Portrait photo
  • Claire Emma McGregor '11 Professor of Neuroscience
  • Science Center A240
  • 440-775-8341
  • Fall 2016
    Tuesday 11-11:50a, Thursday 2-2:50p, or by appointment


  • Bachelor of Science, Portland St University, 1976
  • Master of Science, University Wisconsin Madison, 1979
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University Wisconsin Madison, 1983


Professor Thornton's area of concentration is neuroendocrinology; how hormones exert their effects on the brain. To this end she uses a variety of techniques from behavioral analysis to molecular biological techniques. Currently her lab is examining the role hormones before birth on sex differences in behavior of guinea pigs.

Teaching Interests
Neuroendocrinology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Experimental Methods.

Research Interests
Effects of hormones on the brain, hormonal control of reproduction, sex differences and behavior.

Select publications

Alla, J.*, Kralik, K*., Romeo R, McEwen B, and Thornton, JE.(2006). Androgen modulation of spatial learning and memory in male rats. Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology.

Allen S*, Wheat E*, Ogren K*, Klein L*, Thornton J.E. (2007). Effects of testicular hormones on spatial memory in male rats. Abstract and Scientific Poster Presentation, Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, Nov 2007, San Diego CA.

Berry, A*, Tomidokoro, Y., Ghiso, J, and Thornton, J.E. (2008). Human chorionic gonadotropin (a Luteinizing Hormone homologue) decreases spatial memory and increases brain amyloid-ß levels in female rats. Hormones and Behavior, 54(1): 143-152.

Getzin Anne*, White Ian*, Bartlett Mitchell*, Braford Mark, Wallen Kim, and Thornton Jan (2006).  Sexual dimorphism in the medial preoptic nucleus of the guinea pig brain is not due to prenatal estrogen.  Scientific abstract and poster presentation at annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Oct 2006, Atlanta GA.

Romeo, R.D., Staub, D*., Jasnow, A. M., Karatsoreos, I. N., Thornton, J. E., and McEwen, B. S. (2005). Dihydrotestosterone increases hippocampal N-methyl-D-Aspartate binding but does not affect choline acetyltransferase cell number in the forebrain or choline transporter levels in the CA1 region of adult male rats. Endocrinology, 146: 2091-2097.

Ziegler, S.G.* and Thornton, J.E. A Luteinizing Hormone antagonist enhances spatial memory in ovariectomized female rats and in a rat model of Alzheimer's disease. Manuscript in preparation.

Ziegler SG * and Thornton JE (2008). Decreased Luteinizing Hormone enhances spatial memory in ovariectomized rats. Abstract and scientific poster that will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, University of Groningen, Netherlands, July 7-10, 2008

Faculty Notes

  • Jan Thornton Co-Authors Review Based on Research

    August 24, 2015

    CM McGregor Professor of Neuroscience Jan Thornton has written a review for the journal Hormones and Behavior based on research she presented at the International Congress on Neuroendocrinology in Sydney, Australia. Entitled “Luteinizing hormone as a key play in the cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s disease,” the review is co-authored by Veronica Burnham ’14.