Susanne Brummelte

Susanne Brummelte

Associate Professor
Chair, Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Area


313-577-7636 (fax)

Room 8206.1;  5057 Woodward Avenue 

Social media



Susanne Brummelte

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Behavioral neuroscience 

  • Developmental neuroscience and neuropharmacology

  • Neuroendocrinology


My current research focuses on the effects of early adverse life experience on brain development and the subsequent behavioral and neuroanatomical changes in both males and females. I am particularly interested in the consequences of exposure to depression, stress or opioids during pregnancy or the postpartum period and how this affects brain neurochemistry and stress responsivity later in life.

Further, my lab studies the effects of early pain exposure as well as medications such as anti-depressants or medications for opioid use disorder on brain development and the maternal brain and behavior using rats as the animal model of choice. The research addresses important questions on how exposure to early adverse conditions such as pharmacological treatments can influence the mother-infant dyad, maturation of the nervous system and the long-term outcome of the offspring.


  • Dr. rer. nat (~ Ph.D.), Biology, University of Bielefeld, Germany, 2007
  • Diplom (~ M.Sc.), Biology, University of Bielefeld, Germany, 2004

Awards and grants

  • Young Investigator Award of the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE), 2009
  • Young Investigator Award of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology (SBN), 2009
  • Award for Outstanding Achievements by a Postdoctoral Fellow from the Child and Family Research Institute 2012
  • Kucharski Young Investigator Award of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology (ISDP), 2011
  • CLAS Teaching Award, Wayne State University, 2018
  • Member of the Academy of Teachers, WSU, since 2020
  • WSU Career Development Chair Award, 2021
  • CLAS TIDE Award (with Dr. Shanique Brown), 2021
  • President's Award for Excellence in Teaching (WSU), 2022

Selected publications

 Link to all publications: Pubmed

  • Faraj MM, Evanski J, Zundel CG, Peters C, Brummelte S, Lundahl L, Marusak HA. Impact of prenatal cannabis exposure on functional connectivity of the salience network in children. J Neurosci Res. 2023 Jan;101(1):162-171. doi: 10.1002/jnr.25136. Epub 2022 Oct 13. PMID: 36226844
  • Kaki S, DeRosa H, Timmerman B, Brummelte S, Hunter RG, Kentner AC. Developmental Manipulation-Induced Changes in Cognitive Functioning. Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2022 Aug 28. doi: 10.1007/7854_2022_389. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36029460
  • Timmerman BM, Mooney-Leber SM, Brummelte S. The effects of neonatal procedural pain and maternal isolation on hippocampal cell proliferation and reelin concentration in neonatal and adult male and female rats. Dev Psychobiol. 2021 Dec;63(8):e22212. doi: 10.1002/dev.22212. PMID: 34813104
  • Gaulden AD, Burson N, Sadik N, Ghosh I, Khan SJ, Brummelte S, Kallakuri S, Perrine SA. Effects of fentanyl on acute locomotor activity, behavioral sensitization, and contextual reward in female and male rats. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2021 Dec 1;229(Pt A):109101. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.109101. Epub 2021 Sep 24. PMID: 34628096; PMCID: PMC8671359
  • Wallin CM, Bowen SE, Brummelte S. Opioid use during pregnancy can impair maternal behavior and the Maternal Brain Network: A literature review. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2021 Jul-Aug;86:106976. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2021 Apr 1. PMID: 33812002
  • Roberge CL, Wallin CM, Tilson K, Brummelte S. A nutty idea: Exploring a novel method using a hazelnut cocoa spread to temporarily increase maternal care behavior within a rat litter. Dev Psychobiol. 2021 Jul;63(5):1606-1610. doi: 10.1002/dev.22114. Epub 2021 Feb 28. PMID: 33641158
  • Haas GS, Wang W, Saffar M, Mooney-Leber SM, Brummelte S. Probiotic treatment (Bifidobacterium longum subsp. longum 35624™) affects stress responsivity in male rats after chronic corticosterone exposure. Behav Brain Res. 2020 Sep 1;393:112718. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2020.112718. Epub 2020 May 30. PMID: 32485204
  • Mooney-Leber SM, Brummelte S. Neonatal pain and reduced maternal care alter adult behavior and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis reactivity in a sex-specific manner. Dev Psychobiol. 2020 Jul;62(5):631-643. doi: 10.1002/dev.21941. Epub 2019 Dec 1. PMID: 31788799
  • Wallin CM, Bowen SE, Roberge CL, Richardson LM, Brummelte S. Gestational buprenorphine exposure: Effects on pregnancy, development, neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, and behavior in a translational rodent model. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019 Dec 1;205:107625. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.107625. Epub 2019 Oct 17. PMID: 31706250
  • Swain JE, Shaun Ho S, Fox H, Garry D, Brummelte S. (2019): Effects of Opioids on the Parental Brain in Health and Disease. Front Neuroendocrinol. 100766. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2019.100766
  • Kentner AC, Cryan JF, Brummelte S (2019). Resilience Priming: Translational models for understanding resiliency and adaptation to early-life adversity. Developmental Psychobiology.61(3):350-375. doi: 10.1002/dev.21775
  • Kott JM*, Mooney-Leber SM*, Li J, Brummelte S (2018). Elevated stress hormone levels and antidepressant treatment starting before pregnancy affect maternal care and litter characteristics in an animal model of depression. Behav Brain Res, 348:101-114
  • Mooney-Leber SM*, Spielmann SS, Brummelte S (2018). Repetitive neonatal pain and reduced maternal care alter brain neurochemistry. Developmental Psychobiology 60(8): 963-974
  • Brummelte S, Mc Glanaghy E, Bonnin A, Oberlander TF (2017): Developmental changes in serotonin signaling: Implications for early brain function, behavior and adaptation. Neuroscience 342: 212-231
  • Mooney-Leber SM*, Brummelte S (2017): Neonatal pain and reduced maternal care: early life stressors interacting to impact brain and behavioral development of preterm infants. Neuroscience 342:21-36
  • Kott JM, Mooney-Leber SM, Shoubah FA, Brummelte S. (2016): Effectiveness of different corticosterone administration methods to elevate corticosterone serum levels, induce depressive-like behavior and affect neurogenesis levels in female rats. Neuroscience 312:201-14
  • Brummelte S and Galea LAM (2016):. Postpartum depression: etiology, treatment and consequences for maternal care. Hormones and Behavior 77:153-66
  • Brummelte S, Chau CMY, Cepeda IL, Degenhardt A, Weinberg J, Synnes AR, Grunau RE (2015): Cortisol levels in former preterm children at school age are predicted by neonatal procedural pain-related stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology 51C:151-163
  • Grunau RE, Cepeda IL, Chau CMY, Brummelte S, Weinberg J, Lavoie P, Ladd M, Hirschfeld AF, Russel E, Koren G, Van Uum S, Brant R, Turvey SE (2013): Neonatal pain-related stress and NFKBIA genotype are associated with altered cortisol levels in preterm boys at school age. PLoS One 16;8(9):e73926
  • Brummelte S, Galea LAM, Devlin AM and Oberlander TF (2013): Antidepressant Use during Pregnancy and Serotonin Transporter Genotype (SLC6A4) Affect Newborn Serum Reelin Levels. Dev. Psychobiol. 55(5):518-29
  • Brummelte S, Grunau RE, Chau V, Poskitt KJ, Vinall J, Gover A, Synnes AR and Miller SP (2012): Procedural pain and brain development in premature newborns. Annals of Neurology 71(3):385-96
  • Brummelte S, Lieblich SE and Galea LAM (2012): Gestational and postpartum corticosterone exposure to the dam affects behavioral and neuroendocrine outcome of the offspring. Neuropharmacology 62(1):406-18
  • Wong JHK, Brummelte S and Galea LAM (2011): Elevated corticosterone levels during the first postpartum period influences subsequent pregnancy outcome and behavior of the dam. J Neuroendocrinol 23(11):1156-65
  • Brummelte S, Grunau RE, Zaidman-Zait A, Weinberg J, Nordstokke D and Cepeda I (2011): Cortisol levels in relation to maternal interaction and child internalizing behavior in preterm and full term children at 18 months corrected age. Dev Psychobiol 53(2):184-95
  • Brummelte S and Galea LAM (2010): Depression during pregnancy and postpartum: contribution of stress and ovarian hormones. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 34(5):766-76
  • Brummelte S and Galea LAM (2010): Effects of chronic corticosterone during pregnancy and the postpartum period on maternal care, behavioral and neuronal markers of depression in the dam. Horm Behav 58(5):769-79
  • Brummelte S and Galea LAM (2010): Chronic corticosterone reduces neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of adult male and female rats. Neuroscience 168(3):680-90
  • Brummelte S, Neddens J, and Teuchert-Noodt G (2007): Alteration in the GABAergic network of the prefrontal cortex in an animal model of psychosis. J Neural Trans 114(5):539-47
  • Brummelte S, Pawluski JL and Galea LAM (2006): High postpartum levels of corticosterone given to dams influence postnatal hippocampal cell proliferation and behavior of offspring: A model of post-partum stress and possible depression. Horm Behav 50(3):370-82

Book Chapters

  • Barha CK, Barker JM, Brummelte S, Epp JR and Galea LAM: Hormone Regulation of Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Mammalian Brain. In. D. Pfaff et al. (Ed.). Hormones, Brain and Behavior, Edition 2. Academic Press/Elsevier 2009, San Diego, CA. ISBN 0123743826 / 9780123743824
  • Crozier TM, Pawluski JL, Brummelte S and Galea LAM: The Contribution of Reproductive Experience. Gonadal and Peptide hormones on Dendritic Spine Density and Morphology: Possible contribution to function. In F. Columbus (Ed.), Dendritic Spines: Biochemistry, Modeling and Properties. Nova Science Publishers Inc. 2010, Hauppauge, NY. ISBN 978-1-60741-460-5
  • Brummelte S, Craig KD and Oberlander TF: Physiological Indices of Pain Reactivity in Infants and Children. In McGrath et al (Ed.): The Oxford Textbook of Pediatric Pain, Oxford University Press,2013, Oxford, UK. ISBN 978-0-19-964265-6
  • Duarte-Guterman, P., Yagi, S., Epp, J.R., Brummelte, S., Wainwright, S.R., Barha, C.K., Chow, C., Barker, J.M., Galea, L.A.M. Hormone Regulation of Neurogenesis Across the Lifespan. In: Pfaff, D.W and Joëls, M. (Ed.). Hormones, Brain, and Behavior, 3rd edition, Vol 5. Oxford: Academic Press; 2017. pp. 373–410

* indicates graduate or undergraduate student of mine.

Citation index

Courses taught by Susanne Brummelte

Fall Term 2024 (future)

Winter Term 2024

Fall Term 2023

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

Winter Term 2022