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Stephanie Correa - Estrogenic modulation of neural circuits that control body temperature

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Join us at the Gunn Rotunda in the Stanford Neurosciences Building to learn about the latest cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary brain research, from biochemistry to behavior and beyond

Wu Tsai Neuro's weekly seminar series is back to being held in-person starting in Fall 2022. Masking is strongly encouraged for the health and safety of our community

Join the speaker for coffee, cookies, and conversation after the talk

Estrogenic modulation of neural circuits that control body temperature


Variable and declining estrogen levels at menopause are associated with adverse effects on health and quality of life. Vasomotor symptoms, which include hot flashes and night sweats, are the archetypal side effects of peri-menopause and the primary source of menopausal distress. Despite the widespread impact of these symptoms, it is unclear how they are precipitated by fluctuating estrogens during the menopausal transition. We hypothesize that estrogen levels modulate the function of homeostatic neural circuits to coordinate a suite of thermoregulatory and vasomotor changes at menopause. I will present studies using mice that dissect the thermoregulatory functions of estrogen-sensitive neurons in the preoptic area and the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. These regions regulate core body temperature and heat generation and are highly sensitive to estrogens. We find that loss of function and gain of function manipulations of hypothalamic neurons that express estrogen receptor alpha potently alter basal metabolic rate, heat generation, and/or cutaneous vasoconstriction to regulate core body temperature. These studies demonstrate that estrogen-sensitive neurons can drive changes in temperature balance and advance our goal to understand the thermoregulatory changes that accompany the menopausal transition.

Stephanie Correa


(Visit lab website)

Stephanie Correa is an associate professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology at UCLA. She earned a BA in Biology from Pomona College and a PhD in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University. Her dissertation research with Elizabeth Adkins-Regan and Patricia Johnson tested the effects of ovarian steroids on sex determination in birds. Her postdoctoral research at Boston University Medical Center identified strain differences in the testis determination pathway in mice. Postdoctoral research with Holly Ingraham at UCSF identified neurons in the hypothalamus that regulate physical activity and body weight in female mice. Research in her lab aims to understand sex differences in the regulation of temperature and energy balance. Before having twin daughters in 2016, Dr. Correa used to enjoy yoga and sleep.

Hosted by - Vinicius Carvalho (Nirao Shah lab)

About the Wu Tsai Neuro Seminar Series

The Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute seminar series brings together the Stanford neuroscience community to discuss cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary brain research, from biochemistry to behavior and beyond.

Topics include new discoveries in fundamental neurobiology; advances in human and translational neuroscience; insights from computational and theoretical neuroscience; and the development of novel research technologies and neuro-engineering breakthroughs.

Unless otherwise noted, seminars are held Thursdays at 12:00 noon PT.

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