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Sheba MohanKumar, PhD

Sheba MohanKumar

How did you become interested in neuroscience?
I was very interested in Biology when I was in high school. I wanted to be a doctor, but ended up in a veterinary school in India. I took courses in anatomy and histology and enjoyed studying about the nervous system. The following year, I took courses in physiology and fell in love with the endocrine system. I was fascinated by how hormones produced in one part of the body could affect remote tissues and organs. They were also capable of producing their effects so quickly, very similar to the nervous system! I had an opportunity to study both these systems together (Neuro-endocrinology) for my PhD and got hooked to it.

What was the academic/professional path you had to take to get here?
I had to do really well in high school to get admission to veterinary school. After finishing veterinary school, I worked for a couple of years as a veterinarian and yearned to do research. I had an opportunity to pursue my higher studies in the US and I took it. I completed a Master's degree in biochemistry and a PhD in Neuroendocrinology at Kansas State University. I was a research assistant professor for a year and then moved to Michigan State University to the Department of Pathobiology. I joined the faculty of Pharmacology and Toxicology in 2007.

What are your current research interests?
Stress and reproduction and two areas that interest me. I am currently studying the effect of environmentally relevant compounds like environmental estrogens on stress and reproduction. I am also interested in studying the effect of stress on the development of obesity.

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