Haley Vecchiarelli, MSc., PhD
I am an international postdoctoral student (from the United States) working with Dr. Marie-Ève Tremblay at the Division of Medical Sciences in the University of Victoria. Broadly my research interests are to understand how the immune system affects the brain to influence behaviour. My current work looks at how chronic stress influences microglia to produce cognitive deficits. I will investigate this using in-vivo 2-photon imaging, electron microscopy and behavioural analysis.
I earned my PhD in Neuroscience with Dr. Matthew Hill at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (2020). I was a previous MSc student in Dr. Hill’s laboratory (2012-2014), in which I investigated how stress altered cytokine (immune system signalling molecules) levels in brain structures involved in the regulation of stress and anxiety. That work is current in published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity. My PhD project investigated the role of endocannabinoids in the regulation of anxiety and inflammation and is currently under review.
I earned my BA in Neuroscience and Behaviour from Barnard College before working as a technician with Dr. Karen Bulloch’s Neuroimmunology and Inflammation Program, which is affiliated with Dr. Bruce McEwen’s Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at The Rockefeller University in New York City. It was at Rockefeller where I met Dr. Hill and my graduate school journey began. My training in Neuroimmunology and the proximity to a lab that specializes in stress research that led me to realize that I wanted to investigate the interaction between stress and immunology.
I acknowledge that the University of Victoria and the city of Victoria stands on the territory of the Lekwungen peoples and that the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples have relationships to this land. As a descendent of white settlers on Turtle Island, it is important to reiterate the need for land back to its traditional stewards.