Maylen Perez Diaz, Ph.D.

Maylen Perez Diaz, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Maylen Perez Diaz joined the London Laboratory in January 2018 as a postdoctoral research scholar with an interest in the use of multi-modal neuroimaging approaches to study the neural substrates of nicotine addiction, as well as its cognitive, endocrine, and behavioral correlates. Her current work focuses specifically on sex differences in brain glutamate, resting-state connectivity, and cue-induced craving, as well as in the relationships between these measures with smoking-related states and sex hormones. Her graduate work was completed in the laboratories of Drs. Leonard Howell and Mark Wilson at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University, where she examined the relationships between compulsive and addictive behaviors in a non-human primate model. Her thesis work focused on the long-term impacts of methamphetamine and high caloric food intake on compulsive behavior, and the role of serotonin 5-HT2C receptors. Dr. Perez Diaz manages the smoking neuroimaging studies in the lab.



Perez Diaz M, Pochon JB, Ghahremani DG, Dean AC, Faulkner P, Petersen N, Tyndale RF, Donis A, Paez D, Cahuantzi C, Hellemann GS, London ED. Sex Differences in the Association of Cigarette Craving with Insula Structure. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2021 Apr 8;24(8):624–33. doi: 10.1093/ijnp/pyab015. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33830218; PMCID: PMC8378076.

Ghahremani DG, Pochon JB, Perez Diaz M, Tyndale RF, Dean AC, London ED. Functional connectivity of the anterior insula during withdrawal from cigarette smoking. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2021 May 25. doi: 10.1038/s41386-021-01036-z. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34035468.


Maylen Perez Diaz, Mark E. Wilson, and Leonard L. Howell (2018). Effects of long-term high-fat food or methamphetamine intake and serotonin 2C receptors on reversal learning in female rhesus macaques. Neuropsychopharmacology, 44(3): 478-486.


Jodi R. Godfrey, Maylen Perez Diaz, Melanie Pincus, Zsofia Kovacs-Balint, Eric Feczko, Eric Earl, Oscar Miranda-Dominguez, Damien Fair, Mar M. Sanchez, Mark E. Wilson, and Vasiliki Michopoulos (2018). Diet matters: Glucocorticoid-related neuroadaptations associated with calorie intake in female rhesus monkeys. Psychoneuroendocrinology 91: 169-178.

Maylen Perez Diaz and Lais F. Berro (co-first authors), Eric Maltbie and Leonard L. Howell (2017). Effects of the serotonin 2C receptor agonist WAY163909 on the abuse-related effects and mesolimbic dopamine neurochemistry induced by abused stimulants in rhesus monkeys. Psychopharmacology 234(17): 2607-2617.

Maylen Perez Diaz, Monica L. Andersen, Kenner C. Rice and Leonard L. Howell (2017). Effects of a serotonin 2C agonist and a 2A antagonist on actigraphy-based sleep parameters disrupted by methamphetamine self-administration in rhesus monkeys. Neuropsychopharmacology 42(7): 1531-1538.

Vasiliki Michopoulos, Maylen Perez Diaz and Mark Wilson (2016). Social change and access to a palatable diet produces differences in reward neurochemistry and appetite in female monkeys. Psychology and Behavior 162: 102-111.

Vasiliki Michopoulos, Jodi Godfrey, Maylen Perez Diaz, Venkatagiri Krishnamurthy, Zsofia Kovacs, Melanie Pincus, Mar Sanchez and Mark Wilson (2015). Psychosocial stress and consumption of a high calorie diet in female monkeys alters brain neurochemistry and functional connectivity: a model of food addiction? Neuropsychopharmacology 40: 599-600.

Vasiliki Michopoulos, Maylen Perez Diaz, Molly Embree, Kathy Reding, Jiyoung Mun, Ronald J. Voll, Mark M. Goodman, Mark Wilson, Mar Sanchez and Donna Toufexis (2014). Oestradiol alters central 5‐HT1A receptor binding potential differences delated to psychosocial stress but not differences related to 5‐HTTLPR genotype in female rhesus monkeys. Journal of neuroendocrinology 26 (2): 80-88.

Monica L. Andersen, Maylen Perez Diaz, Kevin S. Murnane and Leonard L. Howell (2013). Effects of methamphetamine self-administration on actigraphy-based sleep parameters in rhesus monkeys. Psychopharmacology 227(1): 101-107.