Skip to Content

Associate Professor Jennifer Cornish


Contact HDR Student

Associate Dean Higher Degree Research

Associate Professor Jennifer Cornish obtained her PhD in Neuropharmacology from Monash University in 1997.After several postdoctoral positions in the USA and at the University of Sydney, she commenced a lectureship position in the Department of Psychology, Macquarie University in 2005. In this role she convenes and lectures on four courses relating to bio psychology, actively supervises undergraduate and postgraduate students and managed Higher Degree Research for the Department(2007-2014). A/Prof Cornish's research is in the area of drug abuse and addiction, and associated mental health disorders (psychosis, anxiety,depression). She has recently incorporated investigations into the effect of high sugar diets on resilience and mental health into her research profile. Her work has discovered neurotransmitter systems and brain circuits that mediatemal adaptive behaviours.

Research interests

Drug abuse and addiction; mental health disorders;  neurotransmitter systems: dopamine, glutamate,GABA; neuroscience; biopsychology.


Hassan, SF, Zumut, S, Burke, PG, McMullan, S, Cornish JL, Goodchild AK (in press) Comparison of noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin in mediating the tachycardic and thermogenic effects of methamphetamine in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex. Neuroscience [accepted March 18, 2015].

Castino, MR, Cornish, JL, Clemens KJ (in press). Inhibition of Histone Deacetylases Facilitates Extinction and Attenuates Reinstatement of Nicotine Self-Administration in Rats. PLoS One[accepted March 26, 2015]

Baracz, SJ, McGregor, IS, Cornish, JL (in press). Oxytocin in the nucleus accumbens core reduces reinstatement of methamphetamine-seeking behaviour in rats. Addiction Biology, accepted October 28, 2014.

Hicks, C, Cornish, JL, Baracz, SJ, Suraev, A, McGregor, IS (in press). Adolescent pretreatment with oxytocin protects against adult methamphetamine-seeking behaviour in female rats. Addiction Biology, accepted October 28, 2014

Wearne TA, Mirzaei M, Franklin JL, Goodchild AK, Haynes PA, Cornish JL. (2015) Methamphetamine-Induced Sensitization Is Associated with Alterations to the Proteome of the Prefrontal Cortex: Implications for the Maintenance of Psychotic Disorders.Journal of Proteome Research. 14(1):397-410.

View all publications

Vanderhaven MW, Cornish JL, Staples LG (2014) The orexin-1 receptor antagonist SB-334867 decreases anxiety-like behavior and c-Fos expression in the hypothalamus of rats exposed to cat odor. Behavioral Brain Research. 278C:563-568. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2014.10.028. PMID: 25447305

Clemens KJ, Castino MR, Cornish JL, Goodchild AK, Holmes NM (2014) Behavioral and Neural Substrates of Habit Formation in Rats Intravenously Self-Administering Nicotine. Neuropsychopharmacology. 39(11):2584-93. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.111. PMID: 24823947

Staples LG, Cornish JL (2014) The orexin-1 receptor antagonist SB-334867 attenuates anxiety in rats exposed to cat odor but not the elevated plus maze: an investigation of Trial 1 and Trial 2 effects. Hormones and Behavior 65(3):294-300. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2013.12.014. PMID: 24397997

Hassan SF, Cornish JL, Goodchild AK (2013) Respiratory, metabolic and cardiac functions are altered by disinhibition of subregions of the medial prefrontal cortex. Journal of Physiology. 591(Pt 23):6069-88. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2013.262071. Epub 2013 Sep 16. PMID: 24042503

Francis HM, Mirzaei M, Pardey MC, Haynes PA, Cornish JL (2013). Proteomic analysis of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus of rats maintained on a high fat and refined sugar diet. Proteomics. 2013 Oct;13(20):3076-91. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201300124. Epub 2013 Sep 18. PMID: 23963966

Søvik E, Cornish JL, Barron AB (2013). Cocaine tolerance in honey bees. PLoS One. 2013 May 31;8(5):e64920. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064920. Print 2013

Motbey CP, Clemens KJ, Apetz N, Winstock AR, Ramsey J, Li KM, Wyatt N, Callaghan PD, Bowen MT, Cornish JL, McGregor IS (2013). High levels of intravenous mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) self-administration in rats: Neural consequences and comparison with methamphetamine. Journal of  Psychopharmacology. 2013 27(9):823-36. doi: 10.1177/0269881113490325

Baracz S.J. and Cornish J.L. (2013) Oxytocin modulates dopamine-mediated reward in the rat subthalamic nucleus. Hormones and Behavior 63(2):370-5. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2012.12.003

Pardey M.C., Kumar N.K., Goodchild A.K. and Cornish J.L.(2013) Catecholamine receptors differentially mediate impulsive choice in the medial prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex. Journal of Psychopharmacology 27(2):203-212 PMID: 23135240.

Pardey M.C., Kumar N.K., Goodchild A.K., Clemens K.J., Homewood J and Cornish J.L. (2012). Long-term effects of chronic oral Ritalin administration on cognitive and neural development in adolescent Wistar Kyoto rats. Brain Sciences 2(3): 375-404. doi:10.3390/brainsci2030375

Cornish J.L., Hunt G.E., Robins L. and McGregor I.S. (2012) Regional c-Fos and FosB/deltaFosB expression associated with chronic methamphetamine self-administration and methamphetamine-seeking behavior in rats. Neuroscience 206:100-14. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.01.004.

Baracz S.J., Rourke P.I., Pardey M.C., Hunt G.E., McGregor I.S., Cornish J.L. (2012).Oxytocin directly administered into the nucleus accumbens core or subthalamic nucleus attenuates methamphetamine-induced conditioned place preference. Behavioral Brain Research. 2011 Dec 6;228(1):185-193. DOI: 0.1016/j.bbr.2011.11.038.

Hunt, G.E., McGregor, I.S., Cornish, J.L. and Callaghan, P.D. (2011). MDMA-induced c-fos expression in oxytocin-containing neurons is blocked by pretreatment with the 5-HT-1A receptor antagonist WAY 100635. Brain Research Bulletin, 86:65-73.

Francis, H.M., Kraushaar, N.J., Hunt, L.R. and Cornish, J.L. (2011). Serotonin 5-HT4 receptors in the nucleus accumbens are specifically involved in the appetite suppressant and locomotor stimulant effects of MDMA ('ecstasy'). Psychopharmacology, 213:355-363.

Barron, A.B., Sovik, E., and Cornish J.L. (2010). The roles of dopamine and related compounds in reward seeking behaviour across animal phyla.Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 4:163.

Carson, D., Hunt, G.E., Guastella, A.J., Barber L.L., Cornish, J.L., Arnold, J.C., Boucher, A.A. and McGregor I.S. (2010). Systemically administered oxytocin decreases methamphetamine activation of the subthalamic nucleus and accumbens core and stimulates oxytocinergic neurons in the hypothalamus. Addiction Biology 15(4):448-63.

Carson, D., Cornish, J.L., Guastella, A. and McGregor I.S. (2010). Oxytocin decreases methamphetamine self-administration, methamphetamine hyperactivity and relapse to methamphetamine-seeking behaviour in rats. Neuropharmacology, 58:38-43.

Pardey, M.C., Homewood, J., Taylor, A and Cornish, J.L (2009). Re-evaluation of an animal model for ADHD using a free-operant choice task. Journal of Neuroscience Methods176:166-171.




Faculty of Human Sciences' Associate Dean of Research Award for Contribution to the Research Environment 


Australian-American Fulbright Scholarship to facilitate visiting US Fulbright Senior Specialist: Prof Peter Kalivas


Australian Learning & Teaching Citation Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning




Funding Body






Novel therapeutics for the remediation of social deficits in psychiatric illness

McGregor, Cornish, Kassiou




The effect of adolescent sugar consumption on brain resilience

Cornish, Callaghan, Gregorie



Macquarie University Research Development Grant

Therapist's Office or Living Room: Examination of the Benefits of Cue Exposure Therapy for Cannabis Abuse in Two Settings

Norberg, Cornish, Weidemann, Lejuez



Macquarie University Faculty Equipment Grant Scheme

Enhancing the Functionality of the Simulation Hub: The Case for Alcohol and Caffeine

Norberg, Baillie, Cornish




Noradrenergic control of the prefrontal cortex

Goodchild, Cornish



Macquarie University Research Infracstructure Block Grants Scheme

Enhancing Molecular Biology in the Faculty of Human Sciences

Cornish, Goodchild, Norberg, Guilleman,





Mephedrone ("Meow", 4-Methylmethcathinone): Examining the effects of a novel "party drug" on brain and behaviour

McGregor, Hunt, Cornish, Winstock, Callaghan




Molecular memory; how DNA methylation contributes to spatial memory

Maleska, Barron, Cornish




Vulnerability to cocaine use: discovering common mechanisms conserved across animal phyla

Barron, Cornish, Maleska


Higher Degree Research completions





2016Jessica Ashleigh BohThe effect of chronic sucrose consumption during adolescence on dopamine D2 receptor function in a rodent modelMaster of Research
2015Nicholas Adams EverettThe Interaction of Oxytocin and Vasopressin Systems in Reducing Relapse to Methamphetamine AbuseMaster of Research
2015Beth DebrezcenyA proteomic analysis of the prelimbic cortex following sugar and methamphetamineMaster of Research

Candice Ockert

A proteomic analysis of the behavioural effecs of cross-sensitization in the nucleus accumbensMaster of Research
2015Dr Travis Ashley WearneInhibitory Regulation of the Prefrontal Cortex in an Animal Model of Methamphetamine Behavioural Sensitization: Implications for the Maintenance of Chronic Psychoses

Doctor of Philosophy with a Master of Clinical Neuropsychology

VC Commendation

2015Dr Jane Louise Mary FranklinOrbitofrontal Cortex Function: The Behavioural and Molecular Consequences of Exposure to Sugar and/or Caffeine in RatsDoctor of Philosophy
2015Dr Sarah Jane BaraczThe Modulation of Methamphetamine-induced Behaviours by Oxytocin in the Nucleus Accumbens Core and Subthalamic NucleusDoctor of Philosophy with a Master of Clinical Neuropsychology


Dr Margery Pardey

Long-term effects of chronic treatment for ADHD on cognition and neural development in an adolescent rat model

Doctor of Philosophy with a Master of Clinical Neuropsychology


Dr Louise Hunt

The effect of complex environmental enrichment on locomotor, memory and affective function following dopamine receptor antagonism in adult rats with an investigation into a model of early-stage Parkinson's disease in aged rats

Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology)


Dr Heather Francis

A high fat and refined sugar diet affects the hippocampus and prefronal cortex: implications for memory, inhibition and sensitivity to interoceptive signals

Doctor of Philosophy with a Master of Clinical Neuropsychology