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The Lab of Behavioral Neuroendocrinology

About Our Work

Liisa Galea is the Treliving Family Chair in Women's Mental Health at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, ON, CANADA. Liisa Galea is also the Lead of the Women's Health Research Cluster, President of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences and Scientific Lead of womenmind.


The Galea lab is interested in how hormones affect the brain and behavior. As anyone who has gone through puberty, menopause, or pregnancy can attest, hormones have a profound impact on both our bodies and minds.  But did you know that very few studies examine how sex or sex hormones affect the brain?  Our research indicates that only 3% of studies in neuroscience examine a female-only population and only 5% use sex as a meaningful variable in their analyses. For these reasons our lab is dedicated to studying women's brain health as well as examining whether or not sex plays a role in our research. Why is this so important? Read our editorial in BMJ, and op-eds Policy Options, and Toronto Star to find out more. 

Sex differences exist in brain disease, however, research targeting sex and sex hormones as factors in brain health is scarce. Furthermore, women face significant health gaps in treatment and care due, in part, to limited studies on the contribution of their unique physiology. To address these limitations, our research investigates the effects of sex and sex hormones on brain health and the consequences of parity (pregnancy and motherhood) on the brain to alter disease vulnerability and influence treatment. Our research program has been vital in filling key knowledge gaps and our goal is to provide avenues for sex-specific treatment.


To learn more about our research, please head over to the projects section of our website. You can also find a complete list of our publications on Pubmed and Google Scholar

We are located at the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We are also associated with the Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Toronto. Students interested in graduate studies can apply through the Institute of Medical Science or the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Toronto.  We are grateful to our funders past and present--the Treliving Family, womenmind, CIHR, NSERC, Alzheimer's Society of Canada, Brain Canada, Cure for Alzheimer's Fund, Michael Smith Health Research Foundation, and many others.

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Conceptual coherence of research in the Galea Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. Created with

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