Professor Melissa M. Holmes

Melissa M. Holmes




CSB Appointment


Research Areas

Animal Biology, Neurobiology


Ph.D. Michigan State University 2005
M.A. University of British Columbia 2001
B.A. Simon Fraser University 1998

Primary Undergraduate Department

Psychology, UTM

Graduate Programs

Cell & Systems Biology

Research Description

My primary research interest is the reciprocal relationship between social interactions and adult plasticity in the mammalian brain.

Contact Information

Office Phone: 905-828-3956
Office: CCT408
Lab: DV1025
Lab Phone: 905-828-3874

Mailing Address

Department of Cell & Systems Biology
University of Toronto
1265 Military Trail
Scarborough, ON M1C 1A4

Visit lab’s website

Recent News

Congratulations to CSB’s Graduate Student Award Recipients!

Congratulations to our Graduate Students who earned recognition for their accomplishments at our Graduate Student Awards on December 19th, 2022!…

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Peripheral administration of oxytocin increases social affiliation in the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber)

Mooney SJ, Douglas NR, Holmes MM
2014, Hormones and behavior, 65, 380-5, 24530845

A game of thrones: neural plasticity in mammalian social hierarchies

Mooney SJ, Peragine DE, Hathaway GA, Holmes MM
2014, Social neuroscience, 9, 108-17, 24479868

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Differential effects of chronic fluoxetine on the behavior of dominant and subordinate naked mole-rats

Mongillo DL, Kosyachkova EA, Nguyen TM, Holmes MM
2014, Behavioural brain research, 258, 119-26, 24157335

Socially regulated reproductive development: analysis of GnRH-1 and kisspeptin neuronal systems in cooperatively breeding naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber)

Zhou S, Holmes MM, Forger NG, Goldman BD, Lovern MB, Caraty A, Kalló I, Faulkes CG, Coen CW
2013, The Journal of comparative neurology, 521, 3003-29, 23504961

Androgen receptor distribution in the social decision-making network of eusocial naked mole-rats

Holmes MM, Van Mil S, Bulkowski C, Goldman SL, Goldman BD, Forger NG
2013, Behavioural brain research, 256, 214-8, 23973387

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Altered anxiety and defensive behaviors in Bax knockout mice

Luedke AC, Boucher PO, Niel L, Holmes MM
2013, Behavioural brain research, 239, 115-20, 23142367

Maintenance of the spinal nucleus of the bulbocavernosus neuromuscular system is not influenced by physiological levels of glucocorticoids

Niel L, Alves PA, Pinzon N, Holmes MM, Lovern MB, Monks DA
2012, Developmental neurobiology, 72, 1114-21, 21412989

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Effects of Bax gene deletion on social behaviors and neural response to olfactory cues in mice

Holmes MM, Niel L, Anyan JJ, Griffith AT, Monks DA, Forger NG
2011, The European journal of neuroscience, 34, 1492-9, 22034980

Social status and sex effects on neural morphology in Damaraland mole-rats, Fukomys damarensis

Anyan JJ, Seney ML, Holley A, Bengston L, Goldman BD, Forger NG, Holmes MM
2011, Brain, behavior and evolution, 77, 291-8, 21701152

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Social and hormonal triggers of neural plasticity in naked mole-rats

Holmes MM, Seney ML, Goldman BD, Forger NG
2011, Behavioural brain research, 218, 234-9, 21130812

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Sexual dimorphism and hormone responsiveness in the spinal cord of the socially monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster)

Holmes MM, Musa M, Lonstein JS, Monks DA
2009, The Journal of comparative neurology, 516, 117-24, 19575447

Neuroendocrinology and sexual differentiation in eusocial mammals

Holmes MM, Goldman BD, Goldman SL, Seney ML, Forger NG
2009, Frontiers in neuroendocrinology, 30, 519-33, 19416733

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Social status and sex independently influence androgen receptor expression in the eusocial naked mole-rat brain

Holmes MM, Goldman BD, Forger NG
2008, Hormones and behavior, 54, 278-85, 18455726

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Social control of brain morphology in a eusocial mammal

Holmes MM, Rosen GJ, Jordan CL, de Vries GJ, Goldman BD, Forger NG
2007, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104, 10548-52, 17556547

Androgen dependent seasonal changes in muscle fiber type in the dewlap neuromuscular system of green anoles

Holmes MM, Bartrem CL, Wade J
2007, Physiology & behavior, 91, 601-8, 17477939

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Sexual differentiation of the copulatory neuromuscular system in green anoles (Anolis carolinensis): normal ontogeny and manipulation of steroid hormones

Holmes MM, Wade J
2005, The Journal of comparative neurology, 489, 480-90, 16025462

Normally occurring intersexuality and testosterone induced plasticity in the copulatory system of adult leopard geckos

Holmes MM, Putz O, Crews D, Wade J
2005, Hormones and behavior, 47, 439-45, 15777809

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Seasonal plasticity in the copulatory neuromuscular system of green anole lizards: a role for testosterone in muscle but not motoneuron morphology

Holmes MM, Wade J
2004, Journal of neurobiology, 60, 1-11, 15188267

Effects of testosterone on the development of neuromuscular systems and their target tissues involved in courtship and copulation in green anoles (Anolis carolinensis)

Lovern MB, Holmes MM, Fuller CO, Wade J
2004, Hormones and behavior, 45, 295-305, 15109903

Adult hippocampal neurogenesis and voluntary running activity: circadian and dose-dependent effects

Holmes MM, Galea LA, Mistlberger RE, Kempermann G
2004, Journal of neuroscience research, 76, 216-22, 15048919

Characterization of projections from a sexually dimorphic motor nucleus in the spinal cord of adult green anoles

Holmes MM, Wade J
2004, The Journal of comparative neurology, 471, 180-7, 14986311

The green anole (Anolis carolinensis): a reptilian model for laboratory studies of reproductive morphology and behavior

Lovern MB, Holmes MM, Wade J
2004, ILAR journal / National Research Council, Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources, 45, 54-64, 14756155

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Low levels of estradiol facilitate, whereas high levels of estradiol impair, working memory performance on the radial arm maze

Holmes MM, Wide JK, Galea LA
2002, Behavioral neuroscience, 116, 928-34, 12369813

Defensive behavior and hippocampal cell proliferation: differential modulation by naltrexone during stress

Holmes MM, Galea LA
2002, Behavioral neuroscience, 116, 160-8, 11898802

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