People

Miriam E. Bocarsly, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Neuroscience
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Core Investigator, Rutgers Brain Health Institute

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Ph.D., Princeton University - Neuroscience and Psychology
M.A., Princeton University - Neuroscience and Psychology
A.B., Princeton University - Psychology (cum laude), with Certificate in Neuroscience

Dr. Miriam Bocarsly is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Neuroscience at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and a core investigator in the Rutgers Brain Health Institute, both part of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Bocarsly’s research uses cutting-edge circuit tracing and functional studies to understand the connections between the ventral striatum and the lateral hypothalamus and to assess how they contribute to feeding behaviors.

Prior to establishing her laboratory at Rutgers in 2021, Dr. Bocarsly was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in Bethesda, Maryland. At NIAAA, she worked in the Laboratory on the Neurobiology of Compulsive Behaviors under the mentorship of Dr. Veronica Alvarez. She was also a 2016-19 PRAT Fellow at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, a highly competitive program for NIH intramural postdocs that prepares trainees for leadership positions in biomedical careers through mentored laboratory research, networking, and intensive career and leadership development activities. Dr. Bocarsly previously held postdoctoral positions at the National Institute on Drug Abuse at NIH and as a visiting researcher at the Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and as a research assistant in the Department of Psychology at Drexel University.

Dr. Bocarsly earned her Ph.D. in psychology and neuroscience at Princeton University, where she worked first with Dr. Bart Hoebel on the shared neurobiological underpinnings of food intake and drug addiction. Following Dr. Hoebel's death, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Elizabeth Gould, where she explored alterations in brain morphology associated with cognitive deficits in an obese animal model. Dr. Bocarsly also completed her undergraduate work in Dr. Hoebel's lab at Princeton, where she was awarded the Gregory T. Pope '80 Prize for Science Writing, the university's highest honor for outstanding science writing.