Stephen Sammut, PhD
Principal Investigator


Dr. Stephen Sammut received a B.Pharm from Monash University in Victoria, Australia and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Malta in Malta, Europe. His research interests lie in the utilization of behavioral models and combined experimental techniques to investigate the interaction between the endocrine, immune and nervous systems and their role in CNS development, functioning and psychopathology. His scientific career experience has been broad and has included experience in a number of animal models of psychiatric disorders including depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and psychostimulant-induced drug sensitization. Moreover, he has utilized various in vivo and in vitro techniques including electrophysiology, electrochemistry, reverse-microdialysis, individually or in combination with each other, in order to investigate questions related to behavior, cellular activity, neurotransmitter release, and how these are altered in psychiatric diseases in brain regions of interest. He has authored and co-authored several papers in leading scientific journals related to the research he has conducted and also presented his work at various conferences and institutions nationally and internationally. His scientific career has also given him the unique experience of having a leading role in the original setting up of laboratories and equipment and management. Dr. Sammut is currently a Professor of Psychology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH, where he teaches and is also involved in research. His research efforts currently are focused on four areas: 1) behavioral research geared at investigating the biological consequences of abortion in an animal model 2) research investigating the potential for the development of a surgical technique in an animal model that could be used to transfer an embryo/fetus in the case of an ectopic pregnancy 3) the investigation of the rewarding and motivational drive and connection between natural rewards and drugs of abuse in an animal model and 4) survey based research focusing on investigating factors affecting university student’s well-being.

Christina Camilleri, BS
Research Assistant


Christina Camilleri is currently a research assistant in Dr. Stephen Sammut’s laboratory at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Christina received her B.S. Degree in Biology from Franciscan University in May 2017. She has been actively involved in Dr. Sammut’s research since joining the lab, initially as a student, in 2015 and is involved in all four areas of his research. Additionally, Christina also serves as a teaching assistant for Dr. Sammut’s Statistics and Experimental Psychology courses where she is involved in mentoring and guiding undergraduate students. Her greatest passion is in the area of behavioral neuroscience, specifically utilizing animal models and various techniques. She devotes the greatest amount of time to the Abortion and the Ectopic Pregnancy studies. Christina has presented this research at several conferences and is currently involved in preparing some of this work for publication.