Nikol Piskuric, Ph.D.Assistant Professor

Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour and Life Sciences Program

Courses I teach in PNB

PSYCH 2E03: Sensory Processes
PSYCH 3J03: Visual Neuroscience
PNB 2XE3: Descriptive Statistics


I’ve been part of the McMaster community for over 10 years! I began my undergraduate studies in the Faculty of Science in 2003, and earned my Honours B.Sc. in Biology and Psychology in 2007.  Subsequently, I entered the Ph.D. program in Biology, and graduated with highest honours in 2012, winning the Governor General’s Academic Medal.


I pursued my Ph.D. research under the supervision of Dr. Colin Nurse in the Department of Biology at McMaster. I was – and still am – fascinated by how neurons work; how do they sense information, and how to they transmit sensory signals to other cells? My Ph.D. project focused on identifying the mechanisms by which a specialized group of cells near the heart sense and respond to oxygen, carbon dioxide, and acid levels in the blood. See below for some selected publications; visit PubMed for a complete list.

  • Piskuric, N.A. and Nurse, C.A. (2013) Expanding role of ATP as a versatile messenger at carotid and aortic body chemoreceptors. The Journal of Physiology. 591(Pt 2): 415-422.
  • Piskuric, N.A. and Nurse, C.A. (2012) Effects of chemostimuli on [Ca2+]i responses of rat aortic body type I cells and endogenous local neurons: Comparison with carotid body cells. The Journal of Physiology. 590(Pt 9): 2121-2135.
  • Piskuric, N.A., Vollmer, C. and Nurse, C.A. (2011) A confocal immunofluorescence study of rat aortic body chemoreceptors in vivo and in vitro. The Journal of Comparative Neurology. 519(5): 856-873.

About me

Part of the reason I fell in love with McMaster was because I fell in love with Hamilton. I love my walkable community of Westdale, and you might often run into me enjoying a frozen yogurt at TCBY, biking at Princess Point, or picking up milk at Metro. I also love the many places in the surrounding area that contribute to the environmentally conscious and culturally diverse community of McMaster, like the farmer’s market in Jackson Square, the restaurants on James St., and the parks and trails in neighbouring Dundas.

I love learning, and I love intelligent media. I am a frequent visitor to the National Geographic website (www.nationalgeographic.com) and am awed by beautiful photographs of people, places, and nature. I like to watch The Agenda with Steve Paikin (who is a Hamilton native!), a program on TVO that “engages public-minded individuals” in discussions about politics, science, education, society and culture, among other things (theagenda.tvo.org).  And, I am obviously interested in the evolving post-secondary landscape. I recommend University Affairs (www.universityaffairs.ca) for blogs, columns, and news about current issues in academia.

Contact Department

Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB)
Psychology Building (PC), Room 102
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton Ontario L8S 4K1