Skip to main content

Psychologist and neurobiologist honored for career achievement

Elizabeth Adkins-Regan

The Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology recently honored professor emerita Elizabeth Adkins-Regan with its Daniel S. Lehrman Lifetime Achievement Award.

The annual award is given to distinguished investigators in the field of neuroendocrinology, the study of the interaction between the nervous and endocrine systems – that is, how the brain regulates hormonal activity.

Lehrman was an early and influential scientist in behavioral neuroendocrinology.

“Dr. Adkins-Regan embodies the spirit of Danny Lehrman, with a career of eminent scholarship and a record of outstanding mentorship of scientists at all career stages,” the society said in its announcement. “She has published over 150 articles, including pioneering studies on the contributions of aromatization in the sexual differentiation and activation of avian copulatory behavior. In addition to her research, she provided a clear synthesis of the field of behavioral neuroendocrinology in her 2005 book, ‘Hormones and Animal Social Behavior.’”

Adkins-Regan’s research focuses on the neuroendocrine basis of social behavior. Her lab considers: how and where hormones act in the brain to regulate behavior; how hormones contribute to the development of sex differences in behavior and mate choice; how the long-term effects of hormone action during early development shape adaptive adult behavior; and what is the role of hormones in mediating maternal effects on the adult behavior of offspring.

Lehrman influenced an entire generation of scientists in the field through his scholarship, mentoring and teaching, primarily as a founding faculty member of the Institute for Animal Behavior at Rutgers University.

Adkins-Regan joined the Cornell faculty as an assistant professor of psychology and of neurobiology and behavior in 1975; she was promoted to associate professor in 1981 and to professor in 1988. She served as senior associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2009-12; she retired in 2018.

Kathy Hovis is a writer for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Media Contact

Gillian Smith