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Principal Investigator

Rosie Brown staff photo Dr Rosie Brown

Tel +64 3 479 8207
Fax 64 3 479 7323
Department of Physiology website

Research interests

I am interested in how the changing hormones of pregnancy and lactation act on neural circuitry in the maternal brain to influence behaviour. In particular, I focus on maternal behaviour, a complex set of behaviours displayed by a mother that promote the survival and wellbeing of her offspring. Our work aims to understand how hormones normally act to direct a mother's behaviour and how these processes may become disrupted.
At the Centre for Neuroendocrinology, I use transgenic mouse models to address the impact of specific neuroendocrine disruptions on maternal behaviour using behavioural assays. We investigate hormonal actions on neural circuitry underlying parental behaviour using a range of molecular, immunohistochemical and imaging approaches.
I am also interested in how changes in the ability of hormones to access the brain in different physiological or pathological states might underlie changes in hormone function.

Clinical conditions

  • Postpartum depression
  • Postpartum anxiety
  • Maternal obesity

Rosie Brown Laboratory staff & students

Isaiah Cheong_webIsaiah Cheong, Assistant Research Fellow
Neuroendocrine regulation of maternal behaviour

Jenny Clarkson_webJenny Clarkson, Research Fellow
Neural circuits required for maternal adaptation to pregnancy

Jamie McQuillan_webJamie McQuillan, Postdoctoral Fellow

Tapasya Pal webTapasya Pal, Postdoctoral Fellow

Michael Perkinson_webMichael Perkinson, Postdoctoral Fellow

Logan Wragg, MSc student

Nikkita Murray, Honours student

Visit Our people for an alphabetical list of all Centre for Neuroendocrinology staff.

Research Funders


Menezes, F., Wasinski, F., de Souza, G. O., Nunes, A. P., Bernandes, E. S., dos Santos, S. N., … Brown, R. S. E., … Donato, J., Jr (2024). The pattern of growth hormone action in the mouse brain. Endocrinology, bqae057. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1210/endocr/bqae057 Journal - Research Article

Khant Aung, Z., Ladyman, S. R., & Brown, R. S. E. (2024). Transient loss of satiety effects of leptin in middle-aged male mice. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.13386 Journal - Research Article

Perkinson, M. R., Deng, F., Li, Y., Brown, R. S. E., & Lonstein, J. S. (2023). Fiber photometric analysis of nucleus accumbens serotonin release during the display of maternal behavior in female mice. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting. PSTR352.13/HH28. Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Brown, R. S. E., Jacobs, I. M., Khant Aung, Z., Knowles, P. J., Grattan, D. R., & Ladyman, S. R. (2023). High fat diet-induced maternal obesity in mice impairs peripartum maternal behaviour. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.13350 Journal - Research Article

Cheong, I., Clarkson, J., & Brown, R. S. E. (2023, August). Dynamic changes in hormone receptor expressionin galanin neurons in the MPOA of pregnant and lactating female mice. Poster session presented at the 17th New Zealand Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand. Conference Contribution - Poster Presentation (not in published proceedings)

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