Lambert: "These studies will allow our students to add a more precise assessment
of genetic contributions to the behaviors
we're observing in the laboratory with our rodent models."
Randolph-Macon College neuroscience students and faculty will soon have access to
new high-tech equipment.
The University of Richmond has been awarded a grant of $646,168 under the National
Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation program. The grant was awarded
in response to an application submitted by Craig Kinsley, MacEldin-Trawick Professor
of Neuroscience at the University of Richmond (principal investigator), and Kelly
Lambert, the Macon and Joan Brock Professor in Psychology at Randolph-Macon College
“The NSF-MRI program is designed to increase access to shared scientific and engineering
instruments for research and research training in institutions of higher education
and other science facilities,” explains Lambert.
“This is an excellent opportunity for neuroscience faculty and students to have
access to state-of-the-art equipment,” says Lambert, who serves as the chair of
R-MC’s psychology department. “The equipment
will be used to improve the quality and expand the scope of scientific research
and research training.” The equipment will be housed at the University of Richmond.
Kinsley and Lambert’s proposal, “Acquisition of Apparatus to Study the ‘Expression’
of the Parental Brain,” reflects several collaborations involving faculty and students
at Randolph-Macon College, the University of Richmond, Longwood University, Marshall
University, Rhodes College, Virginia Union University, and the University of Sao
The collaborators are involved in studying changes in the neural structures of lower
mammals. According to the proposal, “The requested inverted microscope and related
neuroscience instruments will help faculty and students focus on detailed genetic
expression questions using precise neuronal protein and histological techniques.”
“These studies will allow our students to add a more precise assessment of genetic
contributions to the behaviors we’re observing in the laboratory with our rodent
models. Currently, we are determining the connections among the brain, environment
and behavior—and with this new sophisticated equipment we will be able to investigate
the role of genetic expression in behaviors such as the onset of parental behavior
or chronic stress, ” says Lambert.
Lambert is the author of
The Lab Rat Chronicles: A Neuroscientist Reveals Life Lessons from the Planet’s
Most Successful Mammals (Perigee Penguin, 2011). In the book, Lambert
delves into the lives of rats and emerges with clues to model human behavior. A
substantial part of the book is about the research that Lambert’s students have
conducted at R-MC. The book has received national media coverage, including the
Washington Post, Ladies’ Home Journal,
Scientific American Mind and National Geographic Radio.
Lambert earned her bachelor’s degree from Samford University and her master’s and
Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. She joined the faculty at R-MC 1989 and is
co-director of the Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship
(SURF) program. In 2007, she was awarded the Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished
Professor Award and in 2008 she was named Virginia
Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of
Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). She is
the past-president of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (2009-2011)
and is the author of Lifting Depression:
A Neuroscientist’s Hands-On Approach to Activating Your Brain’s Healing Power
(Basic Books, 2008). In addition, the second edition of Clinical Neuroscience: Psychopathology
and the Brain (Oxford University Press, 2010), which Lambert co-wrote with
Craig Kinsley, was recently released.