Editor's note: See our Director's Seminar webpage for upcoming speakers and topics, as well as videos of past lectures.
Neuroscientist Catherine Christian-Hinman will speak at the Beckman Institute's virtual Director's Seminar at noon Thursday, Feb. 4. Christian-Hinman will discuss “Functional Changes in Hypothalamic Circuitry Controlling Reproduction in a Mouse
Model of Epilepsy.” Registration is required for Zoom access.
“Functional Changes in Hypothalamic Circuitry Controlling Reproduction in a Mouse Model of Epilepsy”
Both men and women with temporal lobe epilepsy are at higher risk of developing reproductive endocrine disorders, but the mechanisms linking epilepsy to these comorbidities are unknown. In this talk, Christian-Hinman will describe recent work from her laboratory exploring these issues in a mouse model that recapitulates critical features of human temporal lobe epilepsy. Their investigations span from single-cell electrophysiological measurements of neuronal activity, excitability, and synaptic signaling to whole-animal assays of female reproductive cyclicity and seizure activity. Their findings, which include the first studies describing epilepsy-linked functional changes directly at the level the brain cells controlling reproduction and fertility, indicate that the impacts of epilepsy on the reproductive endocrine system are sex-specific and change dynamically across the female reproductive cycle.
Catherine Christian-Hinman is a neuroscientist who studies cellular, synaptic, and circuit physiology in the contexts of neuroendocrinology and epilepsy.
She received her Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of Virginia and completed postdoctoral training in neurological sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine.
She is an assistant professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is a faculty affiliate of the Beckman Institute and the Neuroscience Program.
Her current research primarily focuses on the neural mechanisms linking epilepsy and comorbid reproductive endocrine disorders and interactions between seizure activity and the reproductive cycle. Her laboratory takes a multidisciplinary approach encompassing patch clamp electrophysiological recordings of neuronal activity and synaptic signals, electroencephalography recordings of seizure activity, hormone assays, optogenetics, histology, and mouse behavioral tests.