Our research interests involve understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of stress, emotion and resilience. We use a variety of techniques to investigate these mechanisms, which include assessing conditioned and unconditioned fear and anxiety, pharmacological manipulations, neuroanatomical techniques, molecular, and intracellular electrophysiological techniques. We are particularly interested in the involvement of serotonin and stress-related neuropeptides in mediating the behavioral consequences of exposure to stressful stimuli, as well as the neurochemical changes mediating stress-resilience (for example, why are does exercise reduce anxiety and make you more resilient in the face of stressors).
Sayamwong "Jom" E. Hammack, Ph.D.
Professor Hammack is currently an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Vermont (UVM). He earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the Florida State University in 1995. Dr. Hammack then joined the Maier-Watkins laboratory under the mentorship of Professors Steven Maier and Linda Watkins at the University of Colorado, Boulder for his graduate studies where he earned a Master’s degree in Psychology in 1998, and a Ph.D. in Psychology in 2001. In 2002, Dr. Hammack joined in Donald Rainnie’s laboratory at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia to conduct postdoctoral studies investigating the physiology of brain regions associated with fear and anxiety-like behavior. He joined the psychology faculty at UVM in 2006. Dr. Hammack’s dissertation thesis was nominated for the 2002 Donal B. Lindsley Prize in Behavioral Neuroscience, and he was the recipient of a postdoctoral Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award in 2004. He currently directs a laboratory at UVM that is conducting multiple studies associated with the neurobiology of emotion and stress-resilience, with a particular interest in the bed nucleus of stria terminalis and its modulation by serotonin.
PEOPLE IN THE LAB
Carolyn Roman, NGP Student
JOIN THE LAB
Undergraduate Research Experience
A majority of Hammack Laboratory members are undergraduate students at the Universitiy of Vermont. Undergraduate students in the laboratory are encouraged to participate in as many aspects of a research project as possible, from experimental design to implementation to data analysis to the reporting of experimental results. We are sensitive NOT to simply use students as part of an assembly line of data collection in which students only learns one technique. It is important that students leave the lab with a better understanding of how science is accomplished. Students in the lab are expected to attend lab meetings, present material, and report research in written form. We also encourage students to attend departmental colloquia, cluster meetings, and sometimes national conferences. Ideally, students will become independent in the lab, and be able to conduct, analyze, and report their own studies.
Many undergraduates students receive independent study credit for their laboratory work. Some are paid part-time, and others work in the lab on a purely volunteer basis. Typically, students are expected to volunteer for a period of time before they will be considered for paid position.
We try to accommodate as many students as possible, and the laboratory is usually full. Hence we encourage undergraduate students who are interested in joinging the lab to fill out a student information form and return the form to Professor Hammack. While we are usually full in any given semester, we can sometimes make promises to students for acceptance into the laboratory in upcoming semesters/academic years. However, regardless of your standing, please feel free to contact Professor Hammack if you have an interest in our research
Phone: (802) 656-1041
Traditionally, graduate students have joined our laboratory as graduate students in Psychology. However, the faculty in biobehavioral psychology are also affiliated with the Neuroscience Graduate Program, and students can also join our laboratory through that program. As a result, some students may wonder which avenue (Psychology or Neuroscience) is best for them. We encourage these students to contact Professor Hammack before applying to either graduate program, to discuss the advantages of each program in the context of a student’s particular needs.
This page is currently under construction, and we are working on a thorough description and comparison of both graduate programs. In the meantime, if you are interested in applying to the lab for graduate school please contact Professor Hammack.
Last modified April 23 2013 09:26 AM