Heather Bimonte-Nelson

Professor
Faculty
TEMPE Campus
Mailcode
1104
Professor
Faculty
TEMPE Campus
Mailcode
1104
Professor
Faculty
TEMPE Campus
Mailcode
1104
Professor
Faculty
TEMPE Campus
Mailcode
1104

Biography

Heather Bimonte-Nelson is a professor in the behavioral neuroscience program in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University. For more than two decades, Bimonte-Nelson has conducted preclinical evaluations of multiple domains of cognitive function as related to aging, with a special focus on transitional and surgical menopause, and exogenous and endogenous hormone exposures across the lifespan. She has published more than 70 peer reviewed manuscripts evaluating hormone effects on the brain and behavior from early development until old age, with her earlier work showing that female brain organization is actively feminized by estrogens, and that estrogen exposures across the lifespan impact the female phenotype. She has expertise in behavioral measurements and related neurobiological assays, especially as associated with aging and hormone milieu. She recently edited a book on rodent behavioral testing entitled, “The Maze Book: Theories, Practice, and Protocols for Testing Rodent Cognition.” 

Education

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Medical University of South Carolina, Physiology and Neuroscience, and the Center on Aging, under Dr. Lotta Granholm,  2000-2004
  • Ph.D. University of Connecticut, under Professor Victor Denenberg 2000

 

Research Interests

The overarching research goal of the Bimonte-Nelson laboratory is to optimize the trajectory of brain and cognitive changes as aging ensues with a translational eye to womens health, taking a systems and interdisciplinary approach to elucidate the factors driving menopause- and hormone- related impacts. The Bimonte-Nelson laboratory has identified key variables that influence normal aging, and showing that factors such as menopause etiology, endogenous hormone changes associated with ovarian follicular depletion and ovariectomy, and exogenous hormone exposures can alter cognition. Their research includes testing contraceptive and hormone therapy hormones approved for use in women to determine effects on the brain and cognition during aging, to identify potential parameters of efficacy, and to address novel alternatives. They are steadfast toward the goal of discovering pathways to inform healthy brain aging. They attempt to do so by determining key variants in neurocognitive changes with a lifetime of endogenous and exogenous hormone exposures, and by performing rodent studies with a keen eye toward clinical translation. Their interests also incorporate these goals with relevance to Alzheimer's disease-related variables. In addition, one of their long-term goals is to apply these research questions to humans.

 

Research Projects

  • Hormone therapy effects on cognition and the brain as aging ensues, including interactions with menopause etiology
  • How reproductive senescence influences age-related changes in learning and memory
  • Dietary and experiential factors that alter age-related learning, memory, and neural changes, including interactions with sex and hormone milieu
  • Alzheimer's disease cognitive and pathology profiles as associated with behavioral neuroendocrinology factors

Research Activity

Courses

Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
PSY 591Seminar
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
PSY 498Pro-Seminar
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
PSY 591Seminar
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
PSY 591Seminar
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
PSY 591Seminar
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
PSY 498Pro-Seminar
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
PSY 591Seminar
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
PSY 498Pro-Seminar
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
PSY 591Seminar