Programs: Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology, Neuroscience
- BS, Chemical Engineering, Columbia University
- MS, Chemical Engineering, MIT
- PhD, Physiology, Harvard University
- Postdoctoral Training, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
My lab focuses on two related projects revealing the molecular mechanisms controlling the sex-dependent effects of stress across generations: The first investigates how the neuronal, calcium-sensitive activator of Ras, Ras-GRF1, regulates the HPA axis response to acute and chronic stress specifically in adolescent females. The second investigates a newly detected form of epigenetic inheritance that occurs in males exposed to social instability stress during adolescence. These mice transmit anxiety and sociability defects specifically to their female offspring across at least 3 generations. At present, we are investigating how sperm miRNAs function as mediators of this Lamarckian type of inheritance in mice, and whether a similar phenomenon occurs in men raised in abusive and/or dysfunctional families.