Pharmacology Professor Awarded NIA Grant for Research on Aging Brain

Nicole Ashpole focuses on a specific hormone's effects on learning and memory

Nicole Ashpole

OXFORD, Miss. – Nicole Ashpole, an assistant professor of pharmacology in the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, has been awarded a grant from the National Institute on Aging to research memory impairments in advanced age.

With this award, Ashpole and her team will explore a specific hormone in the body that decreases with age, as well as its ability to communicate with the brain and its effects on learning and memory. The hormone is insulin-like growth factor-1, or IGF-1.

Ashpole hopes to gain insight into IGF-1’s influences on cognition and its importance to the overall function of the aging brain.

“Individuals suffering from cognitive impairment in advanced age are faced with the loss of independence, declining health and increased financial burden,” said Ashpole, a faculty member in the Department of BioMolecular Sciences. “Understanding how the brain ages and identifying potential therapies are critical to alleviating some of these stressors associated with living longer lives.”