Dr. Astra Bryant is an A.P. Giannini Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received a B.A. in Biology from Bryn Mawr College, and a PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford University.

Dr. Bryant’s work focuses on understanding the host-seeking behaviors of soil-dwelling parasitic worms. These intestinal parasites infect over 1 billion people, and are one of the world’s most neglected sources of chronic disease. Dr. Bryant specifically researches how parasitic worms living in the soil use heat and smell to find humans. Her work will hopefully lead to new therapeutic strategies and public health approaches for treating worm infections. During her scientific career, Dr. Bryant has also developed expertise in a wide array of topics in neuroscience, including the neural underpinnings of epilepsy and attention, as well as how brain hormones control the social status of fish.

Dr. Bryant is dedicated to bridging the communications gap between scientists and the general public. She is a founder and senior editor for the Silicon Valley-based science communication group NeuWrite West, and serves as a consultant for the Science and Entertainment Exchange.