The University of Nebraska at Kearney was awarded a $20,000 grant from the Nebraska EPSCoR program for research on the influence of estrogen on women’s health.

The grant was awarded to UNK Biology Assistant Professor Joanne Scalzitti. Dr. Scalzitti’s research focuses on the influence of hormones on cell signaling in the brain, a central question in neuroscience. Specifically, Dr. Scalzitti is researching the effects of estrogen on serotonin-2A receptor signaling in cell models, which may impact depression, schizophrenia and the incidence of heart attacks in post-menopausal women.

Nebraska is one of thirteen states eligible for the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Funding through EPSCoR is designed to expand research infrastructure in the state.

“I’m excited to be conducting this research at UNK. This grant not only funds my research question, but it allows me to actively involve undergraduate students in cutting edge research, preparing them for graduate study and science careers,” said Dr. Scalzitti.