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Dr. Zhdanova received her MD in Internal Medicine from the 1st Leningrad Medical Institute and has specialized in Clinical Physiology. She then received her PhD in Physiology of Behavior from the Institute of Experimental Medicine (St. Petersburg Russia). She completed her post-doctoral training at the Institute of Physiology (FIN), Russian Academy of Sciences, and then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Dr. Zhdanova is studying the role of circadian system in development and aging, and an impact of circadian factors on the effects of drugs of abuse. The studies in her laboratory employ non-human primates and zebrafish.
Dr. Zhdanova teaches in the Neuroscience course offered in the Medical School (AN703), Cognitive Neuroscience and Behavioral Neuroscience graduate courses. Starting Spring 2016, she directs and teaches a course on Sleep and Circadian Rhythms.
Dr. Zhdanova is a member of the Department Qualifying Exam Committee (Chair) and the Medical School Executive Committee of the Cell and Molecular Biology program
Research interests in the Zhdanova laboratory center around the role of endogenous factors secreted into the cerebrospinal fluid in regulating behavior and physiological functions. We are specifically interested in two secretory organs, the pineal gland and the subcommissural organ (SCO), both of which secrete into the third brain ventricle, as well as into the blood stream.