2023 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Biology
Mentor: Ian Gotlib (Psychology)

“Diurnal Cortisol and Resting-State Functional Brain Connectivity in Adolescents: A Longitudinal Approach”

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is the collection of hormone-secreting glands from the nervous and endocrine systems, and its primary function is regulating stress responses. Dysregulation of a key HPA hormone, cortisol, may be implicated in the development of stress-related mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. The onset of these disorders is typically during adolescence, a period of growth and reorganization in both the brain and the HPA-axis; however, the neural regulation of cortisol in adolescents is not understood.
Gwendolyn proposes to investigate this association by bridging analysis of hormonal and neuroimaging data with psychological-based techniques like behavioral and clinical measures.