Tamara Hershey

James S McDonnell Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience, Division Director - Translational Neuroscience, Professor of Neurology, Adjunct Professor, Professor of Radiology

    Willing to Mentor

    Available to Mentor:

    Health Professions (Medical, OT, PT, Dental, Audiology, etc.) Students, PhD/MSTP Students, Post-Baccalaureate Students, Postdocs, Residents and Fellows, Undergraduate Students

    • 9221
    1991 …2024

    Research activity per year

    Personal profile

    Research interests

    My interests fall within the domain of clinical and cognitive neuroscience. I have two major lines of research. One addresses the neural underpinnings of cognitive and mood dysfunction in diseases relevant to dopamine and the basal ganglia-thalamocortical pathways such as Parkinson disease, Tourette syndrome and essential tremor. The other addresses the effects of type 1 and type 2 diabetes on brain structure and function, particularly during development. Results from both lines of research have clinical and theoretical implications.


    My mentoring relationships evolve as each trainee develops ownership of their science, skills and career. At the beginning, my input can be more active in terms of building that sense of ownership and shaping critical thinking and scientific development. As trainees dig deeper into their work and develop expertise, my input may become more conceptual and forward thinking. However, I am always available to help solve any problems that may interfere with their development as scientists and well-rounded individuals. To ensure that these relationships are healthy and useful, I am explicit in explaining my expectations, resources, opinions vs facts, and I encourage trainees to regularly consult with others. I reserve 1 hr / week to meet with each trainee through the entire course of the mentoring relationship. The agenda of these meetings is set by the trainees. Although we always discuss progress on projects and their program, we also discuss career development, academia generally, personal difficulties and fun things we did over the weekend. Through these regular open-ended discussions, we build trust and solve problems together. I try to be the best advocate that I can be for all my trainees, postdocs, faculty, staff and students by supporting their growth towards their own goals. In addition, I regularly attend structured learning experiences on best practices in mentoring.

    Commitment to Diversity: I am committed to diversifying academia and ensuring fairness in policies and practices. I have long fought for improvements in our local environment for women and underrepresented minorities through University wide committees (Pay Equity and Women Faculty committees) and in leadership roles (e.g. President of the Academic Women's Network). I participate as a mentor in several undergraduate research training programs that focus on underrepresented group in academia (e.g. ENDURE, MARC u-STAR) and attend structured learning experiences (diversity training, mentoring diverse students, diversity book clubs) in order to educate myself in these areas. 

    Available to Mentor:

    • Undergraduate Students
    • Post-Baccalaureate Students
    • PhD/MSTP Students
    • Health Professions Students
    • Postdocs
    • Residents and Fellows


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