Howell-UCSD Scholar Emily Judd to Conduct Research on Depression.
Come and meet her at the Howell Foundation Lecture "Small Lifestyle Changes for Improving Women's Health" on May 20th.
The Howell Foundation announced that Emily Judd was awarded the Cher Conner Scholarship in April, 2016. She was one of the highest rated applicants. Barbara Parry, M.D., in her letter of recommendation notes that Emily is "probably the best undergraduate we have had working in our laboratory in the last 20 years." You noted in your prerequisites in requesting a Scholar that depression was a topic of interest. Emily's research topic "Chronobiological Interventions for the Treatment of Major Depression in Pregnant and Postpartum Women" addresses that interest area.
Emily proposes the pregnant and postpartum period are accompanied by an increased risk of major depression. Pharmacological interventions could pose risk to both fetus and infant; making treatment during peripartum very challenging. She proposes that circadian -based interventions offer a promising, safe alternative to antidepressants. Critically-timed light exposure, and sleep restriction ("wake therapy") have been shown to improve depressed mood. The project will be completed over a three month time period from mid-June through mid-September. Emily will spend the last part of the summer determining the relationship between the results and the existing literature and helping with manuscript preparation hoping to gain new insight into the role of circadian dysregulation in mood disorders. She will work closely with her mentor, Dr. Parry.
Emily, in her personal statement, notes that she is curious by nature and that has been a driving force for as long as she can remember. She has always loved to read, to explore the intricacies of the characters' fictional minds. In college, her interest in human cognition and behavior merged with her epistemophilia (epistemology=the division of philosophy that investigates the nature and origin of knowledge + phlia=an abnormal attraction to something) resulting in a deep passion for psychology and neuroscience.
She suddenly discovered that her studies only deepened her curiosity rather than providing relief. With this revelation, she sees that although her "degree can provide lexicon with which to ask meaningful questions about the human mind, only research will provide answers." She embarked into research realizing she was dissatisfied with the "lack of neuroscientific considerations and real world applicability of findings. " This led her, in turn, to work with Dr. Parry in the Chronobiology of Women's Mood Disorders Lab. She has learned how to "ask consequential questions through scientific experimentation and interpret any answers through scientific experimentation and interpret any answers the findings reveal."
Emily plans to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology with an emphasis in neuroscience with a career in research . She "hopes to reveal new information about the vast, uncharted realm of the human brain and to use this knowledge to develop interventions to improve health and wellbeing."
Ms. Conner, without your generous donation, we would be unable to support Emily and her promising research. The Doris Howell Foundation thanks you for your scholarship donation that will support our efforts towards "Keeping the Women we Love Healthy."
Thank you to Sandra Harris, Howell Foundation Scholar/Donor Liaison, for presenting the scholar's profile.
About the Doris A. Howell Foundation:
The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community.
The organization does so by funding scholarships to students researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, and researchers to convey timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that improve the health of under-served women and increase awareness and advocacy in the community.
To learn more about the Foundation, visit www.howellfoundation.org.