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March 14, 2016

Epigenetics and the creation of brain sex differences
Bridget Nugent, University of Pennsylvania


Image from Dana Foundation

Sex differences in brain structure and function control sex differences in behavior, physiology, and disease risk across animal taxa and in humans. How are male and female brains different and how are these differences established during development? Bridget Nugent from the University of Pennsylvania will describe her work illustrating how hormones and epigenetic processes team up to program sex differences in the developing brain to create life-long brain feminization and masculinization.


Bridget Nugent received her PhD from the University of Maryland School of Medicine where she studied hormonally mediated sex differences in epigenetic gene regulation in the brain. Her current work as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania investigates the role of sex differences in epigenetics in the brain and placenta and the role of sex-specific epigenomics in neurodevelopmental disease risk (in males) and resilience (in females). When she’s not in the lab Bridget enjoys escaping into nature for backpacking trips, scuba diving adventures, and hanging out with her dogs.


March’s Science on Tap is hosted by the American Philosophical Society.

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