We Rep STEM aims to promote the work of inspiring people in the STEM community. Today, we’re featuring Mélise Edwards, a first-year Ph.D. student in the neuroscience and behavior program at the University of Massachusetts.

Read on to learn more about Mélise and what her work entails, in her own words.

My name is Mélise Edwards and I am a first-year Ph.D. student in the Neuroscience and Behavior program at the University of Massachusetts.

I study sex hormones, cognition, and aging. I am especially interested in sex differences in aging, the role that sex hormones like estrogens may play in cognition, and the roles of estrogen receptor subtypes in the brain. I am a Spaulding-Smith fellow and nationally sponsored rock-climber by the companies Evolv, Organic Climbing, Beast Fingers Climbing and ABK Company. 

4 fast facts about neuroscience

1) There are 86 billion neurons and 87 billion glial cells in your brain.

2) The hormone estrogen has several types. Estradiol, the most predominant form of estrogen, is made by the enzyme aromatase which converts testosterone to estradiol. 

3) Your brain produces estrogen and research suggests that it plays a role in memory and cognition. 

4) On average, each cortical neuron connects to 10,000 other cells. 

Mélise can be found on Instagram and Twitter (@meliseymo) as well as through her blog, Mind Over Gray Matter.

If you’d like to have your work featured on We Rep STEM, get in touch! We can be reached via email at werepstem@gmail.com.

Photos courtesy of Mélise Edwards.