Associate Professor of Physiology
Professor Gill did postdoctoral research at the University of Texas examining the development of brain steroid receptor regulation in parthenogenetic and gender-reversed lizards. She also studies neural regulation and connectivity in response to hormonally-mediated environmental cues. Her interests span the areas of human and comparative physiology, neuroscience, endocrinology, herpetology, conservation biology, and behavioral biology. She's also a triathlete and adventure racer with an interest in exercise physiology.
In this course we'll examine the function of the nervous system with particular focus on mechanisms at work in the brain. The course will link current advances in cell, molecular and developmental physiology research in the context of nervous system functional mechanisms. Topics will include neurotransmitter function and regulation, brain area function, integrative intracellular signaling pathways, neuroendocrine control. Advanced topics may include learning and memory, social behavior, sensory function, comparative animal systems, brain diseases, and other topics. Along with regular discussion participation and problem solving, students will be guided through reading and analysis of primary research literature and will prepare papers and lead discussions on their own chosen topics. This course is particularly appropriate for students interested in behavioral mechanisms, neurophysiology, psychology, and neuroendocrinology.
This course will cover physiology of organ systems in a variety of animal phyla, including vertebrates and invertebrates. Topics will include nutrition, temperature regulation and neural, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, digestive and endocrine function. One focus will be on cellular and molecular mechanisms common across systems and phyla. We will spend some time outdoors and at the Hampshire College Farm. Students will engage in class problems, discussion, and reading of text and primary science literature.
Stress is a daily part of our lives that has become an intense subject of interest among scientists and the medical community. The body's responses to stress are linked to multiple health problems, but stress can also be overused as an explanation. In this course, we will examine the scientific evidence for the links between stress and human health issues such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. This will include readings of primary scientific research papers and coverage of basic physiological mechanisms in humans and other animals. Students will learn techniques to measure stress, stress hormones and glucose regulation. In addition, as community service outreach, students will develop projects to explore the effectiveness of stress relief options in the college community.
Dreaming about winning a Nobel Prize in medicine? You might need this class exploring exciting topics in contemporary biomedical research.We will focus on rapidly advancing areas such as human microbiome, immunology targeted drug delivery, circadian rhythms, and more, with each of 6 Natural Science faculty members leading discussions on a cutting edge topic. Activities will include analysis of research papers, exploration of methodologies, problem solving, and an examination of the implications of this research for the future of medicine. Finally, students will have the opportunity to conduct independent inquiry into a topic of interest to them.
With humans as our primary model system, we will cover cellular and general tissue physiology and the endocrine, nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, and renal organ systems. Primary emphasis is on functional processes in these systems and on cellular and molecular mechanisms common across systems. Students will engage in class problems, lectures, and reading of secondary science literature. Basic knowledge of and comfort with biology, chemistry, and math is necessary.