University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
My research examines environmental and behavioral factors that affect the regulation of the female reproductive axis, explaining variation in the timing and course of major reproductive events such as puberty and menopause. My research also examines how the timing and course of these events predict risk for diseases of aging, especially cardiovascular disease development. Utilizing a large multi-ethnic cohort of healthy, pre-menopausal women, I am conducting 3 ancillary studies: Study 1 tests whether interactions between the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axes may explain observed effects of psychological stress on accelerated ovarian follicle loss; Study 2 tests whether greater early life adversity in periods of vulnerability (childhood vs. puberty) is related to negative reproductive health outcomes in adulthood; Study 3 test whether biomarkers indexing lower ovarian reserve and faster depletion of the ovarian reserve over time are related to increased risk for preclinical atherosclerotic disease. It is anticipated that this work will improve our understanding of the intersections between women’s psychological, reproductive, and cardiovascular health over the life course.
I have taught undergraduate and graduate students, medical students, and clinical/research fellows. My teaching interests are in areas of research design/methodology, behavioral medicine interventions, health disparities, stress and health, and women’s health.
Practice, Service, Community Involvement
I am a member of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) among others. I also act as a reviewer for a number of scientific journals in areas of health psychology, psychophysiology, epidemiology, cardiovascular health, and reproductive medicine.