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I'm Kayla Gilley-Connor and I am a neuroscience researcher and mentor who is passionate about how the peripheral and central physiology interact with the environment to influence affective and cognitive outcomes.

Beyond that, I am also a devout Christian, a wife, teacher, mentor, artist, and avid hiker! Below is a brief description of my interests in behavioral neuroscience.

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I am a 5th year behavioral neuroscience PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at Baylor University and am expected to graduate August 2023. My interests are in preclinical animal models and their use in studying the mechanisms by which metabolic inflammation influences cognitive impairment, affective dysfunction, and changes in cellular and brain regional immunology and morphology. I received my MA in Psychology with a concentration in Behavioral Neuroscience from Baylor University in 2020. Upon receiving my PhD, I expect to continue my career in academia. My research has mainly specialized in 2 lines, including metabolic inflammation in diabetic mice and chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment in a transgenic mouse model of breast cancer. With this research I have utilized a number of techniques:

  • Histology/Brain region specific and peripheral organ dissections post-cardiac perfusion

  • Immunohistochemistry

  • Fluorescence Microscopy

  • qPCR


  • Animal Husbandry

  • Animal Behavioral Tasks in Cognition and Depressive- and Anxiety-like Phenotypes

  • Chemotherapy and other drug administration via IP or SC injections

  • Cell culturing

Along with my research in psychoneuroimmunology , I am passionate about inspiring students to learn neuroscience and further their understanding of the brain biology and behavioral outputs and the factors that influence pathological changes. Presently, I am the head instructor for the clinical neuroscience lab, focusing on brain anatomy. I also semesterly guest lecture for clinical neuroscience lecture course, have taught the learning and behavior lab for a couple of years, and have been invited to guest lecture for research methods and behavioral medicine.


I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.

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