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Dr. Foster is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON. In addition, she holds a research appointment at the Brain-Body Institute, a joint research initiative between St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton, and McMaster University, created to advance the understanding of relations between the brain, the nervous system and bodily disorders. In addition, she is a Scientific Associate with the University Health Network in Toronto, ON

Dr. Jane Foster received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 1996. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI, Dr. Foster spent four years as a research fellow in the Section on Functional Neuroanatomy at the National Institute of Mental Health, in Bethesda, MD. At NIMH her research focused on neural-glial interactions and the roles played by immune signaling molecules in the brain during pathophysiological changes. Her research focuses on the role of immune-brain and gut-brain interactions on neurodevelopment. Dr. Foster hopes that her research accomplishments lead to a better understanding of how these relationships contribute to psychiatric disorders such as neurodevelopmental disorders, anxiety and depression.  

Featured Publications

  • Rilett, K.C., J. Ellegood, M. Friedel, R.N. MacKenzie, J.P. Lerch, and J.A. Foster. 2015. Loss of T cells significantly alters sex differences in behaviour and brain structure. Brain Behav Imm ePUB Feb 26 2015
  • Sidor, M. M., C. Halgren, and J.A. Foster. 2014. The impact of early life immune challenge on behavior and microglia during postnatal development. Inflamm Cell Signal 1: 51-60.
  • Lai, J.K.Y, M. Sobala-Drozdowski, L. Zhou, L.C. Doering, P.A. Faure, and J.A. Foster. 2013. Temporal and spectral differences in ultrasonic vocalization in fmr1-/- mice during postnatal development. Brain Behav Res 259C:119-130. Epub Nov 7 2013.
  • J.A. Foster and K. McVey Neufeld. 2013. Gut-brain axis: How the microbiome influences anxiety and depression. Trends in Neuroscience 36(5):305-312. EPub Feb 4 2013
  • Sankar, A., R.N. MacKenzie, and J.A. Foster. 2012. Loss of class I MHC function alters stress reactivity to mild stressors. J Neuroimmunology. 244(1-2):8-15. Epub 2012 Jan 14.


  • PhD, University of Toronto, 2006

Research Areas

Immune-brain crosstalk, gut-brain axis, and gene-environment interactions in brain development and behaviour.

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