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Christie L. Sahley

Assistant Dean, School of Science; Professor
Ph.D., Kentucky, 1978

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My research focuses on associative learning, the way in which casual relationships are extracted from the environment and allow animals to modify their behavior on the basis of learned associations between cues and consequences. My lab uses a combination of behavioral, cellular, pharmacological, anatomical, biophysical, and modeling techniques to investigate the mechanism of the associative process. The major portion of my research is done using the leech. We have extended our research to the recovery of behavior and behavioral plasticity following traumatic injury. The leech affords an opportunity for close study of regeneration mechanisms that successfully lead to functional recovery of learning ability. An understanding of these mechanisms could have important clinical relevance.

In my leadership role in the School of Science, I work closely with Science Counseling on a number of student issues, such as graduation requirements, credit transfers, readmissions, and change of degree objectives. I also work directly with the counselors in International Studies programs, and am the contact person for students entering the freshman Honors Program. I am involved in numerous committees, including the Faculty Council, Recruitment, Special Cases for the School of Science, TRAX Advisory Board, and Study Abroad/IASTE. I am also the Faculty Representative to Purdue University Big Ten Athletics and a member of the Athletic Affairs Committee. Working toward the recruitment and retention of women in the sciences, I am also actively involved in the Women in Science Program.