head shot

Dr. Matthew Hill




Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy

Full Member

Hotchkiss Brain Institute

Full Member

Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education

Child Health & Wellness Researcher

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Contact information


Educational Background

B.Sc. Biopsychology, University of British Columbia, 2002

M.A. Behavioural Neuroscience, University of British Columbia, 2004

Ph.D. Behavioural Neuroscience, University of British Columbia, 2008


Areas of Research

Brain Development
Mental Health

The Hill lab uses a range of cellular, biochemical and behavioural techniques to examine the role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of stress. Endocannabinoids are the brains endogenous version of THC, the psychoactive constituent of cannabis (similar to how endorphins are the body’s endogenous version of morphine). Research from us, and others, has demonstrated that endocannabinoid signalling is important for both the termination of the stress response and adaptation of the stress response under conditions of repeated exposure. We have found that under conditions of chronic stress, endocannabinoid signalling “breaks down”, and that the loss of this system may be one of the mechanisms by which chronic stress increases the risk of affective illnesses, such as depression and anxiety disorders. More recently, our work has integrated two components related to the developing brain. First, we are exploring how pre- and post-natal exposure to stress or inflammation impacts endocannabinoid function and alters the development of the endocannabinoid system. Second, we are also now exploring the impacts of prenatal exposure to cannabis and how this impacts neurodevelopmental processes.

Participation in university strategic initiatives


  • Young Investigator of the Year Award, International Cannabinoid Research Society . 2018
  • Elected into the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, Royal Society of Canada. 2017
  • Young Research Award, International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines . 2017
  • Emerging Research Leader Award, Killam. 2016
  • Young Investigator of the Year, Canadian Association for Neuroscience . 2016