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Katrina Milbocker

Graduate Student
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716

Biography

Katrina received dual degrees in Comprehensive Science (integrated biology and engineering coursework/lab training) and Bioethics from Villanova University in 2017. During her undergraduate career, she worked as a research assistant for Dr. Scott Lorch and Ashley Martin, MPH at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)/University of Pennsylvania Research Institute. During her three years at CHOP, she studied the intersectionality of race, socioeconomic status, and accessibility to quality healthcare on disparities in pediatric health outcomes and occurrence of prenatal drug exposure. This resulted in the development of the CHOP Baby & Books program to support language development in infants and ultimately inspired her to pursue a career in research.

As a doctoral student at the University of Delaware, Katrina explores how an adolescent exercise intervention restores alterations to brain structure and function in cases of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. To investigate changes to the brain at the macro- and microscopic levels, she has gained skills in preclinical Magnetic Resonance Imaging, immunocytochemical staining, brightfield and fluorescent microscopy, electron microscopy, and statistical modeling. Her dissertation research focuses on investigating the potential therapeutic effect of aerobic activity on repairing damage to the insulation (myelination) of neuronal connections to facilitate better cognition in adolescence and adulthood. Under the mentorship of her Ph.D. advisors, Drs. Anna Klintsova and Tania Roth, Katrina has received 8 awards (internal and external) including an Honorable Mention by the National Science Foundation and a 2021 Trainee Award from the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Study Group, presented her research findings at 12 academic conferences (2 invited talks, 10 poster presentations), secured independent grant funding, and actively publishes in peer-reviewed journals. In addition, Katrina is an advocate for women in STEM. She is co-founder and director of the University of Delaware's Scientista Foundation Chapter for Graduate students which provides her with a platform to support female STEM students across the university and in her Delaware community. She has received 2 awards for her involvement and the organization has been continually funded since its inception by the University of Delaware's Center for Diversity and the University of Delaware's Graduate College.

Degrees

​M.S. in Neuroscience, University of Delaware, Newark DE

B.S. Comprehensive Science, Villanova University, Villanova PA

Certificate in Applied Bioethics, Villanova University, Villanova PA

Courses Taught as a TA

NSCI100: Introduction to Neuroscience

PSYC100: General Psychology

PSYC350: Developmental Psychology 

Publications

Glia-driven brain circuit refinement is altered by early-life adversity: behavioral outcomes (2021) K.A. Milbocker; T.S. Campbell; N. Collins; S. Kim; I.F. Smith; T.L. Roth; A.Y. Klintsova. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. In press.

Examination of cortically projecting cholinergic neurons following exercise and environmental intervention in a rodent model of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (2021). Birth Defects Research. K.A. Milbocker; A.Y. Klintsova

DOI: 10.1002/(ISSN)2472-1727

Epigenetic consequences of adversity and intervention throughout the lifespan: implications for public policy and healthcare (2020). Adversity and Resilience Science: Journal of Research and Practice. N. Collins; N. L. H. Phillips; L. Reich; K.A. Milbocker; T. L. Roth

DOI: 10.1007/s42844-020-00015-5

Midline thalamic damage associated with alcohol-use disorders: Disruption of distinct thalamocortical pathways and function (2020). Neuropsychology Review. L.M. Savage;  P.T. Nunes; Z.H. Gursky; K.A. Milbocker; A.Y. Klintsova

DOI: 10.1007/s11065-020-09450-8​

Selected Presentations & Invited Talks

Examination of cortically projecting cholinergic neurons following exercise and environmental intervention in a rodent model of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (2021). Birth Defects Research. K.A. Milbocker, MS; A.Y. Klintsova, Ph.D.
DOI: 10.1002/(ISSN)2472-1727 

Epigenetic consequences of adversity and intervention throughout the lifespan: implications for public policy and healthcare (2020). Adversity and Resilience Science: Journal of Research and Practice. N. Collins; N. L. H. Phillips; L. Reich; K.A. Milbocker, MS; T. L. Roth, Ph.D.
DOI: 10.1007/s42844-020-00015-5

Midline thalamic damage associated with alcohol-use disorders: Disruption of distinct thalamocortical pathways and function (2020). Neuropsychology Review. L.M. Savage, Ph.D.;  P.T. Nunes, PhD.; Z.H. Gursky; K.A. Milbocker; A.Y. Klintsova, Ph.D.
DOI: 10.1007/s11065-020-09450-8

Conference Presentations:
I.F. Smith; Z.H. Gursky, Ph.D.; K.A. Milbocker, MS; A.Y. Klintsova, Ph.D. (2021)
Representation of mPFC axon terminals in the thalamic nucleus reuniens in a rat model of third trimester binge drinking.
Poster Presented at Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Study Group Conference (virtual)

G.L. LeBlanc; K.A. Milbocker, MS; E.K. Brengel; A.Y. Klintsova, Ph.D. (2021)
Volume and Myelination of the Corpus Callosum in a Third Trimester Model of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Does Voluntary Aerobic Exercise Matter?
Poster Presented at 2021 Delaware Neuroscience Symposium (virtual)

K.A. Milbocker, MS; E.K. Brengel; G.L. LeBlanc; A.Y. Klintsova, Ph.D. (2021) 
Alcohol exposure during the brain growth spurt delays myelination of the corpus callosum in adolescent rats: a multimodal longitudinal study.
Poster Presented at 2021 Research Society on Alcoholism Conference (virtual)

K.A. Milbocker, MS; G.L. LeBlanc; E.K. Brengel; S. K. Hekmatyar, Ph.D; P. Kulkarni, Ph.D.; C. Ferris, Ph.D.; A.Y. Klintsova Ph.D. (2020) 
Detecting Myelin-Dependent Plasticity: Therapeutic Effect of Aerobic Exercise Intervention on Corpus Callosum Myelination in a Rodent Model of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. 
Poster Presented at 2021 Society for Neuroscience Global Connectome Conference (virtual)

E. K. Brengel; K. A. Milbocker, MS; A. Y. Klintsova, Ph.D. Altered Corpus Callosum (2020)
Myelination in a Rodent Model of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders with an Aerobic Exercise Intervention: A Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study. 
Poster Presented at 2020 Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Conference (virtual)

K.A. Milbocker; M.M. Callahan; S. K. Hekmatyar, Ph.D.; A.Y. Klintsova, Ph.D. (2020)
Structural Integrity of Corpus Callosum in Adolescent Rats is Altered by Alcohol Exposure 
on PD4-9: A Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) Study. 
Poster Presented at 2020 Research Society on Alcoholism/Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Study Group (virtual) 

K.A. Milbocker; N.K. Ginn; Z.H. Gursky, MS; A.Y. Klintsova, Ph.D. (2019)
Structural integrity of cholinergic neurons in the NBM-cortical pathway following behavioral
intervention in adulthood in a rodent model of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
Poster Presented at 2019 Society for Neuroscience - Trainee Professional Development Award Session
Chicago, IL

K.A. Milbocker; Z.H. Gursky, MS; A.Y. Klintsova, Ph.D. (2019)
Effect of Behavioral “Super-Intervention” in Adolescence on Cortically-Projecting Cholinergic
Neurons in a Rodent Model of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). French Society on Alcohology. 
Poster Presented at 2019 European Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism
Lille, France

K.A. Milbocker; N.K. Ginn; Z.H. Gursky, MS; A.Y. Klintsova, Ph.D. (2019)
The Impact of Neonatal Alcohol Exposure and an Adolescent “Super-Intervention” on the State of Cortical-Projecting Cholinergic Neurons from the Nucleus Basalis of Meynert in Rats
Poster Presented at 2019 Scientista Foundation Symposium - 2019 Scientista Travel Award
Boston, MA

N.K. Ginn; K.A. Milbocker; A.Y. Klintsova, Ph.D. (2019)
Neonatal Alcohol Exposure Affects Cholinergic Innervation of the Rat Prelimbic Cortex
Poster Presented at 2019 Eastern Psychological Association Conference
New York, NY

K.A. Milbocker; Z.H. Gursky, MS; A.Y. Klintsova, Ph.D. (2018)
The Impact of Neonatal Alcohol Exposure and an Adolescent Behavioral “Super-Intervention” on the State of Cortical-Projecting Cholinergic Neurons
Poster Presented at 2018 Delaware Neuroscience Research and Poster Symposium
Newark, DE

N.K. Ginn; K.A. Milbocker; A.Y. Klintsova, Ph.D. (2018)
The Persisting Impact of Neonatal Alcohol Exposure and Voluntary Exercise on Rat Medial Prefrontal Cortex: Cholinergic Fiber Length and Cg2 Volume
Poster Presented at 2018 Delaware Neuroscience Research and Poster Symposium - 1st Place Poster Award Recipient
Newark, DE

K.A. Milbocker; Z.H. Gursky; A.Y. Klintsova, Ph.D. (2018)
State of cholinergic neurons in the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM) of adult rats following alcohol exposure during the brain growth spurt (PD 4-9)
Poster Presented at 2018 Society for Neuroscience Annual Conference
San Diego, CA
K.A. Milbocker; Z.H. Gursky; A.Y. Klintsova, Ph.D. (2018)
Cholinergic Basal Forebrain Neuron Number and Nucleus Basalis Volume in Adult Rats Following Neonatal PD 4-9 Alcohol Exposure. 
Poster Presented at 2018 Research Society on Alcoholism Annual Conference/Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Study Group
San Diego, CA

K.A. Milbocker; A.E. Martin, MPH; M. Passarella, MS; J. D’Agostino DNP, CRNP; S.A. Lorch, MD, MSCE (2017) 
National Access to Children’s Hospitals Provided by Affordable Care Act (ACA) Silver Insurance Plans
Poster Presented at 2017 Scientista Foundation Symposium
New York, NY


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Psychological and Brain Sciences
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