Doctoral student in Integrative Neuroscience


Ken is a doctoral student in the Integrative Neuroscience program working with Brian Prendergast and Greg Norman. His current research aims to understand the biological underpinnings of behavior.

Research Interests

Ken studies the intersection of biological rhythms, social behavior, and immunology. Captivated by biological mechanisms (neural, immunological, developmental, psychophysiological) and why people do what they do, he strives to understand behavior from an integrative approach. His current projects aim to (1) examine how varying day lengths influence immunocompetence in seasonally breeding species, (2) elucidate how sickness during pregnancy results in offspring with life-long sickness response and behavioral alterations and (3) shed light on the bi-directional communication between the intestinal microbiome and the brain to influence behavior.


Cable EJ, Onishi KG, Prendergast BJ. (2017) Circadian rhythms accelerate wound healing in female Siberian hamsters. Circadian rhythms accelerate wound healing in female Siberian hamsters. Physiology & Behavior: 171:165-174.

Yee JR, Kenkel WM, Frijling JL, Dodhia S, Onishi KG, Tovar S, Saber MJ, Lewis GF, Liu W, Porges SW, Carter CS. (2016) Oxytocin promotes functional coupling between paraventricular nucleus and both sympathetic and parasympathetic cardioregulatory nuclei. Hormones and Behavior: 80:82-91.

Prendergast BJ, Cable EJ, Stevenson TJ, Onishi KG, Zucker I, Kay LM. (2015) Circadian disruption alters the effects of lipopolysaccharide treatment on circadian and ultradian locomotor activity and body temperature rhythms of female Siberian hamsters. Journal of Biological Rhythms: 30: 543-556.

Prendergast BJ, Onishi KG, Zucker I. (2014) Female mice liberated for inclusion in neuroscience and biomedical research. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews: 40C:1-5.

Prendergast BJ, Onishi KG, Patel PN, Stevenson TJ. (2014) Circadian arrhythmia dysregulates emotional behaviors in aged Siberian hamsters. Behavioural Brain Research: 261:146-57.

Stevenson TJ, Onishi KG, Bradley SP, Prendergast BJ. (2014) Cell-autonomous iodothyronine deiodinase expression mediates seasonal plasticity in immune function. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity: 36:61-70.

Prendergast BJ, Onishi KG, Zucker I. (2013) Neonatal monosodium glutamate treatment counteracts circadian arrhythmicity induced by phase shifts of the light-dark cycle in female and male Siberian hamsters. Brain Research: 1521:51-8.

Prendergast BJ, Cable EJ, Patel PN, Pyter LM, Onishi KG, Stevenson TJ, Ruby NF, Bradley SP. (2013) Impaired leukocyte trafficking and skin inflammatory responses in hamsters lacking a functional circadian system. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity: 32:94-104.