Department of
Psychology

Deirtra Ann Hunter-Romagnoli

Assistant Professor of Psychology,
Biopsychology, and Behavioral
Neuroscience
Neuroscience Minor Coordinator

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After earning a B.A. in Chemistry and Psychology, Dr. Hunter-Romagnoli taught high school science for eight years in the New York City public schools. During this time, she earned a Master’s degree in Science Education. She returned to academia to pursue a long standing passion in the field of Biopsychology.  After receiving a Ph.D. in Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience, she accepted a post-doctoral research position in the Department of Developmental Neuroscience at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University Medical Center, where she continues to be engaged in an ongoing collaborative research project.  This research is focused on developmental differences in pain transmission and processing. She was recently appointed a Visiting Professor of Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

At Marymount Manhattan College, she teaches Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Neuroscience, Behavioral Neuroscience, Drugs and the Brain, Honors Drugs and the Brain, Cultural and Ethnic Perspectives in Psychology, and Perception. She serves as the Coordinator of the Neuroscience minor and is looking forward to working with interested undergraduate students in the new psychophysiological music lab.

Title/Position

Assistant Professor of Psychology,
Biopsychology, and Behavioral
Neuroscience
Neuroscience Minor Coordinator

Department

Psychology

Email

dhunter@mmm.edu

Phone/Ext

212-774-0777

Degree(s)

Doctor of Philosophy, Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience

Graduate Center, City University of New York                                                    

Master of Arts, Psychology

Graduate Center, City University of New York

Master of Arts, Science Education

New York University, New York

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, minor in Chemistry

Hunter College, City University of New York     

Recent Work

Student Opportunities and Work in Neuroscience

“Student Research and Scholarship Opportunities in Neuroscience” (2015)

“Student Research and Scholarship Opportunities in Neuroscience” (2014)

“Student Work: Honor’s Drugs and the Brain”

 

Publications

Shivers KY, Amador N, Abrams L, Hunter D, Jenab S., Quinones-Jenab, V., (2015) Estrogen alters baseline and inflammatory induced cytokine levels independent form hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis activity. Cytokine; April 2015 Vol 2 (2).

Hunter D, Chai C and Barr, G.A., (2014) “Effects of COX Inhibition and LPS on formalin induced Pain in the Infant.”  Developmental Neurobiology September 10, In Press.

Barr G.A. and Hunter D., (2014) “Interactions between glia, the immune system and pain processes during early development.” Developmental Psychobiology June 9, In press.

Hunter D, Barr GA, Shivers KY, Amador N,  Jenab S, Inturrisi CE,  Quinones-Jenab V., (2011) “Interactions of estradiol and NSAIDs on carrageenan-induced hyperalgesia.”  Brain Research: 2011 March 25;1382:181-8.

Hunter D, Barr GA, Amador N, Shivers KY, Kemen L, Kreiter CM, Jenab S, Inturrisi CE,  Quinones-Jenab V., (2011) “Estradiol’s antihyperalgesic responses on formalin-induced nociception are partly mediated through COX-2 activation but independent of HPA activation.”  Synapse. 2011 Jul;65 (7):643-51.

Kuba T., Hunter D., Zhou L., Jenab S., Quinones-Jenab, V., (2010) “Acute and chronic estradiol replacements differentially alter corticosterone and COX-mediated responses to an inflammatory stimulus in female rats. Ethnicity and Diseases. 2010 Winter 20 (1 Suppl 1):S1-50-4

Kuba T., Hunter D., Zhou L., Jenab S., Quinones-Jenab, V., (2010) “Endogenous Gonadal Hormones Regulate Females’ Behavioral Responses to formalin through Prostaglandin E2 Release. Ethnicity and Disease 2010 Winter 20 (1 Suppl 1):S1-55-9.

Hunter, D.,Woods, B., Tanizaki, N., Cheng, J., Wang, S., and Barr, G. (2009) “Nociception and the immune system in infant rats .”  Pain Practice (World Institute of Pain) Vol. 9 Supplement 1., March 2009.

Wu, KHB, Niyomchai, T., Minerly, A.C.,Weierstall, K., Hunter, D., Weilun S., Weiner, J., Jenab, S. and Quinones-Jenab, V., (2008) “Effects of RU-486 and Tamoxifen on Cocaine- Induced Behavioral and Endocrine Activations in Male and Female Fischer Rats.”   The Journal of Ethnicity and Diseases. 2008 Spring18 (2 Suppl 2): S2-81-6.

Amador, N.J., Shivers, K., Hunter, D., Jenab, S.,Quinones-Jenab, V. (2007) “Estrous cycle effects on behavioral and physiological responses to formalin-induced inflammatory pain.” NIDA Monographs, 2007.

Hunter D., Kuba T., Amador N., Shivers. K, Jenab S., Quinones-Jenab, V., (2006) “Estradiol’s effect on inflammatory induced pain is in part mediated through activation of COX biosynthesis of prostaglandin E2.”  NIDA Monographs, 2006

Kuba T., Hunter D., Jenab, S., Quinones-Jenab, V., (2005) “Estradiol alters COX-1 and COX-2 activities in the lumbrosacral region of the spinal cord of OVX female rats.”  NIDA monographs, 2006. 

Book

“A YOUNG MOTHER’S D.R.E.A.M I DEFY the Odds,” January 2012

Contributed one of six stories comprising this non fiction anthology. Accepted for publication. 

Research

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE:

Principal Investigator: MMC Music, Mind and Brain Lab

2014-present

Research focuses on elucidating connections between music, emotions and the brain  with a special emphasis on the therapeutic advantages of music therapy.

Visiting Professor of Neuroscience

2013-present

Research focuses on identifying molecular mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and drug addiction. Department of Neuroscience, Laboratory of Neuroplasticity, Icahn Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Lab Head: Scott Russo.

Research Postdoctoral Fellow  2007-2010

Research focused on examining and identifying specific biomechanistic developmental differences in the role that the immune system plays in nociceptive processing in infant and adult rodents.  Department of Developmental Neuroscience, Laboratory of Developmental Nociception and Analgesia, New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University Medical Center, N.Y. and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Lab Head: Gordon Barr.

Graduate Research Associate  2004-2007 

Graduate thesis: The Role of COX-1 and COX-2 on Estradiol’s Anti-hyperalgesic Effects on Inflammatory Induced Nociceptive Responses

This research examined the role of estradiol and its specific role in anti-hyperalgesic mechanisms in inflammatory pain. Clinical and preclinical studies have demonstrated significant sex differences in the perception of chronic and inflammatory pain; in rodent studies females display higher nociceptive responses to inflammatory stimuli than male rats.  Preliminary work from the lab revealed that in female rats, estradiol produced a persistent analgesic effect on inflammatory-induced pain. These findings formed the basis for the overriding hypothesis for my dissertation proposal: Estradiol’s anti- hyperalgesic effects on inflammation induced pain are in part mediated through corticosterone regulation of the prostanoid biosynthetic pathway.  This dissertation aimed to dissect mechanistically, the biochemical pathway that estradiol operates through to contribute to inflammatory responses in females.  Department of Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience.  Laboratory of Molecular Neuroendocrinology and Behavior, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, N.Y.  Lab Head: Vanya Quinones-Jenab, Ph.D.

Graduate Research Assistant  2004

Examined fundamental physiological differences in underlying NMDA mechanisms that regulate morphine tolerance in infant rats compared to adult rats.  Department of Biopsychology.  Laboratory of Developmental Biopsychology and Neuropharmacology, the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, N.Y.  Lab Head: Gordon Barr, Ph.D.

Graduate Research Assistant  2003

Exploration of how pigeons respond to different numbers of colors and forms in a visual array when making numerical decisions.  Department of Biopsychology.  Laboratory of Cognitive Studies, the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, N.Y., Lab Head: Sheila Chase.

Research Assistant  1995

Isolated and examined how Human Parainfluenza viruses use specific mechanisms to enter and spread from cell to cell.  Pediatrics Department, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City. Laboratory of Pediatric Medicines at Mt Sinai Hospital.  Lab Head: Anne Moscona, M.D.

Undergraduate Research Assistant 1993

 Assisted in a scientific study focusing on saccadic eye movements exhibited by schizophrenic patients.  Department of Psychiatry at Manhattan Psychiatric Center and New York University Medical Center.  Lab Head: Peter Van Gelder, Ph.D.

Undergraduate Research Assistant  1992 

Investigative study identifying specific receptor subtypes associated with substance abuse.  Department of Pharmacology at University of California at Irvine.  Lab Head: James Beluzzi, Ph.D.

Undergraduate Research Assistant  1991

Assisted in a longitudinal study analyzing implementation of a drug prevention/intervention program for junior high school students.  Department of Social Psychology at New York Hospital Cornell Medical College.  Lab Head: Linda Dusenbury, Ph.D.

Teaching

Marymount Manhattan College 

Courses:

Introduction to Neuroscience

Behavioral Neuroscience

Perception

General Psychology (Physical & Cognitive Processes)

Drugs and the Brain

Honors Drugs and the Brain

Cultural and Ethnic Perspectives in Psychology 

 

Hunter College at the City University of New York

Courses:  

Experimental Psychology 

Introduction to Psychology

Introduction to Neuroscience: Brain and Behavior

Abnormal Psychology

Professional Experience

 Principal Investigator: Behavioral Neuroscience

MMC Music, Mind and Brain Lab

 

Visiting Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Laboratory of Neuroplasticity and Behavior 

 

Research Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Psychiatry, Division of Developmental Neuroscience, NYSPI at Columbia University

Medical Center and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia                         

 

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience

Neuroscience Coordinator

Marymount Manhattan College                                                                                    

 

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Hunter College, City University of New York                                    

 

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Hunter College, City University of New York                                                 

 

Science Educator and Grade Advisor                                                            

New York City Board of Education

Bushwick Outreach Secondary School                                                                                                                               

 

Science Educator, Science Chairperson, Conflict Mediator                           

New York City Board of Education

Wadleigh Secondary School