The University of Texas at Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Millie Rincón-Cortés

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Normative and stress-induced plasticity of reward and mesolimbic dopamine function, emphasis on early development and the postpartum period

Curriculum Vitae


Email: [email protected]
Phone: 972-883-2356
Office: BSB_10.534


Dr. Rincón-Cortés is an assistant professor whose research lies at the intersection of behavioral neuroscience and dopamine neurophysiology. Her long-standing research goal is to better understand how brain reward pathways influence and interact with neural systems implicated in depression and addiction, including how these are modulated by environmental influences (stressors, social experiences) and how effects may differ between sexes. Dr. Rincón-Cortés is uniquely suited to address these research interests/goals given that she trained as a developmental behavioral neuroscientist under the mentorship of Dr. Regina Sullivan during her graduate studies at the New York University School of Medicine (NYU-SoM) and as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Anthony Grace- a world renowned electrophysiologist who pioneered the identification and characterization of midbrain dopamine neurons.

Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH: T32, F32) and a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Rincón-Cortés’ contributions to neuroscience have been recognized through multiple awards, including the: NYU Sackler Dissertation Prize, International Society for Developmental Psychobiology (ISDP) Dissertation Award, Rafaelsen Young Investigator Award from the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP) and Early Career Achievement Award from the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (IBNS). She is actively seeking research personnel. Interested candidates should contact her directly.

Recent and Selected Representative Publications

Recent Articles in Peer-Refereed Journals

Rincón-Cortés, M. and Grace, A.A. (2022). Postpartum scarcity-adversity disrupts maternal behavior and induces a hypodopaminergic state in the rat dam and adult female offspring. Neuropsychopharmacology. Jan 47(2): 488-96.

Opendak, M., Raineki, C., Perry, R.E., Rincón-Cortés, M., Song, S.C., Zanca, R.S., Wood, E., Packard, K., Hu, S., Woo, J., Martinez, K., Yaragudri, V.K., Brown, R.W., Deehan, G.A., Froemke, R.C., Serrano, P.A., Wilson, D.A. and Sullivan, R.M. (2021). Bidirectional control of infant rat social behavior via dopaminergic innervation of the basolateral amygdala. Neuron. Dec 15; 109(24): 4018-35.

Rincón-Cortés, M. and Grace, A.A. (2021). Early Pup Removal Leads to Social Dysfunction and Dopamine Deficit in Late Postpartum Rats: Prevention by Social Support. Front. Glob. Womens Health 2:694808.

Rincón-Cortés, M. and Grace, A.A. (2020). Adaptations in reward-related behaviors and mesolimbic dopamine function during motherhood and the postpartum period. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology. Apr; 57:100839.

Rincón-Cortés, M. and Grace, A.A. (2020). Postpartum changes in affect-related behavior and VTA dopamine neuron activity in rats. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. Mar 8; 97:109768.

Rincón-Cortés, M. and Grace, A.A. (2020). Antidepressant effects of ketamine on depression-related phenotypes and dopamine dysfunction in rodent models of stress. Behavioral Brain Research. Feb 3; 379:112367.