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Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences

Gallagher Lab

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Michela Gallagher
Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N Charles St.
216B Ames Hall
Baltimore, MD 21218-2686

(410) 516-0167
Curriculum Vitae PDF
Gallagher Lab Website
Neurogenetics and Behavior Center

Michela Gallagher’s research program is broadly based in the area of Systems Neuroscience using animal models (rats and mice) as well as studies in humans; an area of special emphasis is neurocognitive aging. Over the lifespan a genetically determined program of development, maturation and senescence interacts with a complex array of environmental experiences and exposures that make up the life history of the individual. Dr. Gallagher studies the neurobiological basis for widely differing outcomes at older ages, cognitive impairment on the one hand and well-preserved cognitive function on the other, the latter sometimes referred to as ‘successful aging.’ Dr. Gallagher heads a diverse team of researchers that study these neurobiological mechanisms in rats, mice and humans and leads a series of studies to test treatments in animals as well as a clinical trial in humans designed to improve memory function in older adults who suffer from memory problems such as patients with mild cognitive impairment who are at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Gallagher's basic research has been supported for over 20 years by the National institute on Aging. Her clinical research in humans was supported by a 'Grand Opportunity Award', one of the more than 340 stimulus-funded research grants and supplements submitted by the Johns Hopkins University under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Dr. Gallagher also heads the Neurogenetics and Behavior Center at Johns Hopkins University, an innovative resource to study mice with targeted genetic manipulations at high levels of cognitive/affective function, founded with funding by the National Center for Research Resources.

Dr. Gallagher received her B.A. from Colgate University in 1969 and Ph.D. from The University of Vermont in 1977. She served on the faculty at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was the Kenan Professor of Psychology prior to joining Johns Hopkins University in 1997. She has published over 230 peer-reviewed papers. She was received a Senior Research Scientist Award from NIMH (1990-1999), a Freedom to Discover Award from the Bristol-Myers Foundation (2003-2008), an International Behavioral Neuroscience Society Career Achievement Award (2008), a D.O. Hebb Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award by the American Psychological Associate (2009) and is currently a recipient of the Ellison Senior Scholar Award (2008-2012). Dr. Gallagher served as interim for the Johns Hopkins University Dean of Arts & Sciences in the Spring of 2010 and served as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs for Johns Hopkins University from the Spring of 2008 until the Summer of 2011.

Courses Taught


  • Independant Research & Study in Neuroscience and Psychology for Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
  • Mentor for Senior Honors in Neuroscience and Psychology
  • Mentor for BA/MS program in Neuroscience
  • 200.372 Psychology of Aging (Gallagher) (NEXT OFFERED SPRING 2015)


  • 200.648 Aging, Cognition, and Neurodegenerative Disorders (Albert, Gallagher)
  • 200.650 Proseminar in Biopsychology (Ball, Gallagher, Holland, and Fortune)
  • 200.804 Topics in Neurocognitive Aging (PERMISSION REQUIRED)
  • 200.808 Readings & Current Research in Cognitive Aging (Haberman)
  • 200.821 Research Seminar in Behavioral Neuroscience (Ball, Gallagher, Holland, and Fortune)
  • 200.825 Research Seminar: Psychobiology  (Ball, Gallagher, Holland, and Fortune)

For more information on courses, please view course on the JHU Registrar's Office or ISIS.

Speak to your advisor to select the course most appropriate for your line of study. To discuss a course offering, please contact Leslie Loving.

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