2016- 2022: Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute of Mental Health

2010- 2015: Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience, University of Florida

2009-2010: Ph.D. Graduate Training Program, Department of Psychology, Behavioral and Cellular Neuroscience, Texas A&M University

2009: B.S. in Psychology (Cum Laude) with minor in Biology, University of Texas at El Paso


2021-2026: K99/R00 BRAIN Initiative Advanced Postdoctoral Career Transition Award

NIH Research Grant (Principal Investigator)

2018-2021: NIGMS Postdoctoral Research Associate Training (PRAT) Program Fellowship

(3-year fellowship), NIH Research Grant (Principal Investigator)

2014-2016: NIA Diversity Supplement Award

(2-year fellowship), Merit-Based

2011-2014: National Science Foundation (NSF) GRFP Fellowship

(3-year fellowship), Merit-Based

2009-2010: Doctoral Diversity Fellowship from Texas A&M University

(3-year fellowship), Merit-Based

2007-2009: Minority Access to Research Careers Fellowship

(2-year fellowship), Merit-Based

Awards & Honors:

2021 Regeneron Scholarship to attend Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories (CSHL) Quantitative Imaging: From Acquisition to Analysis.

2020 Julius Axelrod Memorial Fellowship Training Award for excellence in basic research (NIMH).

2019 Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE) Award

2018 Helmsley scholarship to attend Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories (CSHL) Ion Channels in Synaptic & Neural Circuit Physiology Course.

2017 Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority (CSURM) Fellowship to attend Amygdala Function in Emotion, Cognition & Disease GRC.

2016 Neuroscience Scholars Program (NSP) Fellow (SfN).

2015 Best Poster Presentation Award (North-Central Florida SfN chapter conference).

2014 Travel Award to Society for Neuroscience (SfN) conference (Washington, DC) by the North-Central Florida SfN chapter.

2014 Bryan Robinson Endowment (Honorable Mention).

2014 Travel Award to International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (IBNS) conference

(Las Vegas, NV).

2013 Travel Award to Society for Neuroscience (SfN) conference (San Diego, CA).

2010 Travel Award to National Hispanic Science Network conference (Miami, FL).

2009 National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) Fellowship Summer Research Program.

2009 Travel Award to Behavior, Biology and Chemistry Conference (BBC): Translational Research in Addiction (San Antonio, TX).

2009 Class Medallion Endowed Scholarship.

2009 Outstanding Research Achievement in Psychology Award (UT El Paso).

2008 Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP) at Brown University.

2006-2009 Top Ten Percent among College of Science students (University of Texas at El Paso).

2006-2010 Dean’s List (University of Texas at El Paso).

2005 Del Sol Medical Center Scholarship.

Invited Talks:

2021 30th International Behavioral Neuroscience Society Meeting. Puerto Vallarta, MX.

Title: A ventrolateral medulla-midline thalamic circuit for hypoglycemic feeding.

2021 3rd annual Next Generation in Biomedicine Symposium hosted by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Virtual Symposium.

Title: A ventrolateral medulla-midline thalamic circuit for hypoglycemic feeding.

2020 NIMH DIRP Investigators Seminars Series. Virtual Seminar.

Title: A thalamo-striatal pathway mediating adaptive behavior following homeostatic challenges.

2019 Gordon Research Conference: Complexity and Diversity in Catecholamine Neurobiology: From Molecule to Circuits to Behavior. Newry, ME.

Title: Hindbrain catecholaminergic neurons control glucoprivation induced feeding via projections to the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus.


1. Beas, B.S.*# Cummings, K.A*#. A scientific approach to navigating the academic job market (2022). Neuropsychopharmacology. Invited commentary. Feb;47(3):621-627. doi: 10.1038/s41386-021-01225-w. (*Equal contribution, #Corresponding author).

2. Ma, J., du Hoffmann, J., Kindel, Morgan., Beas, B.S., Chudasama, Y., Penzo, M.A. Divergent projections of the paraventricular thalamus mediate the selection of reactive and proactive defensive behaviors (2021). Nature Neuroscience. Aug 19. doi: 10.1038/s41593-021-00912-7. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34413514.

3. McQuail, J.A., Beas, B.S., Kelly, K.B., Hernandez, C.M., Bizon, J.L., Frazier, C.J., Attenuated NMDAR signaling on fast-spiking interneurons in prefrontal cortex contributes to age-related decline of cognitive flexibility (2021). Neuropharmacology. Jul 15;197:108720. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2021.108720. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34273386.

4. Beas, B.S*., Gu, X*., Leng, Y., Koita, O., Rodriguez, S., Kindel, M., Matikainen-Ankney, B.A., Kravitz, A.V., Hoon, M., Penzo, M.A. A ventrolateral medulla-midline thalamic circuit for hypoglycemic feeding (2020). Nature Communications. Dec 4 (11), 6218. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19980-7 (*Equal contribution).

5. Beas, B.S*., Wright, B.J*., Skirzewski, M., Leng, Y., Hyun, J.H., Koita, O., Ringelberg, N., Buonanno, A., Kwon, H., Penzo, M.A. (2018). The locus coeruleus drives disinhibition in the midline thalamus via dopaminergic mechanisms. Nature Neuroscience. Jul 21(7):963-973. doi: 10.1038/s41593-018-0167-4. (*Equal contribution).

6. Beas, B.S., McQuail, J.A., Banuelos, C., Setlow, B., & Bizon, J.L. (2017) Prefrontal cortical GABAergic signaling and impaired behavioral flexibility in aged F344 rats. Neuroscience. Feb 9. pii: S0306-4522(16)00137-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.02.014.

7. McQuail, JA., Beas, B.S., Kelly, K.B., Simpson, K., Frazier, C.J., Setlow, B., & Bizon, J.L. (2016) NR2A-containing NMDARs in the prefrontal cortex are required for working memory and associated with age-related cognitive decline. The Journal of Neuroscience. Dec 14;36(50):12537-12548. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2332-16.2016

8. Ianov, L., Rani, A., Beas, B.S., Kumar, A., & Foster, T.C. (2016) Transcriptional profile of aging and cognitive-related genes in the medial prefrontal cortex associated with age-related cognitive decline. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. May 17;8:113. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2016.00113.

9. Beas, B.S., Setlow, B., & Bizon, J.L. (2016) Effects of acute administration of the GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen on behavioral flexibility in rats. Psychopharmacology. Jul;233(14):2787-97. doi: 10.1007/s00213-016-4321-y.

10. Beas, B.S., Setlow, B., Samanez-Larkin, G. R., & Bizon, J.L. (2015) Modeling cost-benefit decision making in aged rodents. In Hess, TM, Loeckenhoff, CE, Sttrough (Eds.) Aging and Decision-Making: Empirical and Applied Perspectives, Elsevier Press.

11. Shimp, KG., Mitchell, M.R., Beas, B.S., Bizon, J.L., & Setlow, B. (2015) Affective and cognitive mechanisms of risky decision making. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. Jan;117:60-70. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2014.03.002.

12. Banuelos, C., Beas, B.S., McQuail, J.A., Gilbert, R.J., Frazier, C.J., Setlow, B., & Bizon, J.L. (2014) Prefrontal cortical GABAergic dysfunction contributes to age-related working memory impairment. The Journal of Neuroscience. Mar 5;34(10):3457-66. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5192-13.2014.

13. Mitchell, M., Weiss, V.G., Beas, B.S., Morgan, D., Bizon J.L., & Setlow, B. (2014) Adolescent risk taking, cocaine self-administration, and striatal dopamine signaling. Neuropsychopharmacology. Mar;39(4):955-62. doi: 10.1038/npp.2013.295.

14. Torres O.V., Walker, E.M., Beas, B.S., & O'Dell, L.E. (2014) Female rats display enhanced rewarding effects of ethanol that are hormone dependent. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Jan;38(1):108-15. doi: 10.1111/acer.12213.

15. Simon, N.W., Beas, B.S., Montgomery, K.S., Haberman, R., Bizon, J.L., & Setlow, B. (2013) Prefrontal cortical-striatal dopamine receptor mRNA expression predicts distinct forms of impulsivity. European Journal of Neuroscience. Jun;37(11):1779-88. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12191.

16. Beas, B.S., Setlow, B., & Bizon, J.L. (2013) Distinct manifestations of executive dysfunction in aged rats. Neurobiology of Aging. Sep;34(9):2164-74. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2013.03.019.

17. Simon, N.W., Montgomery, K.S., Beas, B.S., Mitchell, M.R., LaSarge, C.L., Mendez, I.A., Bañuelos, C., Vokes, C.M., Taylor, A.B., Haberman, R.P., Bizon, J.L., & Setlow, B. (2011) Dopaminergic modulation of Risky Decision Making. The Journal of Neuroscience. Nov 30;31(48):17460-70. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3772-11.2011.

18. Huie, J.R., Garraway, S.M., Baumbauer, K.M., Hoy, K.C., Beas, B.S., Montgomery, K.S., Bizon, J.L., & Grau, J.W. (2012) Brain-derived neurotrophic factor promotes adaptive plasticity within the spinal cord and mediates the beneficial effects of controllable stimulation. Neuroscience. Jan 3;200:74-90. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.10.028.