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About Sandra J. Kelly

Dr. Sandra Kelly received her Ph.D. from McGill University in behavioral neuroscience in 1985. Her postdoctoral training was at the University of Iowa and SUNY Albany pior to beginning as an assistant professor here at the University of South Carolina in 1988. Her research uses a rat model of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders to investigate the impact of alcohol exposure during development on social behavior and the underlying brain changes. Her recent publications have show that there are changes in the neuronal activation and structure of neurons in areas such as the nucleus accumbens, prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus. Very recent work has demonstrated that alcohol exposure during development impacts epigenetic markers which could underlie the long-term changes seen in this animal model. In addition to the work on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, Dr. Kelly has recently started a new line of research using Peromyscus mice to examining the neurogenomic bases of monogamy. Dr. Kelly uses state-of-the-art tests of animal behavior, neuroanatomical techniques, and neurochemical assays to answer her research questions.


Present Carolina Trustee Professor, University of South Carolina - Columbia

Curriculum Vitae


Research Interests

Behavioral Neurobiology and Cognitive Neuroscience

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Honors and Awards

  • Faculty Fellow, South Carolina Honors College, 2014
  • SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Fellow, 2010 to 2011
  • Carolina Trustee Professorship in the area of Humanities, Social Sciences, Business and Law, Awarded by the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina, April 2008
  • Distinguished Undergraduate Mentor Award, University of South Carolina, April 2006
  • Named in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, July 2005

Contact Information

Phone: (803) 777-7610
Address: Department of Psychology
University of South Carolina
Barnwell 407
Columbia, SC 29208


Psychology (44)