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Sora Shin, PhD

Assistant Professor
  • Graduate Program Faculty
Sora Shin, PhD
4 Riverside Circle
Roanoke, VA 24016

Studying how stress influences behavior on a molecular level

How do stressful situations induce psychiatric illness?

Not all forms of stress lead to mental illness. As part of the body’s normal reaction to change, stress can be positive, playing an essential role in evolution and adaptation. Stress helps organisms survive by keeping them alert and helping them detect danger. But chronic stress without relief, and early-life stress, can come at a cost to mental and physical well-being. 

Dr. Shin’s team uses a combination of in vivo imaging techniques to see what’s happening at a microscopic scale in freely moving mice. The scientists image calcium to reveal neuronal activity and detect cells with impaired calcium signaling and use a variety of techniques to modulate cell activity in that select group of impaired neurons and trace the behavioral effects.

Dr. Shin's complete biography page

  • Assistant Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind (KIBM) innovative research grant award, 2018
  • Travel Award for Stress Neurobiology Workshop, 2018
  • Postdoctoral fellowship award, Tobacco-related disease research program, 2016
  • Korean Society of Pharmacology Award for excellent poster presentation, 2013
  • Korean Society for Brain and Neural Science Award for excellent poster presentation, 2013
  • Korean Society for Brain and Neural Science Award for excellent poster presentation, 2012
  • Annual Research Fair of Sungkyunkwan University Award for excellent presentation, 2006
  • Korean Society for Brain and Neural Science Award for excellent poster presentation, 2006
  • Korean Brain Society Award for excellent poster presentation, 2005
  • Yonsei University College of Medicine: Ph.D., Medical Science
  • Sungkyunkwan University College of Medicine: M.S., Physiology
  • Chung-Ang University: B.S., Biological Science

“People show a dynamic range of responses to acute and chronic stress. We first look at a functional difference in behavior and trace it to a brain region where the change originated. Then we search for therapeutic targets to correct signaling errors within a defined brain circuit."