Being a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.
Neurobiological and neuropharmacological mechanisms of drug effects in animal models.
Biography / Academic Background
I received my PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Calgary (Calgary, Alberta) in 2006 followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Baylor College of Medicine (Department of Neuroscience) (Houston, Texas). I joined the Department of Psychology at Laurier in 2008.
Research Interests / Ongoing Projects
My research focuses on 2 aspects of recreational psychoactive drug use. 1) Trends in undergraduate student alcohol and drug use, relationships between alcohol and drug use and academic outcomes, the reasons underpinning recreational alcohol and drug use by students, and harmful outcomes associated with excessive alcohol and drug use. 2) Neurobiological and neuropharmacological mechanisms mediating the effects of recreational psychoactive drugs using animal models.
Awards and Achievements
Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Award for Excellence in Teaching (2011).
Student Opportunities / Supervising
Research opportunities are available for interested undergraduate and graduate students. Please contact me for more information.
Gmaz, J.M. & McKay, B.E. (2014). “Toluene decreases Purkinje cell output by enhancing inhibitory synaptic transmission in the cerebellar cortex”. Neuroscience Letters, 560: 1-6.
*Samuel-Herter, S.R, *Slaght, S.L. & McKay, B.E. (2014) “Age-dependent time courses of recovery for motor functions following acute toluene intoxication in rats”. (* shared first authorship). Developmental Psychobiology, 56(4): 657-673.
Gmaz, J.M., Yang, L., Ahrari, A., and McKay, B.E. (2012). “Binge inhalation of toluene vapor produces dissociable motor and cognitive dysfunction in water maze tasks”. Behavioural Pharmacology, 23(7): 669-677.
Gmaz, J.M., Matthews, B.A. and McKay, B.E. (2012). “Toluene inhalation modulates dentate gyrus granule cell output in vivo”. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 34(4): 403-412.
Perit, K.E., Gmaz, J.M., Browne, J.D.C., Matthews, B.A., Dunn, M.B.F., Yang, L., Raaphorst, T., Mallet, P.E. and McKay, B.E. (2012). “Distribution of c-Fos immunoreactivity in the rat brain following abuse-like toluene vapor inhalation”. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 34(1): 37-46.