Jessica J. Connelly


  • BS, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
  • PhD, State University of New York at Stony Brook
  • Postdoc, Duke University

Primary Appointment

  • Assistant Professor, Psychology


Research Interest(s)

Epigenetic mechanisms involved in complex human disease

Research Description

The lab is interested in understanding the epigenetic (and genetic) regulation of the oxytocin receptor in the context of human and animal social behavior.

Selected Publications

  • Bell A, Carter C, Steer C, Golding J, Davis J, Steffen A, Rubin L, Lillard T, Gregory S, Harris J, Connelly J. Interaction between oxytocin receptor DNA methylation and genotype is associated with risk of postpartum depression in women without depression in pregnancy. Frontiers in genetics. 2015;6 243. PMID: 26257770 | PMCID: PMC4508577
  • Lancaster K, Carter C, Pournajafi-Nazarloo H, Karaoli T, Lillard T, Jack A, Davis J, Morris J, Connelly J. Plasma oxytocin explains individual differences in neural substrates of social perception. Frontiers in human neuroscience. 2015;9 132. PMID: 25852519 | PMCID: PMC4362216
  • Puglia M, Lillard T, Morris J, Connelly J. Epigenetic modification of the oxytocin receptor gene influences the perception of anger and fear in the human brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2015;112(11): 3308-13. PMID: 25675509 | PMCID: PMC4372000
  • Connelly J, Golding J, Gregory S, Ring S, Davis J, Davey Smith G, Harris J, Carter C, Pembrey M. Personality, behavior and environmental features associated with OXTR genetic variants in British mothers. PloS one. 2014;9(3): e90465. PMID: 24621820 | PMCID: PMC3951216
  • Smith K, Porges E, Norman G, Connelly J, Decety J. Oxytocin receptor gene variation predicts empathic concern and autonomic arousal while perceiving harm to others. Social neuroscience. 2013;9(1): 1-9. PMID: 24295535 | PMCID: PMC3923324
  • Jack A, Connelly J, Morris J. DNA methylation of the oxytocin receptor gene predicts neural response to ambiguous social stimuli. Frontiers in human neuroscience. 2012;6 280. PMID: 23087634 | PMCID: PMC3467966
  • Wolstenholme J, Edwards M, Shetty S, Gatewood J, Taylor J, Rissman E, Connelly J. Gestational exposure to bisphenol a produces transgenerational changes in behaviors and gene expression. Endocrinology. 2012;153(8): 3828-38. PMID: 22707478 | PMCID: PMC3404345
  • Wolstenholme J, Taylor J, Shetty S, Edwards M, Connelly J, Rissman E. Gestational exposure to low dose bisphenol A alters social behavior in juvenile mice. PloS one. 2011;6(9): e25448. PMID: 21980460 | PMCID: PMC3182223
  • Wolstenholme J, Rissman E, Connelly J. The role of Bisphenol A in shaping the brain, epigenome and behavior. Hormones and behavior. 2010;59(3): 296-305. PMID: 21029734 | PMCID: PMC3725332
  • Gregory S, Connelly J, Towers A, Johnson J, Biscocho D, Markunas C, Lintas C, Abramson R, Wright H, Ellis P, Langford C, Worley G, Delong G, Murphy S, Cuccaro M, Persico A, Pericak-Vance M. Genomic and epigenetic evidence for oxytocin receptor deficiency in autism. BMC medicine. 2009;7 62. PMID: 19845972 | PMCID: PMC2774338