We congratulate Nicole Bowles, Ph.D., on her recent promotion to research assistant professor. In her time at Occupational Health Sciences, Nicole has been an important research connection for our outreach team. We appreciate Nicole’s interest in sharing her knowledge and research by presenting at occupational safety and health conferences, and to community-based groups.
Dr. Bowles received her Ph.D. from the Rockefeller University where she studied the interplay between environmental stress, the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal “stress” axis, and the endocannabinoid (lipid neuromodulators) system in mediating metabolic homeostasis using mouse models of glucocorticoid disruption including circadian rhythm disruption. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the role of social circumstances, behavioral choices, and the physical environment on the biological components that determine health status she followed her Ph.D. training with a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology from Weill Cornell Medical College as a Center of Excellence in Disparities and Community Engagement (CEDREC) Research Fellow. Her epidemiological studies focused on the impact of workplace stress on sleep quality and the loss of resiliency as measured by the presence of depression or anxiety. This project was part of a community engagement research program that she initiated with a New York City transit union.
To integrate this previous training Nicole joined the laboratory of Steven Shea, PhD, in 2016 as a postdoctoral associate. During her time in Dr. Shea’s laboratory her research has primarily focused on how circadian rhythms, behavior, and cannabinoid signaling affect cardiovascular physiology. As she transitions to research assistant professor, Nicole will continue her work on stress and endocannabinoid signaling in humans with a focus on assessing the dynamic relationship between the circadian and stress systems and their potential impact on mental health. Long-term she plans to use interdisciplinary approaches to elucidate the biological pathways by which psychosocial and environmental stress impact health and to apply this basic science to develop accessible interventions for vulnerable populations.