Abbott mentee earns Hilldale Research Fellowship award
Our congratulations to UW-Madison undergraduate student Lukas Henjum, who won a 2021-2022 Hilldale Research Fellowship for the project “Estrogen Receptor Alpha Neurons in the Arcuate Nucleus Mediate Female Neural Inhibition of Neuroendocrine Puberty”! Henjum is mentored by David Abbott, PhD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences.
With Abbott’s support and mentorship, Henjum will use immunohistochemistry techniques to quantify loss of estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) protein expression in the hypothalamus of prepubertal female rhesus monkeys following MRI-guided infusion of gene-specific silencing RNA delivered with an attenuated adeno-associated virus. Their NIH R21-funded hypothesis is that ERalpha in this part of the brain is a key molecular switch keeping neuroendocrine activation of female puberty suppressed in primates, including humans. He’ll be contrasting loss of ERalpha with neuroendocrine measures of precocious puberty onset.
Abbott is a dedicated research mentor and was one of just five educators across the UW-Madison campus to receive the UW-Madison Award for Mentoring Undergraduates in Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities from the UW-Madison Office of the Provost. Congratulations to Lukas and Dr. Abbott!