Samantha S. Gizerian

Samantha S. Gizerian

Associate Professor; Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education

Dr. Gizerian's Publications


Room: VBR 207
Phone: (509)-335-0986


Current Positions

2011-Present Undergraduate Neuroscience Program Advisor, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
2011-Present Clinical Assistant Professor, IPN/CVM, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
2014-Present Associate Director for Undergraduate Studies in Neuroscience, Washington State University, Pullman WA
2015-Present Director, CVM Summer Undergraduate Research Experience in Biomedicine


Brain development is a complex and prolonged process that is not complete until adulthood in most mammals, including humans, and therefore the events that may contribute to altered functional outcome are as varied as the human experience and may occur at any time between gestation and adulthood.  The goal of my research is to look at discrete changes in the environment (both internal and external) during brain development and evaluate their relevance to altered structural and functional outcome, such as in mental illness, autism, or developmental delay.  In particular, our lab focuses on schizophrenia, which, although long considered a developmental disorder, is usually diagnosed in younger adults.  Our lab utilizes a rodent model to investigate the purported link between of early life stress and later diagnosis with schizophrenia.

Science is a part of every moment of modern life, yet the majority of adults have very little understanding of how science shapes the world they live in, or how technology protects and provides for them.  Despite society’s increasing reliance on science and technology, misperceptions about scientists and the practice of science, decreased emphasis on science education at all levels, and the idea that science is “hard” have all contributed to a marked contrast in science literacy between scientists and laypersons. I am also interested in exploring questions of public science literacy, through education, outreach, and better communication by scientists.

Biographical Information

Samantha S. Gizerian, Clinical Assistant Professor, earned a B.S. degree in Biology from California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1999, and a Ph.D. degree in Neurobiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005.  She then moved to a faculty position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Science and Health at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, CA.  In 2011 she became a faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University as well as the advisor for all neuroscience undergraduates.

Honors and Awards

2016-2017  WSU Community Engagement Faculty fellow (inaugural class)
2016  NACADA Outstanding Faculty Advisor (Global Association)
2016  ASWSU Academic Advisor of the Year
2015  NACADA Region 8 Outstanding Faculty Advisor (Pacific Northwest Region)
2015  WSU ACADA Outstanding Faculty Advisor

2015  Excellence in Support of Undergraduate Research Award
2014  Selected as a Member of the WSU Teaching Academy
2014  Selected as a Fellow of the West Region Teaching Academy of the Consortium of West Region Colleges of Veterinary Medicine