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Kelly Young, PhD

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Our reproductive biology laboratory examines the effects of the environment on ovarian function. While the neuroendocrine regulation of gonadal regression and recrudescence has been well characterized, little is known about intra-ovarian pathways that mediate the seasonal transition between a non-functional ovary to a functional gonad. One focus of the laboratory is to determine how follicle development returns in a quiescent ovary. Undergraduate researchers in the laboratory have determined that some aspects of folliculogenesis remain active despite the decline in ovulation, suggesting that the ovary is primed to respond rapidly to environmental cues that trigger the onset of the breeding season. These studies will help to better understand the role of intra-ovarian signaling in the mammalian ovary, as well as provide a unique natural model to study the return of function in quiescent ovaries, similar to what is observed in anorexic women.  In addition, we currently have projects in the laboratory examining seasonal changes in mammalian testis function, in addition to our work on gonadal function in elasmobranch and teleost models.


Office: Molecular & Life Sciences Center Building, Room 227


I'm a Full Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at California State University Long Beach.  A CSU graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I trained at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Oregon National Primate Research Center at the Oregon Health & Science University. My desire to teach in both the classroom and the laboratory made returning to the CSU system a priority, and I'm proud to be a Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program recipient.  In my reproductive biology laboratory, my students and I examine the genes and proteins that regulate the gonadal transition between atrophy in the non-breeding season to fully functional in the breeding season. Most of the research in my laboratory has been conducted with CSULB undergraduates, and I focus on developing independent, productive, and confident undergraduate scientists who take the lead role in their research projects. My passion for engaging undergraduates in science extends into the pedagogical world, where my goal is to design and teach student-centered courses. I’ve been involved in several course-restructure projects to create more effective classroom environments where learning, grades, and motavation improve. I’m also thrilled to be working with fellow faculty members as we all work to better our teaching and mentoring techniques. In that vein, I developed a STEM-faculty learning community for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and a BUILD Mentoring Community at CSULB. My goal of enhancing student success and trying to make the world a more positive place drives me to work hard each day.