Samuel Millard: Postdoctoral Fellow

In 2015 Sam graduated from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Medical and Health Sciences, and honours in neuroscience. In his final year of undergraduate studies Sam completed an honours project under the supervision of Associate Professor Kelly A. Newell and Dr. Francesca Fernandez at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI). During this time Sam investigated how the use of antidepressants, specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy influences specific behaviours of exposed offspring.

In 2016 Sam began a PhD continuing his work with Associate Professor Kelly A. Newell at IHMRI. Here he developed a model of maternal depression and SSRI treatment and explored how these two factors influence the neurodevelopment and neurobiology of offspring. Using this model Sam was able to show that maternal Fluoxetine treatment reduces key glutamatergic receptor subunits and synaptic scaffolding proteins in the prefrontal cortex and ventral hippocampus of exposed offspring. He further demonstrated an association between reductions in these markers and anxiety- and depressive-like behaviours exhibited by the same offspring (Millard et al., 2019, Millard et al., 2020).

Throughout his doctoral research Sam has developed a strong interest in behavioural neuroscience, with a specific emphasis on how neurodevelopmental insults might contribute to psychiatric and behavioural disorders in later life. Sam is currently a postdoc at UCLA, where he is exploring the cognitive deficits accompanying psychiatric disorders using rodent models.

In his spare time Sam enjoys surfing, swimming and getting outdoors.

Twitter: @_sjmillard

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