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About me

I received my PhD in Animal Physiology in 2007 at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. After my Master in Agricultural Sciences, Animal direction, I studied pharmacology and neuropsychology as a result of my interest in ethology (animal behavior) with related research fields. I have kept my research focus on animal behavior and individual variation but independently changed the application of my knowledge in the following research fields: memory and learning, anxiety and depression, addiction and impulsivity.

I am affiliated to the Professor Sven Ove Ögren group

Research description

My research is devoted to building of a bridge between preclinical behavioral research and clinical research. There is a long tradition of successful preclinical neurobiological and molecular biological research of relevance to psychiatric disorders. However, the need to target the interplay between multiple disordered domains using valid animal models for the understanding of complex human disorders needs to be emphasized. Using multivariate methods on ethologically founded approaches I develop risk profiles for developing pshychiatric disorders, such as gambling disorder.

Salvatore Magara, Sarah Holst, Stina Lundberg, Erika Roman, Maria Lindskog. Altered explorative strategies and reactive coping style in the FSL rat model of depression. Front. Behav. Neurosci., 21 April 2015 | doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00089

Elin Åberg, Sarah Holst, Alexandru Neagu, Sven-Ove Ögren and Catharina Lavebratt. Prenatal exposure to Carbamazepine reduces hippocampal and cortical neurons in newborn and young mice. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 14;8(11):e80497. 

Therese M Eriksson, Sarah Holst, Tiberiu L Stan, Torben Hager, Benita Sjögren, Sven Ove Ögren, Per Svenningsson, and Oliver Stiedl. 5-HT1A and 5-HT7 receptors interact in the regulation of emotional learning: implications for the mechanisms of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Neuropharmacology. 2012. (63);1150-1160.

Pia Steensland, Ida Fredriksson, Sarah Holst, Kristin Feltmann, Johan Franck, Björn Schilström, and Arvid Carlsson. The monoamine stabilizer (-)-OSU6162 attenuates voluntary ethanol intake and ethanol-induced dopamine output in the N.Accumbens. Biol Psych 2012 Jul 17.

Sarah Holst, Elin Ågren, Therese Eriksson, Catharina Lavebratt, Sven Ove Ögren. Behavioral Evidence for Cognitive Dysfunctions in the (BALB/cByJ-Kv1.1mceph/mceph) Mouse Model for Epilepsy. Jbbs. 2011. 1(4); 210-22


Sarah Holst, Irene Lund, Petersson M and Uvnäs-Moberg K.. Massage-like stroking influences plasma levels of gastrointestinal hormones, including insulin, and increases weight gain in male rats. Auton Neurosci. 2005.120 (1-2); 73-79.

Sarah Holst , Uvnäs-Moberg K, Petersson M.. Postnatal oxytocin treatment and postnatal stroking of rats reduce blood pressure in adulthood. Auton Neurosci. 2002. 99(2); 85-90. 

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