Megan Holmes Research Group
Information on the research interests, projects, and members of Megan Holmes' Research Group.
Professor Megan Holmes
Personal Chair of Molecular Neuroendocrinology
The hormonal response to stress is crucial for survival, yet chronic stress can lead to increased susceptibility to both cardiometabolic disease, as well as psychiatric and memory disorders. My research has focussed on the regulation of the normal response to stress through the hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis (Good Stress) and how this is can become dysregulated to cause disease (Bad Stress). My main focus has been on the effect of stress or high glucocorticoids (cortisol in man or cortisosterone in rodents, as well as synthetic steroids such as dexamethasone) during vulnerable developmental periods (prenatal or postnatal) to ‘programme’ life-long changes in affective behaviour and memory and understand the mechanisms that underpin these effects. Such mechanistic studies allow development of novel therapies to alleviate or reverse the adverse consequences of the stress hormones.
Other interests include the underestimated importance of the brain in the regulation of blood pressure and salt appetite, and the consequences of stress particularly in development on the trajectory of cognitive decline with age.
A major component of our work involves the use of targeted rodent models, that have been developed in our laboratory. We also have developed state-of-the–art high resolution, in vivo imaging paradigms to provide non invasive functional imaging of behavioural responding animals using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and monitor feto-placental development (particularly of umbilical vessels and fetal heart) by high resolution ultrasound.
For a list of up-to-date publications, please visit:
Research Group Members
Other Group Members
|Rebecca Madden||WT Translational Neuroscience PhD student, CDBS||Rebecca.Madden@ed.ac.uk|