Ph.D., Duke University, Zoology, 1990
B.A., Carleton College, Biology, 1981
Chronic early life stress can have lifelong effects that predispose an individual to a variety of inflammatory diseases and more rapid aging, a phenomenon known as "developmental programming" of health and disease. We are investigating the mechanisms underlying these effects, focusing on (1) how stressful conditions experienced during early development program responsiveness to the stress hormone cortisol, an important physiological regulator of inflammation, and (2) the long-term effects of that programming on the body’s capacity for tissue repair and regeneration. We are using zebrafish as a model system to investigate these issues, as the cortisol-mediated stress response is conserved between zebrafish and humans, and zebrafish are exceptionally amenable to detailed mechanistic studies of both early development and adult regeneration.
Shusen Zhu, M.S., Research Assistant
Ellen Hartig, B.S., B.A., Research Assistant