Lab Members


Jennifer Hernandez, M.S.
Research Associate

Jennifer Hernandez received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from California State University, Los Angeles in 2016. She then earned a Masters of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences from Western University of Health Sciences in 2018. She did her master’s thesis work under the supervision of Dr. Ed Wagner at Western University of Health Sciences and was hired as a full time research associate for the same lab in the summer of 2018. During this time she became proficient in electrophysiological recordings from a particular subset of neurons involved in the hypothalamic feeding circuity. She was also instrumental in establishing colonies of transgenic mice including eGFP-POMC, NR5A1-Cre, eGFP-POMC/NR5A1-Cre, and PACAP-Cre. She not only established the colonies, but has successfully implemented and developed the genotyping procedures for these different strains. During her research, she has also become proficient at different surgical procedures such as stereotaxic viral injections and cannulations, as well as ovariectomies. She has also become well versed in iv vivo feeding and metabolic studies for both mice as well as guinea pig models and has performed numerous in vitro studies involving the aforementioned strains. These different procedures have expanded her knowledge of the hypothalamic feeding circuitry, as well as the sex differences and dietary differences that affect energy balance. She has also played a role in mentoring and teaching various masters, medical, veterinary, and high school students during her time at Western University.


Cassandra Gastelum
Project Specialist/ MSBS Graduate Student C/O 2021


Nikki Le
Project Specialist/ MSBS Graduate Student C/O 2021