Angela N. Pierce has a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Kansas Medical Center, is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and is a former University of Kansas Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellow.
Pierce studies stress-associated, female chronic pelvic pain diseases such as interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, vulvodynia, fibromyalgia and migraine along with co-morbid mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Her interests are to identify molecular factors underlying chronic stress experienced in childhood that are related to the development of chronic pain in adulthood. Her particular passion is to identify how non-traditional treatments such as regular exercise can be used to treat and prevent chronic pain and mood disorders in a population of people at high risk for such diseases.
As a teenager, I was disabled by a rare disease called eosinophillic gastritis due to constant pain, nausea, and vomiting. In the time before I was diagnosed, I resolved the following promise as a way to counter the fear, anxiety, and hopelessness that loomed over my future:
Although incurable, I took comfort in the thought that science was attempting to understand the basic mechanisms underlying chronic diseases like mine.
Now, I've been given the chance to make good on my promise. I plan to bridge neurobiology research with public health policy, serve as a liaison between collaborating health-care disciplines, and advocate for preventative and complementary health care on a federal and international scale.