OHSU

Judy L. Cameron


Everyday life stresses, such as missing meals, dieting and psychological stress, can have health consequences on weight, cardiovascular function, reproductive function, immune function and mental health. Judy Cameron's research seeks to determine what makes some individuals sensitive to the detrimental health effects of life stresses and others resilient to those adverse consequences. Her studies examine the interplay between genetic factors and life experiences in regulating the effects of stress on health.

Cameron and her colleagues are seeking to understand how missing or altering the time of a meal, doing moderate exercise, and being introduced to a new environment or social group affect health. They are exploring the mechanisms whereby these stresses influence the function of various physiological systems, examining genetic factors that lead to a predisposition for sensitivity to stress and studying how stresses experienced at one time in life affect sensitivity to stress later in life.

Most recently her team has focused research on three major questions: how genetic factors, food intake and metabolism interact to regulate the control of body weight; how metabolic and psychological stresses interact to regulate fertility; and how genetic factors and early life stresses interact to influence the development of anxiety, depression and other mental disorders. Cameron's studies track the developmental course of stress sensitivity in monkeys from infancy, through childhood and puberty, and into adulthood.

Her investigations, which involve immunocytochemistry, in situ hybridization and microarray gene analyses, include both basic research in which monkeys are experimental models and clinical studies in which results from the primate studies are used to develop new treatments. An improved understanding of how different forms of stress affect various physiological systems, including the brain, will help determine how everyday life stresses contribute to such conditions as obesity, cardiovascular disease, infertility and mental illness. Identifying factors that make some individuals stress-sensitive and allow others to be stress-resilient will allow new treatments of common stress-sensitive diseases to be specifically targeted to the individuals who are most likely to develop these diseases.

BIOGRAPHY

Judy Cameron is a senior scientist in the Divisions of Reproductive Sciences and Neuroscience, and a professor of physiology and pharmacology in the OHSU School of Medicine. She received a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Arizona in 1981. After postdoctoral work at the University of Washington and the University of Pennsylvania, she joined the University of Pittsburgh faculty in the departments of Psychiatry, Cell Biology and Physiology, and Neuroscience. She came to the center in 1996.

KEY PUBLICATIONS

Bethea, CL, Phu K, Reddy AP, and Cameron, JL. (2013). The effect of short-term stress on serotonin gene expression in high and low resilient macaques. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 44:143-153. PMC3654014.

Senashova, O, Reddy, AP, Cameron, JL, Bethea, CL. (2012). The effect of citalopram on midbrain CRF receptors 1 and 2 in a primate model of stress-induced amenorrhea. Reprod Sci. 19:623-32. PMC3439121

Sullivan, EL, Shearin, J, Koegler, FH, Cameron, JL. (2012). Selective estrogen receptor modulator promotes weight loss in ovariectomized female rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) by decreasing food intake and increasing activity. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 302:E759-67. PMID:22252940

Bethea CL, Kim A, Cameron JL. (2012). Function and innervation of the locus ceruleus in a macaque model of Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. Neurobiol Dis. Epub. PMC3533527

McGee, WK, Bishop, CV, Bahar, A, Pohl, CR, Chang, RJ, Marshall, JC, Pau, FK, Stouffer, RL, Cameron, JL. (2012). Elevated androgens during puberty in female rhesus monkeys lead to increased neuronal drive to the reproductive axis: a possible component of polycystic ovary syndrome. Hum Reprod. 27:531-40. PMC3258033

 

See a full listing of Dr. Cameron's publications