Engineer Research Scientist Assistant, Pharmacy Department
(Photo credit Lisa Hernandez, Austin Potter’s House Christian Church)
Background: From Lubbock, TX. My first job was at the age of 16 doing research in Dr. Todd Anderson’s Lab at Texas Tech University / The Institute of Environmental and Human Health / Department of Environmental Toxicology assisting Marrianne Dobrovolny in a HHMI research program. I assisted in research that focused on the exposure and effects of pesticides on wild life and ecosystems. I returned to research as a junior at the University of Texas in 2012. As an undergrad I joined the Gore Lab and assisted Dr. Michelle Naugle with research that focused on investigating the mechanisms underlying menopause, specifically the regulation of GnRH neurons in the brain. To do this we used sterological techniques and I assisted with quantifying and analyzing the microenvironment of the Median Eminence, an area of the hypothalamus where GnRH neural terminals communicate and influence the rest of the nervous and endocrine system. Our results suggest changes to the microenvironment of the hypothalamus are to compensate for aging and short-term estrogen treatment may assist the brain with such adjustments. Later, I began assisting Dr. Weiling Yin with more research to understand how the hypothalamus changes due to aging and how it is effected by hormones. Further contributions to this research involved studying the ultrastructure of the median eminence of puberty aged rats; morphology of the 3rd ventricle; and how vasopressin neurons are altered in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus involved in circadian regulation during aging.
I currently assist Dr. Weiling Yin, overseeing the monkey and rat PPG projects. While working with Dr. Yin I learned how to perform immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunofluorescence confocal microscopy, immunocytochemistry (ICC), scanning electron microscopy, DNA and RNA extraction, rat brain perfusion, and assisted with surgeries.
My passions outside of research and neuroscience include social work, advocating for people with mental illnesses, social justice and spending quality time with my family. I am also a devoted member of the Austin Potter’s House Christian church and am involved in ministry as a sound booth, café, and nursery worker where we spread the gospel and make a positive impact around the world.
Please see posters below and C.V. for publication.