Dr. Kiran Soma receives James McKeen Cattell Fellowship

Dr. Kiran Soma (centre) with members of his research team.

Dr. Kiran Soma, a professor and neuroscientist in the Department of Psychology, was awarded a 2017-18 James McKeen Cattell Fellowship. This annual fellowship awards recipients with a longer sabbatical period, allowing researchers to extend their one semester research period to a full year.

Dr. Soma’s research examines the effects of steroids on behaviour, the brain, and the immune system, particularly steroids that are locally synthesized within the brain and immune system. With an extended sabbatical, Soma will be able to accelerate his current projects, which focus on the behavioural effects of steroids.

The Soma Lab’s tandem mass spectrometer

Soma plans to expand his expertise in steroid profiling through mass spectrometry, an emerging and high-impact analytical approach in the area of behavioural neuroscience. His mass spectrometer was purchased using funds from CFI and BCKDF.

“Traditionally, neuroscientists and endocrinologists have focused on systemic steroid signals in the blood, but more recent studies suggest that this is only the tip of the iceberg, with much of the regulation occurring locally within the tissues themselves.” says Soma. His sabbatical research will interrogate this insight, directing attention to the different suites of steroids and their presence in blood versus tissues. More

James McKeen Cattell Fellowships are awarded annually to North American university faculty committed to developing scientific research in psychology and its applications to improving human welfare by the Association of Psychological Science (APS).

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Soma on receiving this fellowship!