New Investigator Award

2023 New Investigator Award Winners

Forrest Rogers, PhD
Forrest Rogers.

Dr. Forrest Rogers is a recipient of the 2023 New Investigator Award. Dr. Rogers earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences and B.A. in French from Oklahoma State University, where he studied the effects of paternal absence on social behavior in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) under the advisement of Dr. Alex Ophir. He received his Ph.D. in Biological Psychology from the University of California at Davis, where he completed his dissertation research under the advisement of Dr. Karen Bales. In his dissertation work, he investigated the role of paternal and alloparental care in the social and neuroendocrine development of prairie voles. Other substantial work completed during his doctoral studies included a behavioral and neuroendocrine characterization of the endangered Amargosa vole (Microtus californicus scirpensis), as well as the behavioral characterization of oxytocin receptor knockout prairie voles. As an NIHM-sponsored T32 predoctoral trainee in Affective Science, he also studied biopsychosocial dynamics in human father-daughter relationships in the laboratory of Dr. Wendy Berry Mendes at the University of California, San Francisco. Forrest is currently a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University in the laboratories of Dr. Catherine Peña and Dr. Ricardo Mallarino. His postdoctoral research examines the neural mechanisms underlying paternal and alloparental care in African striped mice (Rhabdomys pumilio).

Samantha Lauby, PhD
Samantha Lauby.

Dr. Samantha Lauby is a recipient of the 2023 New Investigator Award. Dr. Lauby’s research program aims to characterize the interactive effects of non-maternal factors within the maternal environment and maternal care on offspring neurodevelopment and behavior via steroid hormone signaling and epigenetic modifications in the developing brain. She received her B.S. degree in Psychology and Animal Behavior at Carroll University, where she conducted research projects with zebrafish, rats, and captive ring-tailed lemurs on how environmental factors can impact behavior. She received her Ph.D. in Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Toronto as a Connaught Scholar in Dr. Patrick McGowan’s lab. Her graduate work characterized the interactive effects of early-life variations in temperature exposure and offspring genotype with maternal care received on later-life maternal care provisioning in female rats. Her work also emphasized possible underlying biological mechanisms in thyroid hormone receptor signaling and the oxytocinergic and dopaminergic systems. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Texas at Austin in Dr. Frances Champagne’s lab examining the interactive effects of prenatal bisphenol exposure and postnatal maternal care received on offspring neurodevelopment and behavioral outcomes in rats. She was recently awarded an F32 NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship from NIEHS to examine the genome-wide DNA methylation modifications in response to prenatal bisphenol exposure and maternal care received in the developing brain.