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Department Faculty

Randy J. Nelson

Dr. Nelson is a Distinguished Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at The Ohio State University. He is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and a member of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at The Ohio State University School of Medicine. He also serves as co-director for the Neuroscience Graduate Studies Program.

AB degree in Psychology in 1978 at the University of California at Berkeley. He began his graduate career at Berkeley with work on canine behavioral sex differentiation with Dr. Frank Beach. After receiving his MA in Psychology in 1980, he began focusing on circadian rhythms and photoperiodism with Dr. Irving Zucker. He earned a PhD in Psychology in 1983, as well as a second PhD in Endocrinology in 1984 from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Nelson then went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in reproductive physiology with Drs. Frank Bronson and Claude Desjardins at the Institute for Reproductive Biology at the University of Texas, Austin from 1984-1986.

Served on the faculty at The Johns Hopkins University from 1986 until 2000 where he was Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He joined the faculty at OSU in the fall of 2000. Dr. Nelson has published over 200 research articles and several books describing studies in seasonality, behavioral endocrinology, biological rhythms, immune function, sex behavior, and aggressive behaviors.

Selected Publications

Bedrosian, T.A., Weil, Z.M. & Nelson, R.J. 2013. TNF╬▒ is implicated in a reversible depression-like phenotype provoked by chronic dim light at night. Molecular Psychiatry, 18: 930-936.

Bedrosian, T.A., Vaughn, C.A., Galan, A., Daye, Ghassan, Weil, Z.M., & Nelson, R.J. 2013. Night-time light exposure impairs mood in a wavelength-dependent manner. Journal of Neuroscience, 33: 13081-13087.

Fonken, L.K., Xu, X., Weil, Z.M., Chen, G., Sun, Q. Rajagopalan, S., & Nelson, R.J., 2011. Air pollution impairs cognition, provokes depressive-like behaviors and alters hippocampal cytokine expression and morphology. Molecular Psychiatry, 16:987-995.

Bedrosian, T.A., Herring, K.L., Weil, Z.M., & Nelson, R.J. 2011. Altered temporal patterns of anxiety in aged and amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108:11686-11691.

Fonken, L.K., Workman, J.L., Walton, J.C., Weil, Z.M., Morris, J.S., Haim, A., & Nelson, R.J. 2010. Light at night increases body mass by shifting the time of food intake. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107:18664-18669.

Weil, Z.M., Norman, G.J., DeVries, A.C., Berntson, G.G & Nelson, R.J. 2009. Photoperiod alters autonomic regulation of the heart. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106:4525-4530.

Weil, Z.M., Norman, G.J., Barker, J.M., Su, A.J., Nelson, R.J. & DeVries, A.C. 2008. Social isolation potentiates cell death and inflammatory responses after global ischemia. Molecular Psychiatry, 13:913-917.

Nelson, R.J. & Trainor. B.C. 2007. Neural mechanisms of aggression. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 8:536-546.


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