Dr. Ziegler is actively engaged in both neuroscience research and teaching at multiple educational levels. Working in Dr. William Cullinan’s laboratory, his research focus is the neuroanatomical and neurochemical pathways in the brain that control the release of stress hormones (glucocorticoids) and how dysfunction in these brain systems plays a role in the development and treatment of such mental health disorders as Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Dr. Ziegler has also served as an undergraduate research mentor for numerous Biomedical Science majors, during semesters and in the Summer Research Program, working directly with students in the laboratory. Dr. Ziegler is also a lab instructor for two different advanced human neuroanatomy courses: Neuroanatomical Dissection: Human Brain and Spinal Cord(course director: Dr. William Cullinan) as well as Brain Dissection and Neuroscience: Applications to Disorders of Language and Speech Functions (course director: Dr. Subhash Bhatnagar, Dept. Speech Pathology & Audiology).
Dr. Ziegler’s training as a scientist and teacher began as a Biology major at Wesleyan University. He then earned his Ph.D. in the Dept. Anatomy & Neurobiology at the University of Kentucky Medical School, where his interest in stress neurobiology and mental health began. This doctoral training program also included participation in first-year medical school courses, including embryology, gross anatomy, histology, and neuroanatomy. At UK, Dr. Ziegler served as a laboratory instructor for histology as well as lecturer and lab instructor for human neuroanatomy for medical students. Dr. Ziegler continued on to postdoctoral research studies, first with Dr. Michela Gallagher in the Dept. Psychological & Brain Sciences at The Johns Hopkins University, investigating the role of glucocorticoids and estrogen in regulating neural systems underlying attention, learning, and memory. Dr. Ziegler then joined Dr. Cullinan’s laboratory in order to return his original focus: stress-related brain circuitry.