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Leora Yetnikoff

Assistant Professor

Leora Yetnikoff earned her BA in Psychology from Concordia University in 2005, her MSc in Psychiatry from McGill University in 2007, and her PhD in Neuroscience from McGill University in 2012. The questions investigated in the Yetnikoff Lab focus on how neural and glial systems work in tandem to modulate brain function, plasticity and behavior. More specifically, we are interested in how the midbrain dopamine system interacts with oligodendrocyte lineage cells to regulate myelination in response to different experiential events and at different stages of the lifespan, including adolescence. This work has important implications for understanding normal brain function as well as neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, such as schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis, respectively.

Lab Website:


PhD (Neuroscience), McGill University

MSc (Psychiatry), McGill University

BA (Psychology, Honors), Concordia University

Scholarship and Publications

Eskenazi D, Malave L, Mingote S, Yetnikoff L, Ztaou S, Velicu V, Rayport S & Chuhma N (2021). Dopamine neurons that cotransmit glutamate, from synapses to circuits to behavior. Front Neural Circuits 15: 665386.

Reynolds LM, Yetnikoff L, Pokinko M, Wodzinski M, Epelbaum JG, Lambert LC, Cossette M-P, Arvanitogiannis A & Flores C (2019). Early adolescence is a critical period for the maturation of inhibitory behavior. Cerebral Cortex 29: 3676-3686.

Chuhma N, Mingote S, Yetnikoff L, Kalmbach A, Ma T, Ztaou S, Siena A-C, Tepler S, Poulin J-F, Ansorge M, Awatramani R, Kang UJ & Rayport S (2018). Substantia nigra dopamine neurons evoke a delayed excitation in lateral dorsal striatal cholinergic interneurons via glutamate cotransmission. eLife, e39786.

Chuhma N, Mingote S, Kalmbach A, Yetnikoff L, & Rayport S (2017). Heterogeneity in dopamine neuron synaptic connections across the striatum and its relevance for schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry, 81: 43-51.

Yetnikoff L, Cheng A, Lavezzi HN, Parsely KP, & Zahm DS (2015). Sources of input to the rostromedial tegmental nucleus, ventral tegmental area and lateral habenula compared: a study in rat. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 523: 2426-2456.

Yetnikoff L, Lavezzi HN, Reichard RA, & Zahm DS (2014). An update on the connections of the ventral mesencephalic dopaminergic complex. Neuroscience, 282C: 23-48.

Yetnikoff L, Pokinko M, Arvanitogiannis A, & Flores C (2014). Adolescence: a time of transition for the phenotype of dcc heterozygous mice. Psychopharmacology, 231: 1705-1714.

Yetnikoff L, Reichard RA, Schwartz ZM, Parsely KP, & Zahm DS (2014). Protracted maturation of forebrain afferent connections of the ventral tegmental area in the rat. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 522: 1031-1047.

Yetnikoff L, & Arvanitogiannis A (2013). Differential sensitivity to the acute and sensitizing behavioral effects of methylphenidate as a function of strain in adolescent and young adult rats. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 9: 38.

Yetnikoff L, Almey A, Arvanitogiannis A, & Flores, C (2011). Abolition of the behavioral phenotype of adult netrin-1 receptor deficient mice by exposure to amphetamine during the juvenile period. Psychopharmacology, 217, 505-514.

Yetnikoff L, Eng C, Benning S, & Flores C (2010). Netrin-1 receptor in the ventral tegmental area is required for sensitization to amphetamine. European Journal of Neuroscience, 31, 1292-1302.

Yetnikoff L, Labelle-Dumais C, & Flores C (2007). Regulation of netrin-1 receptors by amphetamine in the adult brain. Neuroscience, 150, 764-773.

Yetnikoff L, & Arvanitogiannis A (2005). A role for affect in context specific sensitization to amphetamine. Behavioral Neuroscience, 119, 1678-81.

Contact Information

Office: Building 4S Room 205
Fax: 718.982.4114