Dr. Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello was selected into the EWU McNair Scholar Program in 2010, and completed two McNair summer research internships in conjunction with the Eastern Washington University Department of Biology. Working with biology professor and McNair faculty research mentor, Dr. Karen Carlberg, her research focused on sex and age differences in the effects of exercise on pain sensitivity.
A "proud Eagle alum," Dr. Dykstra-Aiello graduated from EWU in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in biology, then went on to earn her PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology at the University of California at Davis in 2017.
Her doctoral dissertation focused on blood gene expression in stroke patients, research she has continued in her recent publication in Frontiers in Neurology: Alternative Splicing of Putative Stroke/Vascular Risk Factor Genes Expressed in Blood Following Ischemic Stroke Is Sexually Dimorphic and Cause-Specific.
After earning her doctoral degree, Dr. Dykstra-Aiello followed her heart back to Eastern Washington to complete postdoctoral research training in the Krueger sleep laboratory at Washington State University.
She is currently an Assistant Research Professor in Washington State University's Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience Department of their College of Veterinary Medicine, where she continues her research in the connection between sleep, stroke and the immune system.
When not in the lab, she enjoys being outdoors, working in her garden and spending time with her family, which in addition to husband and son, includes an array of fur babies. She is pictured at right with "Baby Bo," a registered paint horse who is a year-and-a-half old.