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Rosie Brown Laboratory

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

Alice Biggs, B Biomed Sci student

Matthew Adye, B Biomed Sci student

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Swart, J. M., Grattan, D. R., Ladyman, S. R., & Brown, R. S. E. (2022). Pups and prolactin are rewarding to virgin female and pregnant mice. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, e13232. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.13232

Khant Aung, Z., Masih, R. R., Desroziers, E., Campbell, R. E., & Brown, R. S. E. (2022). Enhanced pup retrieval behaviour in a mouse model of polycystic ovary syndrome. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.13206

Smiley, K. O., Brown, R. S. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2022). Prolactin action is necessary for parental behavior in male mice. Journal of Neuroscience. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.0558-22.2022

Georgescu, T., Khant Aung, Z., Grattan, D. R., & Brown, R. S. E. (2022). Prolactin-mediated restraint of maternal aggression in lactation. PNAS, 119(6), e2116972119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2116972119

Swart, J. M., Grattan, D. R., Ladyman, S. R., & Brown, R. S. E. (2021). Changes in maternal motivation across reproductive states in mice: A role for prolactin receptor activation on GABA neurons. Hormones & Behavior, 135, 105041. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2021.105041