holyoke community gathered recently to celebrate four professors at the annual Faculty Awards ceremony.

A 3D toolkit for students with visual impairments that contains a Braille label maker, Braille playing cards and three hardboard distributions.

A toolbox for more accessible statistics

Mount Holyoke faculty and staff have created the first website of its kind addressing statistic students’ accessibility needs. 

A 3D toolkit for students with visual impairments that contains a Braille label maker, Braille playing cards and three hardboard distributions.

The Accessible Toolbox

A Mount Holyoke College team of researchers is providing new resources to make learning statistics more accessible to students with disabilities. 

This is an abstracted neural stem cell on a teal background. It was made with mirrors, hand embroidery and paint.

Vaping perils

Maternal vaping affects offspring’s brains, says Associate Professor Jared Schwartzer of Mount Holyoke.

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. 

Recent Publications

Schwartzer JJ, Garcia-Arocena D, Jamal A, Izadi A, Willemsen R, Berman RF. Allopregnanolone Improves Locomotor Activity and Arousal in the Aged CGG Knock-in Mouse Model of Fragile X-Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome. Front Neurosci. 2021 Dec 3;15:752973.

Church JS, Renzelman ML [MHC ’20], Schwartzer JJ. Ten-week high fat and high sugar diets in mice alter gut-brain axis cytokines in a sex-dependent manner. J Nutr Biochem. 2022 Feb;100:108903.

Church J.S., Tamayo J.M., Ashwood P., Schwartzer J.J. (2021) Repeated allergic asthma in early versus late pregnancy differentially impacts offspring brain and behavior development. Brain Behav Immun., 93, 66-79.

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