Giovanni Hernandez

Project Manager/Senior Research Associate     

Ph.D. Psychology – Concordia University, 2010
MSc Organizational Psychology – Universidad Simon Bolivar, 2003
MSc Psychology Behavioral Analysis – Universidad Central de Venezuela, 2002

Giovanni’s main interests lie in the elucidation of the neurobiological circuit underlying decision-making. Giovanni graduated from Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Caracas, Venezuela) with a B.S in Psychology in 1997. He then did two Masters Degrees one in Organizational Psychology and another in Behavior Analysis. Giovanni received his Ph.D. from Concordia University under the direction of Prof. Peter Shizgal, Giovanni’s graduate research focused on the role of dopamine in decision-making. He used behavioral economics models and neurochemistry techniques to correlate the behavioral change to the change in neurotransmitter release.  During his postdoctoral studies at the University of Maryland under the advice of Joseph Cheer, Ph.D.  Giovanni studied how modulation of the dopaminergic system by the endocannabinoid system alters goal-directed behavior. At the Universite de Montreal, under the advice of Pierre-Paul Rompre, Ph.D. and Daniel Levesque, Ph.D. Giovanni identified an NMDA receptor (GluN2C) that is responsible for the relay of the reward signal in the ventral tegmental area.  Right now he is studying the development of dopamine neurons during adolescence.

Giovanni has two daughters and a dog. He is an avid cyclist and runner.