Name: James Garcia
Mentor: Ei Terasawa
Academic Affiliation: Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison Endocrinology & Reproductive Physiology Program, Madison, USA
James is working at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Ei Terasawa. Early on, James developed a strong interest in neuroendocrine regulation of puberty and reproductive function in rhesus monkeys. In 2012 James decided to continue his studies with the pursuit of his PhD degree in the Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology Program at UW-Madison. The major goals of James’s thesis are to determine the sex difference in the signaling mechanisms that modulate the pubertal increase in GnRH release in rhesus monkeys, with emphasis on changes in kisspeptin and neurokinin B input. His findings indicate that interactions between kisspeptin and neurokinin B signaling to GnRH neurons undergo pubertal changes in female monkeys, whereas this mechanism appears to differ in male monkeys. James has presented his results at national and international congresses and was selected for an oral presentation and Travel Award at the 2014 ICE/ENDO conference. Also, James was a recipient of a Teaching, Education and Mentoring in Science (TEAM-Science) scholarship.