Harry MacKay

  • PhD student (Neuroscience)
  • Contract Instructor (Carleton University)
  • President (2013/2014) – Society for Neuroscience, Ottawa Chapter
  • Official Neuroscience 2011 (Washington, DC) Neuroblogger – Neurobites
  • Contact: email hidden; JavaScript is required


My research investigates the effect of early life developmental conditions on the development of obesity and related metabolic complications in later life. In particular, I am currently investigating how early life exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds such as bisphenol-A (BPA) may alter the development of hypothalamic circuitry involved in regulating food intake and energy expenditure.

Contract Instructor

Neur1201: Introduction to Mental Health and Disease (Carleton University, Fall 2013, Summer 2014)

Neur4200: Seminar in Current Research In Neuroscience (Carleton University, Winter 2014)

Oral Presentations

MacKay H, Patterson ZR, Khazall R, and Abizaid A. Alterations in hypothalamic feeding circuitry and leptin response in mice perinatally exposed to the endocrine disruptor Bisphenol-A (BPA). IMHR Young Researchers’ Forum, Ottawa, ON, 2014. (Best Basic Poster Award)

Recent Posters

MacKay HA & Brebner K. The Role of Histone Acetylation in the Development and Persistence of Cocaine Induced Behavioral Sensitization. Canadian Society for Life Science Research Annual Meeting, Ottawa, ON. October 2009.

Wellman M, Khazall R, MacKay HA, Woodside B & Abizaid A. Ghrelin O-Acyltransferase

mRNA Levels in the Hypothalamus are Differentially Affected in Two Different Models of Negative Energy Balance. Society for Behavioural Neuroendocrinology, Toronto ON. July 2010

MacKay HA, Khazall R, Patterson Z, Wellman M, Abizaid A. (2011) Early postnatal over- or under-nutrition affects hypothalamic Fto expression in adult offspring. Canadian Obesity Summit, Montreal, QC.


Mackay, H, Charbonneau, VR, St. Onge, V, Murray, E, Watts, A, Wellman, MK, & Abizaid, A. (2016). Rats with a ghrelin receptor (GHSR) null mutation do not respond to ghrelin, and show reduced intake of palatable, high-calorie food. Manuscript accepted, Physiology and Behavior, DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.04.048

Agil, R., Patterson, ZR, Mackay, H, Abizaid, A., and Hosseinian, F. (2016). Triticale Bran Alkylresorcinols Enhance Resistance to Oxidative Stress in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet. Foods 5 (1), 5.

Wellman, M.K., Patterson, Z.R., MacKay, H., Darling, J.E., Mani, B.K. Zigman, J.M, Hougland, J.L. & Abizaid, A. (2015). Novel regulator of acylated ghrelin, CF801, reduces weight gain, rebound feeding after a fast, and adiposity in mice. Frontiers in Systems and Translational Endocrinology, Manuscript Accepted.

MacKay, H. & Abizaid, A. (2014). Embryonic development of the hypothalamic feeding circuitry: Transcriptional, nutritional, and hormonal influences. Molecular Metabolism, 3, 813-822.

Jodayree, S., Patterson, Z.R., MacKay, H., Abizaid, A. & Tsopmo, A. (2014) Blood and Liver Antioxidant Capacity of Mice Fed High Fat Diet Supplemented with Digested Oat Bran Proteins. International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition Engineering 4 (1), 9-14.

MacKay, H.A., Khazall, R., Patterson, Zachary R., Wellman, M.K., Abizaid, A. (2013) Rats perinatally exposed to food restriction and high-fat diet show differences in adipose tissue gene expression under chronic caloric restriction. Adipocyte. 2(4): 1-9.

MacKay, H., Patterson Z.R., Khazall, R., Patel, S, Tsirlin, D., Abizaid, A. (2013) Organizational Effects of Perinatal Exposure to Bisphenol-A and Diethylstilbestrol on Arcuate Nucleus Circuitry Controlling Food Intake and Energy Expenditure in Male and Female CD-1 Mice. Endocrinology, 2012-2044.

Associated Websites

  • Neurobites Blog – A blog written by both Harry and lab-mate Rim Khazall exploring the world of neuroscience. One of the official neuroblogs for Neuroscience 2011 in Washington, DC.