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!