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Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Catherine Choi

PhD Student in Neuroscience
Catherine Choi

Catherine Choi

PhD Student in Neuroscience

Education: 
BA, Neuroscience, Amherst College, Amherst, MA
Research synopsis: 

Neurosteroids are endogenous steroids synthesized in the brain. They bind gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAARs) as allosteric modulators to alter neuronal excitability as well as behaviors related to several neuropsychiatric disorders. Recent studies in the lab revealed that neurosteroids also bind membrane progesterone receptors (mPRs). The interaction between neurosteroids and mPRs results in phosphorylation, increased membrane insertion, and prolonged activity of GABAARs. However, the molecular mechanism by which mPRs mediate the effects of neurosteroids remains unknown. Using biochemistry and behavioral analysis, I am investigating the role of mPRs in modulating GABAAR functioning and in mediating anxiolytic and anticonvulsant effects of neurosteroids.

Advisor: