Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Associate Professor Jessica Tollkuhn has won the inaugural Maximizing Innovation in Neuroscience Discovery (MIND) Prize. The $750,000 award will support her research on how sex hormones affect the brain over the course of a lifetime.
The Pershing Square Foundation’s MIND Prize honors early-to-mid-career investigators pursuing innovative research on neurodegenerative diseases.
“I’m honored to be a part of this inaugural MIND community,” Tollkuhn says. “This award provides an exciting opportunity. If we can pinpoint how estrogen and testosterone levels affect the brain, it could lead to better hormone replacement therapies and protection against age-related cognitive decline.”
Estrogen and testosterone levels decrease as we age. This has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Previously, Tollkuhn identified the genes estrogen activates to establish sex differences in the developing brain. Her current research builds on this discovery. She is now identifying the genes testosterone regulates in the brain. And she is tracking the roles of hormone-regulated genes later in life.
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