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Dr. Dannia Islas


Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz National Institute of Psychiatry

Discovery (Biological & Genetic Mechanisms)

My research interests are mainly how sexual hormones could impact our behavior and lead to some pathologies. I studied my PhD in Mexico City and my research was to elucidate the HPA axis activity in response to hormonal absence or an abrupt drop of them, such as progesterone withdrawal (PW). PW leads to a increase in anxiety and I explored if a non-pharmacological approach, like enriched environment, could ameliorate the impact of PW in anxiety and in the HPA axis response.My postdoctoral research at the Galea lab will be focused in to examine if biological sex is related to the efficacy of aerobic training (AT) in cognition. In addition, since some reports suggest that BDNF is an important mediator of the beneficial effects of AT in cognitive function, we will evaluate the BDNF val66met polymorphism to determine its influence on the AT effect in memory through a preclinical model. This research aims to provide new knowledge about the interaction between sex-genotype and may help to establish more specific treatments for people with cognitive impairments.

Area of Research Expertise
Sexual hormones; Anxiety; Aerobic training; Memory