Katherine Tonn

Entering Class - 2012

E-MAIL: tonnx012@umn.edu

UNDERGRAD INSTITUTION AND MAJOR:
St. Olaf College, B.A. in Psychology/Neuroscience, 2011

GRADUATE ADVISOR
Paul Mermelstein, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience

THESIS COMMITTEE MEMBERS

DESCRIPTION OF GRADUATE RESEARCH
I study the cellular and molecular signaling pathways responsible for effects of estrogen in the brain. These pathways are involved in learning and memory, drug abuse, and other forms of plasticity. Specifically, my research focuses on the importance of post-translational palmitoylation of estrogen receptors and caveolin proteins for membrane-initiated estrogen signaling. I use a variety of biochemical and molecular techniques to answer this question. 

RESEARCH CATEGORIES

  • Drug Abuse and Addiction
  • Neuroendocrine and Homeostatic Systems

GRADUATE LEVEL ABSTRACTS

  • Tonn KR, Mermelstein PG. (2014) Caveolin-1 palmitoylation has a role in membrane-initiated ERα signaling. Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.
  • Martinez LA, Peterson BM, Trotter KJ, Tonn KR, Mermelstein PG. (2015) Estradiol facilitation of cocaine self-administration in female rats requires activation of mGluR5. Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATIONS

  • Membrane-initiated estrogen signaling: Regulation by post-translational palmitoylation. Oral presentation at Department of Neuroscience Colloquium Series, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, April 15, 2015.
  • Membrane-initiated estrogen signaling. Oral presentation for Carleton College Neuroscience Senior Capstone Course, Northfield, MN, April 23, 2015.
  • Mechanisms underlying rapid estrogen signaling. Research talk at St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, March 19, 2014.

ROTATIONS

GPN COMMITTEES

  • Seminar Committee, 2014 - present
  • Retreat Planning Committee, 2014
  • Social Media Committee, 2013

PROFESSIONAL OUTREACH

  • Brain Awareness Week Instructor, Battle Creek Elementary, St. Paul, MN, Nov. 5, 2015
  • U of MN State Fair Brain Booth Volunteer, Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, MN, Aug. 29, 2015
  • Brain Awareness Week Instructor, Fair School Crystal, Crystal, MN, Oct. 30, 2014
  • Brain Awareness Week Instructor, Farnsworth Aerospace, St. Paul, MN, Nov. 22, 2013

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • Society for Neuroscience, 2013 – present
  • Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, 2013 – present

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE MN?
I chose UMN because of the strong core curriculum that provides a broad neuroscience foundation, the collaborative environment, the supportive faculty, and the strong sense of community among students.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A FIRST YEAR GRADUATE STUDENT?
Make sure your rotations encompass a variety of techniques and experimental paradigms so you can be sure to find a good fit.  Keep an open mind - you might be surprised!

Katherine Tonn