Toni-Lee Sterley is a postdoctoral associate at the University of Calgary. She completed her doctoral training in the laboratory of Vivienne Russell at the University of Cape Town. Her doctoral thesis used rodent models to investigate the influences of early life stress and genetic predispositions in the development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or depression, specifically looking at roles for glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission in observed behavioral phenotypes.
Sterley went on to join the lab of Jaideep Bains in the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, as a postdoctoral associate. Her postdoctoral research discovered an underlying neurobiology responsible for the transmission of negative affect, or stress, from one individual to another, revealing a critical role for hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone neurons. Sterley now plans to further investigate the neural circuitry and mechanisms involved in social communication of affective states in mice, and will explore what functional differences are responsible for deficits in affective state communication in genetic mouse models of autism spectrum disorder.