Stephanie Correa

Stephanie Correa

Associate Professor
Vice Chair of Undergraduate Education

Office: 2028 TLSB
Phone: (310) 825-1559


Stephanie Correa earned a BA in Biology from Pomona College and a PhD in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University. Her dissertation research with Elizabeth Adkins-Regan and Patricia Johnson tested the effects of ovarian steroids on sex determination in birds. Her postdoctoral research at Boston University Medical Center identified strain differences in the testis determination pathway in mice. Postdoctoral research with Holly Ingraham at UCSF identified neurons in the hypothalamus that regulate physical activity and body weight in female mice. Research in her lab aims to understand sex differences in the regulation of temperature and energy balance. Before having twin daughters in 2016, Dr. Correa used to enjoy yoga and sleep.

Research Interests

The Correa lab is broadly interested in understanding how reproductive hormones affect temperature and energy balance. In women, the menopausal transition is associated with hot flashes and increased visceral body fat. Our research aims to understand how estrogens act on the hypothalamus to alter temperature homeostasis and metabolic health. These studies can help us better understand weight gain and hot flashes in postmenopausal women. To understand the mechanisms by which estrogen alters the homeostasis, we focus on the following broad questions: How does the brain regulate temperature and energy balance? How do homeostatic neural circuits differ between males and females? How are homeostatic circuits modulated by estrogens? We use genetically engineered mice and new viral tools to define the neurons that drive estrogen-responsive and sex-specific changes in energy balance. This approach allows us to dissect the effects of estrogen on distinct neuronal populations with spatial, molecular, and temporal specificity. Ultimately, we hope to identify avenues for developing targeted, non-hormonal treatments for hot flashes and obesity.


B.A., Biology, Pomona College 2000
Ph.D., Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University 2007

Selected Publications

van Veen, J. E.*, Kammel, L. G.*, Bunda, P. C., Shum, M., Reid, M. S., Massa, M. G., Arneson, D. V., Park, J. W., Zhang, Z., Joseph, A. M., Hrncir, H., Liesa, M., Arnold, A. P., Yang, X., and Correa, S. M. Hypothalamic oestrogen receptor alpha establishes a sexually dimorphic regulatory node of energy expenditure. Nature Metabolism, 2: 351–363 (2020).

Kammel, L. G. and Correa, S. M. Selective sexual differentiation of neuron populations may contribute to sex-specific outputs of the ventromedial hypothalamus. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 32: e12801 (2020).

Herber C. B.*, Krause, W. C.*, Wang, L., Bayrer, J. R., Li, A., Schmitz, M., Fields, A., Ford, B., Zhang, Z., Reid, M. S., Nomura, D. K., Nissenson, R. A., Correa S. M.#, and Ingraham, H. A.# Estrogen signaling in arcuate Kiss1 neurons suppresses a sex-dependent female circuit promoting dense strong bones. Nature Communications, 10: 163 (2019).

Correa, S. M., Newstrom, D. W., Warne J. P., Flandin, P., Cheung, C. C., Pierce, A. A., Lin-Moore, A. T., Xu, A. W., Rubenstein, J. L. and H. A. Ingraham, An Estrogen-Responsive Module in the Ventromedial Hypothalamus Selectively Drives Sex-Specific Activity in Females, Cell Reports, 10 : 62-74 (2015).

Correa, S. M., Washburn, L. L., Kahlon, R. S., Musson, M. C., Bouma, G. J., Eicher, E. M. and Albrecht, K. H., Sex Reversal in C57BL/6J XY Mice Caused by Increased Expression of Ovarian Genes and Insufficient Activation of the Testis Determining Pathway, PLoS Genetics, 8 (4): 1002569-1002588 (2012).

Correa, S. M.#, Horan, C. M., Johnson, P. A., Adkins-Regan, E., Copulatory Behaviors and Body Condition Predict Post-Mating Female Hormone Levels, Fertilization Success, and Primary Sex Ratios in Japanese Quail, Hormones and Behavior, 59 : 556-564 (2011).

Correa, S. M.#, Adkins-Regan, E., and Johnson, P. A., High Progesterone During Avian Meiosis Biases Sex Ratios Toward Females, Biology Letters, 1 : 215-218 (2005).