University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Kimberly Lezak

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Kimberly Lezak

Kimberly Lezak
Post-Doctoral Fellow

  • B.A. Lehigh University, 2006
  • M.A. University of Vermont, 2008
  • Ph.D. University of Vermont, 2013
C.V. (PDF)
Contact Information
Room: 450

Office Hours: Monday 12:00 - 1:30 and Wednesday 10:30 - 12:00 in room 247


My research examines the neurobiological underpinnings of anxiety and how stress exposure contributes to changes in this system. A large amount of my work focuses on an area known as the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) which is important for mediating both anxiety- like behavior and stress responding. The BNST is a sexually dimorphic brain region; therefore this region may function differently for males and females. I utilize electrophysiological techniques to characterize neurons within the BNST of females in order to better understand how activity in this region affects behavioral and physiological output.

I am also interested in the use of pharmacological, immunohistochemical and genetic techniques in order to examine the contribution neurochemical systems in emotion related brain regions.

Representative Publications

  • Roman, C.W., Lezak, K.R., Kocho-Schellenberg, M., Garret, M.,Braas, K., May, V.,Hammack, S.E. (2012). Excitotoxic lesions of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) attenuate the effects of repeated stress on weight gain: Evidence for the recruitment of BNST activity by repeated, but not acute, stress, Behavioural Brain Research, 227(1): 300-4.
  • Hammack, S.E., Cooper, M.A., Lezak, K.R. (2012) Overlapping neurobiology of learned helplessness and conditioned defeat: Implications for PTSD and mood disorders, Neuropharmacology, 62(2):565-75.
  • Hammack, S.E., Roman, C.W., Lezak, K.R., Kocho-Schellenberg,M., Grimmig, B., Falls, W.A., Braas, K., May, V. (2010) Roles for pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) expression and signaling in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) in mediating the behavioral consequences of chronic stress, Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, 42(3):327-40.
  • Hammack, S.E., Cheung, J., Rhodes, K.M., Schutz, K.C., Falls, W.A., Braas, K.M., May, V. (2009) Chronic stress increases pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST): roles for PACAP in anxiety-like behavior, Psychoneuroendocrinology,34(6), 833-43.
Acting Chair
Clinical Training Program Director
General/Experimental Program Acting Director
Undergraduate Director
Business Manager
Behavioral Pharmacology
Joint Appointment
Behavior Therapy and Psychotherapy Faculty
Clinical Psychology Internship Program (CPIP)
Post-Doctoral Fellows
Emeriti Faculty
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