Graduate Student, Institute for Neuroscience
Background: I received a B.S. in behavioral neuroscience and a B.A. in linguistics from the University of Florida in 2013. At UF my research focused on the neural basis of hypertensive symptoms and the exaggerated stress response of a salt-sensitive rat model. I also began work on a project investigating the developmental and cardiovascular implications of prenatal nicotine exposure and bacterial infection in a rat model. Working on this developmental model inspired me to pursue my graduate work with Andrea Gore at UT Austin in 2015.
Current Research: My ongoing research investigates the mechanisms by which the environmental contaminants polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) act through hormone pathways during prenatal development to disrupt typical social and sexual behavior in adulthood. My current project focuses on the role of embryonic neurogenesis in this system.
Hernandez, ME, Watkins, J, Vu, J, and LF Hayward. DOCA/salt hypertension alters Period1 and orexin-related gene expression in the medulla and hypothalamus of male rats: diurnal influences. Auton Neurosci. (submitted) 2017.
Hernandez, ME, and AC Gore, 2017. Endocrine disruptors: Chemical contaminants – a toxic mixture for neurodevelopment. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 13, 322-323. doi:10.1038/nrendo.2017.40
Martin, EJ, Hernandez, ME, and LF Hayward, 2016. Blockade of orexin receptors attenuates the cardiovascular response to air-jet stress in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Auton Neurosci. 201, 8-16. doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2016.08.012.
Hayward, LF, Hampton, EE, Ferreira, LF, Christou, DD, Yoo, JK, Hernandez, ME, and EJ Martin, 2015. Chronic heart failure alters orexin and melanin concentrating hormone but not corticotrophin releasing hormone-related gene expression in the brain of male Lewis rats. Neuropeptides. 52, 67-72. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2015.06.001.
Hernandez, ME, and LF Hayward, 2014. Effect of DOCA/salt hypertension on CRF expression in the amygdala and the autonomic stress response in conscious rats. Auton Neurosci. 185, 83- 92. doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2014.07.011.