I am a graduate student in Dr. Atwood's laboratory in the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine program. I am currently investigating the influence of the hypothalamic - pituitary - gonadal (HPG) axis on Alzheimer's disease, and any differences that may exist between AD patients and age-matched controls. Evidence such as the prevalence of AD in women and the decreased incidence and delay in onset of AD following hormone replacement therapy have led us to hypothesize that the dysregulation of the HPG axis promotes neurodegeneration. This dysregulation of the axis is induced by menopause/andropause, which causes alterations in the concentrations of all hormones controlled by this axis. It is our goal to identify the hormone(s) and their receptors that drive AD-related neurodegenerative and cognitive changes. I am a graduate of the Allegheny College, PA and joined the Laboratory of Endocrinology, Aging and Disease in 2002 as a research assistant before entering graduate school in 2004. In 2006, I was awarded an International Neuroendocrine Federation (INF) Young Investigator Travel Award to attend the 6th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology (ICN 2006) in Pittsburgh.