Megan G. Massa earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience (with a focus in neuroendocrinology) at UCLA in the lab of Dr. Stephanie Correa studying how sex variables affect feeding behavior. Their work also encompasses a philosophical interrogation into our understanding of sex variables, often engaging in feminist and queer theories to deepen and strengthen her scientific understanding. Megan is dedicated to inclusive, equitable, and critical pedagogy, science, and mentorship. She is a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award from UCLA’s Academic Senate, the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, AAC&U Cross Future Leaders Award, and the Collegium of University Teaching Fellowship.
During their time at Bowdoin College (B.A. Neuroscience, English minor), Megan worked in the lab of Richmond Thompson, Ph.D. investigating the rapid, non-genomic effects of testosterone on mating behaviors in response to pheromonal cues in male goldfish. Following her graduation in May 2014, Megan received a German Fulbright research grant to work in the lab of Prof. Dr. Ralf Gold under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Aiden Haghikia at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. While abroad, they refined a methodology to derive neurons from the renal cells of MS patients via an iPSC procedure. And after being hired for a second year under contract from the St. Josef-Hospital Klinikum, she researched the differential effects of androgen treatment on the inflammatory and neurodegenerative phases of MS in female mice. Megan completed laboratory rotations in the labs of Dr. Stephanie Correa, Dr. Paul Micevych, and Dr. Barney Schlinger at UCLA prior to joining the Correa lab.
Outside of the lab
Lab in Neuroendocrinology (LNE) Outreach
Megan heads this student-led group aimed at both engaging with untapped populations for scientific outreach and training researchers communication skills suitable for general audience talks and media relations. In the summer of 2017, she organized laboratory visits for adult community leaders, literally and metaphorically opening the door to scientific research.
Megan participates in events sponsored by LA’s Step Up Women’s Network and is a regular speaker for Impact Internship’s Health Science Immersion Program. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, she also participated in AWiSE STEM Day, a program aimed at inspiring girls to follow their scientific passions via engaging demonstrations.