UB Psychologist Hull Wins Coveted Research Award

Will expand studies of neurotransmitters and male sexual response

By Lois Baker

Release Date: September 8, 2000

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Elaine M. Hull, Ph.D., professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University at Buffalo, has received a $602,759 Independent Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), an arm of the National Institutes of Health.

The five-year grant will allow Hull to expand her research of hormone and neurotransmitter interactions in the brain.

The Independent Scientist Award is given to highly regarded scientists in their early-to-mid careers who hold independent peer-reviewed research support. Recipients are eligible to reapply for one additional 5-year grant. Hull concurrently holds a $1,102,150 research grant from NIMH.

Hull has been investigating neural control of sexual behavior, using the rat as an animal model, for nearly two decades and has published widely in this field. She has focused primarily on the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin and, among other findings, has located brain sites in which the former stimulates and the later inhibits male sexual response.

She will continue to concentrate on a region of the brain called the medial preoptic area, which is essential for male copulation in all vertebrate species. Her goal is to clarify how gonadal hormones influence neurotransmitter release in this key site.

Hull is a resident of Clarence.