Liz P Bess

I am happy to say that I have just returned to the lab after a five-year hiatus! I have two passions in life – my family and science. It has not always been easy however to enjoy the two together.

I received a PhD in neuroscience from Boston College where I studied the effects of ovarian hormones on the brain reward system. After graduation, I completed a five-year post doctoral fellowship at the Shriver Center in Waltham, MA where I studied the long and fascinating migration of gonadotropin releasing hormone containing neurons from their birthplace in the olfactory placodes to their final destination in the ventral hypothalamus. During my post doc, I learned not only about neuronal development in embryonic mice but also infant development in my own children; as my son and daughter were both born during this phase of my career. After my post doc, I spent five years in the world of biotech at Curis, Inc. as part of a research team working on drug development for stroke patients. At this point in my life I felt the need to be at home more with my young children. I was able to maintain my foot in the scientific world through teaching kindergarten science, scientific editing, and consulting, but I always felt the desire to be back in the lab.

About a year ago, I was ready to return to work and began the process of writing an NIH reentry grant with Marc. These grants are offered to “support individuals with high potential to re-enter an active research career after taking time off to care for children or attend to other family responsibilities”. The grant focuses on the interactions between estrogens and leptin in the brain. Marc and I were very pleased to recently learn that this 2-year grant has been funded.