Alexa Veenema

Alexa H. Veenema


Associate Professor
Department of Psychology & Neuroscience



Dr. Veenema is Associate Professor in Behavioral Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience Program at Michigan State University. She studied Biology (specialization in Neuroscience) at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. In 2003, she received her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands with Dr. Jaap M. Koolhaas and Dr. E. Ron de Kloet as her advisors. She did her post-doctorates in the lab of Dr. Inga D. Neumann at the University of Regensburg in Germany and in the lab of Prof. Geert de Vries at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Boston College from 2010-2016 before moving to Michigan State University. Alexa’s research examines the neural basis of social behavior (social play, social recognition, social novelty, social reward) and how sex, age, and early life stress modulate social behavior. She is using rats to explore the underlying brain neuropeptide systems. Her research will shed light on normal and abnormal human social functioning as observed in autism spectrum disorder, borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and schizophrenia. During her PhD, Alexa was supported by a stipend from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)  She received two postdoctoral stipends from the Bavarian Research Foundation (Bayerische Forschungsstiftung) and an international research fellowship from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), and was awarded the NARSAD 2010 Young Investigator Grant from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation and the NSF Career Award in 2013. Her lab is currently funded by NSF and NIMH. 

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