Polymnia Georgiou

Assistant Professor

Dr Georgiou will recruit a new graduate student for Fall 2024 admissions.

Degree: Ph.D., University of Surrey, UK

Research interests:

It is well established that hormone imbalance is associated with increased risk of developing mental disorders. Our work focuses on understanding the pathophysiology of mental disorders which are associated with dysregulation of the brain reward system such as drug addiction and mood disorders. Our research has a particular focus on the effects of hormones, including oxytocin, corticotropin-releasing factor, and estradiol on the development of such disorders and the underlying neurobiological mechanisms. Our long-term goal is to determine whether hormone replacement therapies or manipulation of these systems are effective antidepressant and relapse-preventive treatments. In order to do that, we combine a variety of approaches including behavioral, genetic, pharmacological, cellular/molecular and systems neuroscience techniques. We anticipate that an improved understanding of the underlying neurobiology of reward-associated disorders may lead to earlier interventions and new treatments that will benefit those suffering from these diseases.

Selected publications:  

  1. Georgiou P, Zanos P, Mu TCM, An X, Gerhard DM, Dryanovski DI, Potter LE, Highland JN, Jenne CE, Stewart BW, Pultorak KJ, Yuan P, Powels CF, Lovett J, Pereira EF, Clark SM, Tonelli LH, Moaddel R, Zarate CA, Duman RS, Thompson SM, Gould TD (2022). Experimenters’ sex modulates mouse behaviors, and neural responses to ketamine. Nature Neuroscience. In Press
  2. Georgiou P, Mu TCM, Potter LE, An X, Zanos P, Patton MS, Pultorak KJ, Clark SM, Ngyuyen V, Powels CF, Prokai-Tatrai K, Merchebthaler I, Prokai L, McCarthy MM, Mathur BN, Gould TD. Estradiol mediates stress-susceptibility in the male brain. BioRxiv; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.01.09.475485
  3. Georgiou P, Zanos P, Jenne C, Gould TD (2019). Sex-specific involvement of estrogen receptors in behavioural responses to stress and psychomotor activation. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 10:81.
  4. Georgiou P, Zanos P, Bhat S, Tracy JK, Merchenthaler IJ, McCarthy MM, Gould TD (2018). Dopamine and stress system modulation of sex differences in decision making, Neuropsychopharmacology 1-12.
  5. Georgiou P, Zanos P, Hourani S, Kitchen I, Bailey A (2016). Cocaine abstinence induces emotional impairment and brain region-specific upregulation of the oxytocin receptor binding. European Journal of Neuroscience. 44(7)2446-2454.Georgiou P, Zanos P, Garcia-Carmona JA, Hourani S, Kitchen I, Laorden ML, Bailey A (2016). Methamphetamine abstinence induces changes in µ-opioid receptor, oxytocin and CRF systems: Association with an anxiogenic Neuropharmacology. 105:52032.
  6. Georgiou P, Zanos P, Garcia-Carmona JA, Hourani S, Kitchen I, Kieffer BL, Laorden ML, Bailey A (2015) The oxytocin analogue carbetocin prevents priming-induced reinstatement of morphine-seeking: Involvement of dopaminergic, noradrenergic and MOPr systems. European Neuropsychopharmacol 25(12):1459-64.
  7. Georgiou P, Zanos P, Ehteramyan M, Hourani S, Kitchen I, Maldonado R, Bailey A (2015) Differential regulation of mGlu5R and ΜOPr by priming- and cue-induced reinstatement ofcocaine-seeking behaviour in mice. Addiction Biology. 20(5):902-12.
  8. Zanos P*, Georgiou P*, Wright SR, Hourani S, Kitchen I, Winsky-Sommerer R, Bailey A (2014) The oxytocin analogue carbetocin prevents emotional impairment and stress-induced reinstatement of opioid-seeking in morphine-abstinent mice. 39(4):855-65. *equal contribution.