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Dr. Cameron’s research focuses on the effects of everyday life stresses on long-term health. Three current areas of interest in her laboratory are the effects of genetic factors and early life experiences on anxious and depressive behaviors, identification of factors that lead to stress sensitivity versus stress resilience, and how exercise affects the brain.
She and her team are studying the impact that planned exercise and everyday levels of physical activity on processes in the brain. Processes being studied include the development of new neurons in the brain, improvement of blood flow to the brain, expression of genes that are supportive to brain function, improvement in cognitive function, and the protective effects of exercise on neurodegenerative brain diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease. Her Parkinson’s disease work was featured in the Frontline episode “My Father, My Brother and Me,” which aired in January 2009.
Dr. Cameron has been a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on early experience and brain development for the past decade and a member of the National Scientific Council on the developing child for the past six years.
She received a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Arizona.