Nancy Nichols, PhD
Dr. Nichols’ work represents an important step forward in our understanding of the basic biology of the aging brain and its response to stress. She has discovered brain messenger RNAs that respond to stress and stress hormones. Some of these messages that are under hormonal control also respond during development, injury, aging, and neurodegenerative disease. Her results indicate that the effects of hormones are permissive or adaptive for brain functioning. Studies in animal models show that age-related changes in the brain are at least partially related to a failure in hormonal regulation and adaptive mechanisms. Current studies focus on the production of new neurons in the adult and aging brain and their role in regeneration and repair.
She received her PhD in Human Genetics from the University of Texas Medical Branch and did her fellowship research at the University of Southern California’s Andrus Gerontology Center. Dr. Nichols is presently a Senior Lecturer in Physiology at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. At this large international university, she will have the opportunity to train Australian and Southeast Asian students in the biology of aging.
Brookdale Fellow Class of 1987