Dr. Astra Bryant is an A.P. Giannini Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received a B.A. in Biology from Bryn Mawr College, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Stanford University.
Intestinal parasitic worms infect over 1 billion people and are one of the world’s most neglected sources of chronic disease. Dr. Bryant’s work focuses on understanding how these parasitic worms use heat and smell to seek out hosts. As a neuroscientist, Dr. Bryant is particularly interested in how the brains of parasitic worms are specialized for detecting sensory cues such as body heat and odor. Her work will hopefully lead to new therapeutic strategies and public health approaches for preventing worm infections. During her scientific career, Dr. Bryant has also developed expertise in a wide array of topics in neuroscience, including the neural underpinnings of epilepsy and attention, as well as how brain hormones control the social status of fish. Outside of the lab, Dr. Bryant is dedicated to bridging the communications gap between scientists and the general public.