Catherine Christian research portfolio includes neurological and behavioral disorders, reproductive diseases, infertility, and menopause. Her research aims to gather information on how reproductive endocrine problems can reciprocally impact the severity of epilepsy and influence the choice of anti-seizure treatments. She studies temporal lobes seizes and their impact on hypothalamic control of reproduction and how altered hypothalamic function reciprocally affects seizure activity and epilepsy severity. Other ongoing areas of research in the lab include exploring the roles that astrocytes play in modulating synaptic transmission, and building on her recent finding of a male-specific reduction in social motivation in mice that lack the diazepam binding inhibitor peptide. She uses several research techniques including patch clamp electrophysiology, optogenetics/chemogenetics, stereotactic surgeries, electroencephalography (EEG), viral vectors, neuroanatomy, and behavioral assays.
Catherine Christian, PhD, received her AB from Smith College in Northampton, MA and her PhD from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. She worked as a Post Doctoral Associate at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, CA. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and an Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, and an Assistant Professor at Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.