Gary P. Dohanich, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Suzanne and Stephen Weiss Presidential Fellow
School of Science & Engineering
Outdoor portrait of Gary Dohanich wearing a hat

Education & Affiliations

Ph.D., 1981, Michigan State University
Postdoctoral Training, 1982-85, Rockefeller University


Dr. Dohanich and his students studied the influences of ovarian and adrenal steroids and biological sex on behavior. Employing a rodent model, early work implicated the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the mediation of female mating behaviors by the steroid hormone estrogen. Subsequent projects investigated the role of estrogen in enhancing working memory by modulation of acetylcholine brain chemistry. Later studies explored the development of sex differences in learning and behavior, and linked the expression of sex differences in learning strategy to anxiety.

During his final years at Tulane, Dr. Dohanich devoted his efforts to educational projects that included developing new graduate and undergraduate courses and expanding his own teaching methodologies. His two-semester series (College Teaching Pedagogy and Practicum) offered doctoral students in science and engineering the opportunity to learn and apply current pedagogical methods in their own small-enrollment undergraduate courses.

Dr. Dohanich retired in June of 2022 after 37 years as a member of the Tulane faculty. He can be contacted at


3031 Percival Stern Hall

Teaching Awards

The Student Senate Annual Award for Excellence in Teaching, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Tulane University, 1987.

The Student Senate Annual Award for Excellence in Academic Advising, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Tulane University, 1988 and 2001.

Randolf C. Read Award for Excellence in Teaching, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Tulane University, 1995.

Sheldon Hackney Award for Excellence in Teaching, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Tulane University, 1996.

Newcomb College Mortar Board Annual Award for Excellence in Teaching, Newcomb College, Tulane University, 2000.

Tulane College Senior Class Outstanding Advisor Award for Exemplary Service to Students, Tulane College, Tulane University, 2001.

Suzanne and Stephen Weiss Presidential Fellow for Inspired Teaching and Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education, Tulane University, 2007.

Distinguished Newcomb Fellow, Newcomb College Institute, Tulane University, 2012.

President’s Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional School Teaching, Tulane University, 2014.

Honors Professor of the Year, Honors Program, Tulane University, 2019-2020.

Selected Publications

Grissom, E.M., W.R. Hawley, and G.P Dohanich. Organizational effects of testosterone on learning strategy preference and muscarinic receptor binding in prepubertal rats. Hormones and Behavior 110:1-9, 2019. 

Nahar, J., J. R. Rainville, G. P. Dohanich, and J. G. Tasker. Further evidence for a membrane receptor that binds glucocorticoids in the rodent hypothalamus. Steroids, 2016.

Mueller, S. C., E. M. Grissom, and G. P. Dohanich. Assessing gonadal hormone contributions to affective psychopathologies across humans and animal models.  Psychoneuroendocrinology 46:114-128, 2014.

Serefoglu, E. C., W. R. Hawley, G. F. Lasker, E. M. Grissom, S. H. Mandava, S. C. Sikka, G. P. Dohanich, and W. J. Hellstrom.  Effect of botulinum-A toxin injection into bulbospongiosus muscle on ejaculation latency in male rats. Journal of Sexual Medicine 11:1657-1663, 2014.

Cost, K. T., T. D. Lobell, Z. N. Williams-Yee, S. Henderson, and G. Dohanich.  The effects of pregnancy, lactation, and primiparity on object-in-place memory of female rats. Hormones and Behavior 65:32-39, 2014.

Ferland, C. L., W. R. Hawley, R. E. Puckett, K. Wineberg, F. D. Lubin, G. P. Dohanich, and  L. A. Schrader.  Sirtuin activity in dentate gyrus contributes to chronic stress-induced behavior and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 cascade changes in the hippocampus.  Biological Psychiatry 74:927-935, 2013.

Hawley, W. R., E. M. Grissom, J. M. Patel, K. S. Hodges, and G. P. Dohanich.  Reactivation of an aversive memory modulates learning strategy preference in male rats.  Stress, 73-86, 2013.

Hawley, W. R, E. M. Grissom, R. C. Martin, M. B. Halmos, C. L. Bart, and G. P. Dohanich.  Testosterone modulates spatial recognition memory in male rats.  Hormones and Behavior 63:559-565, 2013.

Grissom, E. M., W. R. Hawley, K. S. Hodges, J. M. Fawcett-Patel, and G. P. Dohanich.  Biological sex influences learning strategy preference and muscarinic receptor binding in specific brain regions of prepubertal rats. Hippocampus 23:313-322, 2013.

Grissom, E. M., W. R. Hawley, S. S. Bromley-Dulfano, S. E. Marino, N. G. Stathopoulos, and G. P. Dohanich.  Learning strategy is influenced by trait anxiety and early rearing conditions in prepubertal male, but not prepubertal female rats.  Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 98:174-181, 2012.

Cost, K. T., Z. N. Williams-Yee, J. N. Fustok, and G. P. Dohanich.    Sex differences in object-in-place memory in adult rats.  Behavioral Neuroscience 126:457-464, 2012.

Hawley, W. R., E. M. Grissom, H. E. Barratt, T. S. Conrad, and G. P. Dohanich. The effects of biological sex and gonadal hormones on learning strategy in adult rats.  Physiology and Behavior 105:1014–1020, 2012.

Hawley, W.R., E.M. Grissom, and G.P. Dohanich. The relationships between trait anxiety, place recognition memory, and learning strategy. Behavioural Brain Research 216:525–530, 2011.

Hawley, W., E. Grissom, L. Keskitalo, T. Hastings, and G. Dohanich. Sexual motivation and anxiety-like behaviors of male rats after exposure to a trauma followed by situational reminders. Physiology and Behavior 102:181–187, 2011.

Frankola, K.A, A.L. Flora, A.K. Torres, E.M. Grissom, S. Overstreet, and G P. Dohanich.  Effects of early rearing conditions on cognitive performance in prepubescent male and female rats. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 94:91-99, 2010.

Tunur, T., G.P. Dohanich, and L.A.Schrader.  Pre-exposure to context affects learning strategy in mice. Learning and Memory 17:328-331, 2010.

Dohanich, G.P., D.L. Korol, and T. Shors. Steroids, learning and memory.  In Hormones, Brain and Behavior, (Second Edition, Vol. 1), edited by D. W. Pfaff, A. P. Arnold, A, M. Etgen, S. E. Fahrbach, and R. T. Rubin. San Diego: Academic Press, pp. 539-576, 2009.

Luine, V.N. and G.P. Dohanich. Sex differences in cognitive function in rodents.  In Sex Difference in the Brain: From Genes to Behavior, edited by J. Becker et al., Oxford University Press, pp. 227-251, 2008.

Directed Ph.D. Dissertations

Robert Hunter – Uric acid and adenosine binding in young rats: A model of hyperactivity (1987)

Cheryl Menard Lynch– Estrogen-dependent cholinergic regulation of sexual receptivity in intact cycling female rats (1991)  (Associate Professor, Former Head of Psychology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Retired)

Thomas Hebert – Gonadal steroid regulation of NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry in the male and female rat brain (1996)  (Senior Professor of Practice of Psychology, Tulane Brain Institute, Tulane University)

Aric Fader – The effects of estrogen delivered to the medial preoptic area and hippocampal formation on spatial performance in a radial arm maze (2000)  (Senior Medical Writer, MedVal Scientific)

Jill Daniel – The role of acetylcholine in the estrogen-induced increase in hippocampal NMDA receptor binding and in the associated enhancement of working memory performance (2000)  (Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience,  Former Director of theTulane Brain Institute, Tulane University)

Barry Row – Role of corticotropin-releasing hormone in the modulation of spatial memory (1999)  (Assistant Professor, University of Louisville)

Zuzana Hruska – Effects of estrogen treatment on working memory impairments induced by beta-amyloid and ibotenic acid in female rats (2003)   (Faculty, Geosystems Research Institute)

Wayne Hawley – Modulation of spatial cognition in adult rats by biological sex, gonadal steroids, affective conditions, and cholinergic neurotransmission (2013)   (Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Edinboro University)

Elin Grissom – The relationships between sex differences in learning strategy in early life and neurochemical and neuroarchitectural endpoints in multiple memory systems (2013)  (Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Loyola University of New Orleans)

Katherine Cost – Spatial ability during pregnancy and motherhood in rats and humans: A comparative study (2013)  (Department of Psychiatry, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario) 

Courses Recently Taught

Behavioral Endocrinology: NSCI 4060/6060, PSYC 4060/6060

Psychopharmacology: NSCI 4530/6530, PSYC 4530/6530

Professional Issues in Psychology: PSYC 7230

College Teaching Pedagogy: PSYC/NSCI 7240

College Teaching Practicum: PSYC 7241

Stress and Trauma: PSYC/NSCI 6590