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Will Kenkel

Assistant Professor
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716

Biography

Dr. Kenkel's research focuses on the neuroendocrine regulation of social behavior with a focus on reproduction and development. He primarily studies two neuropeptides, oxytocin and vasopressin, for their contributions to social behavior. Like many other hormones, levels of both oxytocin and vasopressin surge at birth when they play important roles in helping the newborn adjust to life outside the womb. Throughout development, oxytocin and vasopressin are important regulators of social behavior, which Dr. Kenkel has studied using the monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). In contemporary obstetric practice, there are a number of conditions and interventions which affect perinatal oxytocin and vasopressin levels, and Dr. Kenkel's present research is aimed at uncovering the developmental consequences of changes to these hormones' activity during the sensitive period around birth.

Degrees

​Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago

Representative Publications

Kenkel WM, Perkeybile AM, Yee JR, Pournajafi-Nazarloo H, Lillard TS, Ferguson EF, ... Connelly JJ. (2019). Behavioral and epigenetic consequences of oxytocin treatment at birth. Science Advances; 5(5): eaav2244.

Kenkel WM. (2019). Corpus Colossal: A Bibliometric Analysis of Neuroscience Abstracts and Impact Factor. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience; 13(18).

Kenkel WM, Perkeybile AM, Yee JR, Carter CS. (2019). Rewritable fidelity: How repeated pairings and age influence subsequent pair-bond formation in male prairie voles. Hormones and behavior; 113: 47-54.

Glasper ER, Kenkel WM, Bick J, Rilling JK. (2019). More than just mothers: The neurobiological and neuroendocrine underpinnings of allomaternal caregiving. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology; 53: 100741.

Perkeybile AM, Carter CS, Wroblewski KL, Puglia MH, Kenkel WM, Lillard TS, ... Connelly JJ. (2018). Early nurture epigenetically tunes the oxytocin receptor. Psychoneuroendocrinology; 99: 128-36.

Kenkel WM, Perkeybile AM, Carter CS. (2017). The neurobiological causes and effects of alloparenting. Developmental Neurobiology; 77(2): 214-32.

Yee JR*, Kenkel WM*, Kulkarni P, Moore K, Perkeybile AM, Toddes S, ... Ferris CF. (2016). BOLD fMRI in awake prairie voles: A platform for translational social and affective neuroscience. NeuroImage. 138: 221-32. *these authors contributed equally

Kenkel WM, Yee JR, Moore K, Madularu D, Kulkarni P, Gamber K, ... Ferris CF. (2016). Functional magnetic resonance imaging in awake transgenic fragile X rats: evidence of dysregulation in reward processing in the mesolimbic/habenular neural circuit. Translational Psychiatry; 6: e763.

Kenkel WM, Carter CS. (2016). Voluntary exercise facilitates pair-bonding in male prairie voles. Behavioural Brain Research; 296: 326-30.

Kenkel WM, Yee JR, Porges SW, Ferris CF, Carter CS. (2015). Cardioacceleration in alloparents in response to stimuli from prairie vole pups: The significance of thermoregulation. Behavioural Brain Research. 286: 71-9. 

Kenkel WM, Yee JR, Carter CS. (2014). Is Oxytocin a Maternal-Fetal Signaling Molecule at Birth? Implications for Development. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. 26(10): 739-49. 

Courses Regularly Taught

​PSYC 100​

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Psychological and Brain Sciences
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