Victor A. Cazares

Victor Cazares

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Wachenheim Science Center Rm 218
At Williams since 2020


B.A. California State University, Los Angeles, Psychology (2007)
M.A. California State University, Los Angeles, Psychology (2009)
Ph.D. University of Michigan, Neuroscience (2015)

Scholarship/Creative Work

Selected Publications:

  1. Turning strains into strengths for understanding psychiatric illness (2020).
    Moore S, Murphy GG, Cazares VA.
    Molecular Psychiatry. PMID: 32404949  | DOI 10.1038/s41380-020-0772-y
  2. Deficits across multiple behavioral domains align with susceptibility to stress in 129S1/SvImJ mice (2020)
    Rodriguez G, Moore SJ, Neff RC, Glass ED, Stevenson TK, Stinnett GS, Seasholtz AF, Murphy GG, Cazares VA
    Neurobiology of Stress. DOI 10.1016/j.ynstr.2020.100262
  3. Neural Plasticity of the Amygdala (2020)
    Cazares VA, Murphy GG
    Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience. DOI:
  4. Environmental variables that ameliorate extinction learning in the 129S1/SvImJ mouse stain (2019)
    Cazares VA, Rodriguez G, Parent R, Ouilette L, Glanowska K, Moore S, Murphy GG.
    Genes, Brain and Behavior. PMCID: PMC6718342  |  DOI: 10.1111/gbb.12575


Psychiatric disorders account for the highest total number of years lost to illness, disability, or premature death in the U.S.; yet, treatment options lag significantly behind other diseases. My research is focused on studying how interactions between genetic background and the environment alter neurophysiology and risk for exhibiting pathological behaviors. This is achieved by comparing the behavior of distinct mouse strains with unique genetic background, where some strains innately exhibit maladaptive traits and others do not. I leverage differences in strain-specific behavior to establish how neurophysiological features (and genes) are associated with adaptive vs. maladaptive traits. The ultimate goal is to identify mechanisms that underlie the symptoms associated with human psychiatric illness (i.e. depression, anxiety, schizophrenia) to stimulate the development of new therapeutic approaches.