Hormones are the chemical envoys for our bodies. They communicate with our brains, heart, bones, muscles and, yes, reproductive organs. University of Delaware physiologist Megan Wenner is working to understand how sex hormones influence vascular function.
She’s focused specifically on comparing estrogen effects in young and postmenopausal women. What happens after menopause when hormone levels drop dramatically? Are therapy interventions safe or not?
“For the past decade and a half, hormone therapy has been controversial for postmenopausal women,” said Wenner. “We need to understand why or why not hormone therapy is safe.”
Thanks to a recent Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association, Wenner will do just that. She will further investigate the mechanisms contributing to vascular dysfunction in women — specifically, what role is played by estradiol, a form of estrogen.
The funding is given to promising junior investigators in the areas of cardiovascular and stroke research. Wenner, a member of the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research Council, will present her findings at the organization’s national conference.
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