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Alumni in the News: Jill Becker, Area Chair, Professor, Biopsychology


Neuroscience Program alumna, Jill Becker is being honored at the upcoming 30th Anniversary Annual Awards Dinner for the Society for Women's Health Research (SWHR). She received her PhD at the Urbana-Champaign campus while working with Victor Rameriz in the early stages of the Neuroscience Program when it was known as “Neural & Behavioral Biology”. Her research focused then on the effects of estrogens in the brain. Her dissertation, “Sex Differences in Catecholamine Release from Brain Tissue in vitro” was presented before her committee, Victor Ramirez, Gary Jackson, William Greenough, Edward Roy, Martha Gillete, and Sue Carter-Porges, many of whom take credit for the strong foundation of today’s neuroscience program.

Today, Dr. Becker is the Biopsychology Area Chair, the Patricia Y. Gurin Collegiate Professor of Psychology, and Senior Research Professor in the Michigan Neuroscience Institute at the University of Michigan. She continues to research how sex and gender differences and ovarian hormones influence the brain and behavior, with a specific focus on drug addiction and motivation. Dr.Becker chaired the SWHR’s Interdisciplinary Network on Sex, Gender, Drugs, and the Brain and was also senior editor for the Network’s groundbreaking book, “Sex Differences in the the Brain: From Genes to Behavior”.

Dr. Becker is committed to the advancement of women in neuroscience and has been honored by the Society for Neuroscience and the University of Michigan for these efforts. She received her BA and MA in human development from the University of Kansas and her PhD in neuroscience from the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign.

Society for Women's Health Research