FRANK A. BEACH AWARD IN BEHAVIORAL NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY

Initiated 1990 Awarded to an assistant professor (Announced annually in Fall/Winter)

SBN’s New Investigator Award is named in Frank Beach’s honor, a tribute both to his scientific accomplishments and to his teaching and mentorship of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Frank Beach was the principal founder of behavioral endocrinology: He named and defined the discipline (Beach, 1975), wrote the first survey (Beach, 1948) and history (Beach, 1981) of the field, organized the annual West Coast sex conference, which eventually morphed into the SBN, and founded the journal Hormones and Behavior.

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

Nominations are now being accepted for the 31st Annual Frank A. Beach New Investigator Award in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. The deadline for submitting nominations is September 27th, 2020.


2020 Award Winner: Stephanie Correa, PhD

Dr. Correa received her Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University. Her doctoral research with Dr. Elizabeth Adkins-Regan studied the effects of ovarian steroids on offspring sex ratios in birds. As a postdoc with Dr. Kenn Albrect at Boston University Medical Center, Dr. Correa studied testis development in mice and identified alleles that compromise testis development in the C57BL/6 genetic background. She then continued her postdoctoral training with Dr. Holly Ingraham at the University of California, San Francisco, combining endocrine and genetic manipulations to identify estrogen-sensitive neurons in the hypothalamus that promote physical activity and maintain normal body weight in female mice. Throughout her training, Dr. Correa was funded by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, two Cornell University fellowships, an NIH NRSA Institutional Postdoctoral Training Grant, an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship, and an NIH K01 Mentored Scientist Career Development Award.

Since joining the faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015, Dr. Correa has established an innovative and extramurally funded research program dissecting cells and gene programs that mediate the effects of estrogens on temperature and energy balance. Research in the Correa Lab seeks to understand the changes associated with menopause and identify new neuronal or genetic targets that could be used to stabilize metabolism or thermoregulation without systemic hormone therapy. The lab’s first publication, a collaboration with the Ingraham Lab at UCSF, identified a powerful role for kisspeptin neurons in regulating bone growth in female mice. These studies continue in the Ingraham lab and may lead to new treatments for osteoporosis. In studies started at UCLA, the Correa Lab identified ERa neurons that regulate temperature in mice. These neurons co-express ERa and Reprimo, a cell cycle regulating and estrogen-responsive gene. Reprimo is highly expressed in the VMH of females and essentially off in males, a sex difference that is established by ERa signaling early in life. Reprimo knockdown alters temperature in females but not males. If applicable to humans, this study presents a gene candidate for stabilizing temperature without systemic estrogen therapy.

Recent studies extend Dr. Correa’s research to the medial preoptic area (MPA) and the effects of tamoxifen on the hypothalamus. The Correa Lab found that activating ERa neurons in the MPA of mice is sufficient to trigger torpor, a hypothermic and hypometabolic state induced in response to food scarcity. Fasting-induced torpor alters the activity of ERa MPA neurons and killing ERa neurons prohibits the full expression of torpor, linking these neurons to natural torpor. A new line of research seeks to model tamoxifen therapy for breast cancer in mice and understand the effects of this drug on thermoregulation, bone health, and movement. Single cell RNA sequencing reveals widespread transcriptional effects of chronic tamoxifen administration on the hypothalamus. Surprisingly, knocking out ERa in the hypothalamus ablates both the physiological and transcriptional effects of tamoxifen treatment. This study provides a mouse model and possible mechanisms for understanding and potentially mitigating the side effects of tamoxifen therapy.

In addition to these pioneering discoveries, Dr. Correa has secured R01 and R21 grants from NIH, has an outstanding track record of mentorship, is active in diversity and inclusion efforts on behalf of UCLA and SBN, and recently joined the Editorial Board for Hormones and Behavior.

Previous winners of the Frank A. Beach New Investigator Award are:

Year Winner Publication PubMed
2020 Stephanie Correa, PhD
2019 Ben Dantzer, PhD
2018 Zoe R. Donaldson, PhD
2017 Lauren O’Connell Hormones and Behavior Volume 126, November 2020, 104869
2016 Jaclyn Schwarz Hormones and Behavior Volume 114, August 2019, 104521 30981689
2015 Annaliese Beery Hormones and Behavior Volume 107, January 2019, Pages 67-75 30439353
2014 Sari van Anders
2013 Brandon Aragona
2012 Luke Remage-Healey Hormones and Behavior 2014, 66 (3), 552-560 25110187
2011 Staci Bilbo Hormones and Behavior, 2013, 63 (5), 684-691 23474365
2010 Brian Trainor Hormones and Behavior, 2011, 60 (5), 457-469 21907202
2009 Frances Anne Champagne Hormones and Behavior, 2011, 60, 4-11 21376726
2008 Hans Hofmann Hormones and Behavior, 2010, 58, 555-62 20600047
2007 Leonida Fusani Hormones and Behavior, 2008, 54, 227-33 18502420
2006 Kevin Kelliher Hormones and Behavior, 2007, 52, 561-70 17959176
2005 Lance Kriegsfeld Hormones and Behavior, 2006, 50, 655-666 16876801
2004 James L. Goodson * Hormones and Behavior, 2005, 48, 11-22 15885690
2004 Brian Prendergast * Hormones and Behavior, 2005, 48, 503-511 16026787
2003 Tracy L. Bale Hormones and Behavior, 2005, 48, 1-10 15919381
2002 Gregory E. Demas * Hormones and Behavior, 2004, 45, 173-180 15047012
2002 Anthony P. Auger * Hormones and Behavior, 2004, 45, 168-172 15047011
2001 Joseph S. Lonstein Hormones and Behavior, 2003, 42, 258-262 12501837
2000 A. Courtney DeVries Hormones and Behavior, 2002, 41, 405-413 12018936
1999 Lique M. Coolen Hormones and Behavior, 2010, 58, 149-162 20004662
1998 Larry J. Young Hormones and Behavior, 1999, 36, 212-221 10603285
1997 Miles Orchinik Hormones and Behavior, 1998, 34, 320-327 9878280
1996 Ruth I. Wood Hormones and Behavior, 1997, 32, 40-45 9344690
1995 James Pfaus Horm Behav. 1996 Sep;30(3):187-200. 8918675
1994 Margaret McCarthy * Horm Behav. 1995 Jun;29(2):131-40. 7557918
1994 Laura Smale * Horm Behav. 1995 Jun;29(2):127-30. 7557917
1993 Barney Schlinger Horm Behav. 1994 Sep;28(3):191-8. 7814000
1992 Ilona Vathy Horm Behav. 1993 Mar;27(1):1-4. 8382659
1991 Jill Schneider Horm Behav. 1992 Mar;26(1):1-6. 1563723
1990 Emilie F Rissman Horm Behav. 1991 Jun;25(2):125-7 2066076

*Denotes Co-Winner