Erin Kirschmann, Ph.D.

Erin Kirschmann, Ph.D.
Title: 
Assistant Professor
Office: 
340 Loyola Hall
Phone Extension: 
3291
Email Address: 
ekirschmann@immaculata.edu
Education: 

Ph.D. in Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh

B.A. in  Psychology, Elizabethtown College

Teaching Philosophy: 

My primary goals as an instructor are to give a broad overview of the field of study, highlighting key underlying principles that could extend across disciplines; to promote critical thinking and scientific reasoning skills; and to provide students with the resources necessary to pursue careers that arise from their undergraduate studies. As an educator, I strive to combine the principles of personal mentorship, research-driven analytical thinking, and passion of subject matter to shape the next generation of students.

Biography: 

Dr. Kirschmann is a neuroscientist who enjoys finding the parallels between neuroscience and psychology. Her primary research interests are in understanding adolescence as a unique time period of resilience and vulnerability.

She completed three years of postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Mary Torregrossa in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, where she utilized rodent models to investigate the effects of adolescent cannabinoid use on later cognitive function. Dr. Kirschmann is also interested in ways to improve her own teaching practices in order to promote active learning in her students.

Courses Taught: 
  • PSY 101 Foundations of Psychology
  • PSY 311 Brain and Behavior
  • PSY 313 Experimental Psychology
  • PSY 418 History and Systems of Psychology 
Research Interests: 
  • Adolescence
  • Stress
  • Cannabinoids
  • Cognition
  • Behavioral neuroscience
  • Individual differences
Publications: 
  • Kirschmann EK, McCalley DM, Edwards CM, Torregrossa MM (under review) Cognitive consequences of adolescent exposure to the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 in female rats. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Kirschmann EK, Pollock M, Nagarajan V, Torregrossa MM (2017) Effects of adolescent cannabinoid self-administration in rats on addiction-related behaviors and working memory. Neuropsychopharmacology 42(5): 989-1000 [doi: 10.1038/npp.2016.178]
  • Kirschmann EKZ, Mauna JC, Willis CM, Foster RL, Chipman AM, Thiels E (2014) Appetitive cue-evoked ERK signaling in the nucleus accumbens requires NMDA and D1 dopamine receptor activation and regulates CREB phosphorylation. Learning and Memory 21(11): 606-615
  • Zimmerman EK, Eslinger PJ, Simmons Z, Barrett AM (2007) Emotional perception deficits in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology 20(2): 79-82. 
Presentations: 
  • McCalley DM, Kirschmann EK, Torregrossa MM (2017) Long-term, cognitive consequences of adolescent cannabinoid self-administration in female Sprague-Dawley rats. Presented at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) Research Day, Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh.
  • Kirschmann E, Pollock M, Nagarajan V, Torregrossa MM (2016) Addiction-like and cognitive effects of adolescent cannabinoid self-administration in rats. Oral Presentation at 2016 College on Problems of Drug Dependence conference, Palm Springs, CA.
  • Kirschmann EK, McCalley DM, Torregrossa MM (2016) Effects of age of initiation on cannabinoid self-administration and corresponding cognitive consequences in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Presented at Brain Day, University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute.
  • Kirschmann EK, Pollock MW, Nagarajan V, Torregrossa MM (2016) Effects of cannabinoid exposure during adolescence on cognitive performance and prefrontal GABAergic systems. Presented at 2016 National Institutes of Health Neuroscience Research Summit on Marijuana and Cannabinoids, Bethesda, MD.
  • Kirschmann EK, Pollock M, Nagarajan V, Torregrossa MM (2015) Determining the ontogeny of working memory, and the effects of cannabinoid self-administration, in adolescent rats. Presented at 2015 Society for Neuroscience conference, Chicago, IL. Soc Neurosci 45: 783.09
  • Kirschmann EK, Pollock M, Nagarajan V, Torregrossa MM (2015) Effects of adolescent cannabinoid self-administration on working memory. Presented at Data & Dine, University of Pittsburgh Postdoctoral Association; and WPIC Research Day, Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh.
  • Kirschmann EK, Mauna JC, O’Connor C, Lu J, Donny EC, Sved AF, Thiels E (2014) Early life experience modulates the effects of unpredictable chronic mild stress during adolescence. Presented at 2014 Society for Neuroscience conference, Washington DC, Soc Neurosci 44: 80.02
  • Kirschmann EK, Donny EC, Sved AF, Thiels E (2013) Unpredictable chronic mild stress in adolescent rats causes hyperactivity, decreased anxiety, and risk-seeking tendencies. Presented at 2013 Society for Neuroscience conference and satellite meeting of the Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society, San Diego, CA, Soc Neurosci 43: 292.15
  • Zimmerman EK, Porch N, Parrish JN, Donny EC, Sved A, Thiels E (2012) Effects of unpredictable chronic mild stress in adolescent rats on emotional behavior and hippocampal CREB. Presented at 2012 Society for Neuroscience conference and satellite meeting of the Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society, New Orleans, LA, Soc Neurosci 42: 899.04
  • Zimmerman EK, Mauna JC, Chipman AM, Foster RL, Peet E, Thiels E (2009) CREB phosphorylation in the nucleus accumbens: Mediation by ERK activation. Presented at 2009 Society for Neuroscience conference and satellite meeting of the Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society, Chicago, IL. Soc Neurosci 39: 683.6
  • Zimmerman EK, Mauna JC, Shiflett MW, Chipman AM, Foster RL, Peet E, Thiels E (2008) CREB phosphorylation in the nucleus accumbens: Regulation by NMDA receptors and ERK activation. Presented at 2008 Society for Neuroscience conference and satellite meeting of the Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society, Washington, DC. Soc Neurosci 38: 687.5
  • Zimmerman EK, Eslinger PJ, Grunfeld R, Vesek J, Meadowcroft MD, Wang J, Connor JR, Smith MB, Yang QX (2007) fMRI investigation of central olfactory deficit in early Alzheimer’s disease. Presented at 2007 American Academy of Neurology conference, Boston, MA and 2007 Association for Chemoreception Sciences conference, Sarasota, FL.
  • Zimmerman E, Ruscio J (2005). Is intelligence related to choice of leisure activities? Presented at 2005 Eastern Psychological Association conference, Boston, MA.
  • Zimmerman E, Eslinger PJ, Muniz KJ, Jackson H, Simmons Z, Barrett AM (2004) Emotional perceptual deficit in persons with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Presented at 2004 International Neuropsychological Society conference, Baltimore, MD. 
Professional Memberships: 
  • Psi Chi (2003-2004)
  • Society for Neuroscience (2007-present)
  • Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society (2008-present)
  • Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (2014-present)
  • Women in Bio, Pittsburgh Chapter (2015-2017)
  • College on Problems of Drug Dependence (2016-present)
Awards: 
  • Earl W. Seibert Psychology Scholarship recipient, Elizabethtown College (2000, 2002, 2003)
  • Psi Chi Regional Poster Award, Eastern Psychological Association (2005)
  • T32 Training Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh (2011-2014)
  • Bridgeside Research Forum Best Presentation Award, University of Pittsburgh (2015)
  • UPPDA Data and Dine Poster Presentation Award, University of Pittsburgh (2016)
  • Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic Annual Research Day Outstanding Poster Presentation Award, Postdoctoral Fellows and Doctoral Level Staff (2016)
Dissertation: 

"Effects of Unpredictable Chronic Mild Stress on Adolescent Rats”

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p. 610-647-4400 or call toll-free: 1-877-42 TODAY
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1145 King Road, Immaculata, PA. 19345 p. 610-647-4400 or call toll-free: 1-877-42 TODAY
Federal Compliance Links | Clery | Employment
Immaculata University | Copyright © All Rights Reserved