WSU Applebaum postdoc Hilary Ann Marusak to present research seminar May 29

Hilary MarusakThe campus community is invited to a research seminar, "Effects of childhood adversity on brain and behavioral development," presented by Hilary Ann Marusak, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Pharmacy Practice of the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The event takes place Wednesday, May 29, from 11 a.m. to noon in the first-floor seminar room of IBio, located at 6135 Woodward. It is free and open to all. 

The seminar is hosted by the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences, Translational Sciences and Clinical Research Innovation, Office of the Dean of the School of Medicine, and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Marusak earned her B.A. in biology and psychology from Kalamazoo College and a Ph.D. in Translational Neuroscience at Wayne State University School of Medicine. She is doing her postdoctoral work with Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice Christine Rabinak, director of the Translational Neuropsychopharmacology Lab at WSU Applebaum.


Exposure to childhood adversity (e.g., violence, abuse) is one of the strongest risk factors for anxiety and other psychiatric disorders. These experiences are unfortunately extremely common, particularly among low income urban communities such as Detroit. The strong and pervasive link between childhood adversity and the development of psychopathology highlights the need for research on underlying biological mechanisms. This talk will cover studies examining the impact of childhood adversity on brain systems critical for emotion processing and regulation in youth. We will explore fear extinction in particular, and the role of the endocannabinoid system in modulating development of fear extinction neural circuitry during adolescence. I will present novel data showing the impact of medical-related adversity on emotion-related neural circuitry in a sample of childhood cancer survivors. Finally, I will introduce ongoing studies that partner with local and international community-based organizations to examine the translational impact of interventions informed by our research on neural development and adversity.

For more information about this event, please contact Julie O'Connor at 313-577-5600 or

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