Lique Coolen, Ph.D.

It means a lot to be on this list.  I believe it sends a positive message to female scientists, as well as the next generation of female scientists, that you can be at the top of your field in terms of research but continue to make meaningful contributions to teaching and administration while having a happy and fulfilling personal life.  

Questions & Answers

Why did you decide to pursue your field of research?

My broad area of research is neuroscience.  It is truly fascinating.  I study the central nervous system which is extremely complex and it is critical to approach this work from a multidisciplinary standpoint.   That’s why the work is so interesting.  I get to examine this from a multitude of angles with multiple researchers from multiple disciplines.

What would you tell a student at the beginning of their academic career?

Scientific research requires resilience and patience.  However, it is incredibly important and extremely rewarding.

Tell us a little about your research:

My research is in three main areas: motivation, reward, and drug addiction; neuroendocrine function; and spinal cord injury. Specifically, I study effects of chronic spinal cord injury on reflex generators in the spinal cord that controls sexual and bladder function in rodent models[MSM1] . My lab investigates the neuronal pathways that control reproductive endocrine function. In particular, the mechanisms by which distinct cell populations in the hypothalamus control pulsatile and surge secretion of gonadotropin releasing hormone, is investigated. Additionally, the neural mechanisms by which social experiences influence vulnerability for drug addiction using rodent models[MSM2]  is also investigated.

What are you hoping to accomplish?

To advance our knowledge about the functions of the central nervous system and to contribute to the development of treatments for dysfunction after trauma or in disease.

Do you have any skills or talents most people don’t know about?

I am surprisingly good at decluttering homes and decorating.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Spending time with my three children and my husband.

What does it mean to you to be included in the top 2% in your field?

By being one of only two women, and the only woman in the College of Arts and Sciences on the list, I hope to inspire, mentor, and support other women at Kent State and in my home college. I believe that it is possible to have a fulfilling family life, while actively pursuing research, undertaking administrative work, and teaching.  You just have to find your own personal balance. 

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