Leah M. Pyter, PhD-Archived

Visiting Research Assistant Professor, Center for Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration, Department of Periodontics


UICollaboratory Profile
Curriculum Vitae


  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, BS (Biology), 1999
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, MS (Biology), 2001
  • Ohio State University, PhD (Neuroscience), 2006

Research Interests

Cancer and wound healing Dr. Pyter's current psychoneuroimmunology research focuses on the effects of cancer and stress on wound healing in mice. This work is designed to determine the immune/inflammatory mechanisms by which cancer and stress delay the healing of wounds caused by cancer treatments (surgery, radiation, etc.). Wound healing is used in this work as a window into the local and distal immune changes induced by tumor growth. Broadly, Dr. Pyter is interested in how cancer affects immune functioning in the periphery, as well as in the brain.

Seasonal Changes in Brain and Behavior Rodents living in temperate environments have evolved numerous physiological, behavioral, and morphological adaptations based on season. Dr. Pyter continues to participate in the investigation of neuroendocrine, immunological, and behavioral changes in various rodent species that are triggered by the seasonal fluctuation of environmental light duration.

Cancer and Cytokine-Induced Depression Another research interest is based upon Dr. Pyter's previous work, which indicates that peripheral tumor growth triggers inflammation in the brain and is associated with depressive-like behavior and cognitive impairments. The inflammatory mechanisms in the brain underlying these behavioral changes are a continued focus.


Pyter LM, Kelly SD, Harrell CS, Neigh GN. Sex differences in the effects of adolescent stress on adult brain inflammatory markers in rats. Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Epub.

Prendergast BJ, Pyter LM, Kampf-Lassin A, Patel PN, Stevenson TJ. Rapid induction of hypothalamic iodothyronine deiodinase expression by photoperiod and melatonin in juvenile Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). Endocrinology. 2013 Feb;154(2):831-41.

Pyter LM, Prendergast BJ. Individual differences in pre-carcinogen cytokine and corticosterone concentrations and depressive-like behavior predict tumor onset in rats exposed to a carcinogen. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2012 Oct 6. Epub.

Pyter LM, Cochrane SF, Ouwenga RL, Patel PN, Pineros V, Prendergast BJ. Mammary tumors induce select cognitive impairments. Brain Behav Immun. 2010.

Pyter LM, Pineros V, Galang JA, McClintock MK, Prendergast BJ. Peripheral tumors induce depressive-like behaviors and cytokine production and alter hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis regulation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jun 2;106(22):9069-74.

Pyter LM, Adelson JD, Nelson RJ. Short days increase hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responsiveness. Endocrinology. 2007 Jul;148(7):3402-9.

Pyter LM, Trainor BC, Nelson RJ. Testosterone and photoperiod interact to affect spatial learning and memory in adult male white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus). Eur J Neurosci. 2006 Jun;23(11):3056-62.

Pyter LM, Reader BF, Nelson RJ. Short photoperiods impair spatial learning and alter hippocampal dendritic morphology in adult male white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus). J Neurosci. 2005 May 4;25(18):4521-6.

Pyter LM, Samuelsson AR, Quan N, Nelson RJ. Photoperiod alters hypothalamic cytokine gene expression and sickness responses following immune challenge in female Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). Neuroscience. 2005;131(4):779-84.

Dr. Pyter

Research Areas


Center for Wound Healing & Tissue Regeneration