Skip to main content
Michigan State UniversityBreedlove Jordan lab at MSU

Apryl Pooley

Apryl Pooley

I am researching the biological mechanisms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). My primary research goal is to determine how experiencing a traumatic event affects people differently, leading to the development of PTSD in some individuals but not in others. Women are more than twice as likely to develop PTSD than are men, but the reasons for this difference are unknown. I am examining this sex difference in an animal model of PTSD using male and female rats in order to elucidate the mechanism of PTSD pathology. After exposing male and female rats to a session of single prolonged stress (SPS), I am able to determine individual physiological differences that affect a rat’s response to SPS (i.e. why do some rats have a severe PTSD-like response to SPS while others recover to a healthy state of functioning). Using measures of anxiety, sympathetic nervous system activation, hypothalamic adrenal pituitary axis regulation, cFos neuronal activation, and glucocorticoid receptor expression, findings from my research will help identify biological characteristics of PTSD that can be translated to diagnostic tools and treatment targets for people with PTSD.

Outside the lab, I am an active writer, artist, and musician. I also enjoy being outdoors, going to concerts, running, and spending time with my friends and family.