Science on Tap: Country Boys vs. City Slickers: Why Growing Up on a Farm May Increase Stress Resilience

Growing up on a farm protects against inappropriate inflammation later in life, resulting in protection against allergic asthma. This effect is so profound that it is often referred to as "the farm effect."

Christopher Lowry and colleagues have recently shown that growing up on a farm, compared to growing up in a city, also provides protection from inappropriate inflammation in response to psychosocial stress, which has implications for stress-related psychiatric disorders such as anxiety disorders, depression and trauma- and stressor-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Lowry will also discuss current efforts to develop a "farm in a pill," designed to prevent inappropriate inflammation and promote stress resilience.

The Talk

The event is free, though tickets are required for entry. Register via Facebook or Eventbrite. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; talk begins at 7 p.m.

Please arrive early to select a beer, enjoy the food truck and select your seats. Note if you are late, you may forfeit your reserved seat.

No tickets are required to enter the taproom. Guests without tickets are welcome to line up at the entry to the talk to fill up unused seats. Un-ticketed guests may select from remaining seats at 7 p.m., once admitted by venue staff, but not prior, out of respect for tickets holders.

Speaker Bio

Christopher A. Lowry, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology and Center for Neuroscience at CU Boulder, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and Center for Neuroscience at CU Anschutz Medical Campus; a principal investigator in the Department of Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Health Care System, VA Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education, & Clinical Center (MIRECC); director of the Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Laboratory at CU Boulder; co-director of the Military and Veteran Microbiome Consortium for Research and Education (MVM-CoRE); and senior fellow and member of the Board of Directors of inVIVO Planetary Health, of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN).

Lowry was recently awarded a Young Investigator award from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, a National Science Foundation CAREER award, and the Donald F. Klein Early Career Investigator Award from the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.

Lowry's research program focuses on understanding 1) stress-related physiology and behaviour with an emphasis on the microbiome-gut-brain axis, including the role of serotonin, a chemical signaling molecule in the body and the brain and 2) neural mechanisms underlying anxiety and affective disorders and development of novel strategies for both the prevention and treatment of these disorders and their medical comorbidity, such as allergy, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease.

He has published approximately 150 peer-reviewed articles and is currently an editorial board member for Stress: The International Journal on the Biology of Stress and Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. The National Institute of Mental Health, Office of Naval Research, Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development (VA-ORD), Colorado Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) Center for Neuroscience, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation currently fund his research.

About Science on Tap

Science on Tap is a monthly opportunity for science enthusiasts and beer lovers to come together and discover the latest and greatest research in science and technology that is happening right here on the Front Range. Presented by Gunbarrel Brewing Company, local scientists across a variety of disciplines present their work in a fun, informal and interactive setting while enjoying some of Boulder’s finest craft beers. You can expect plenty of beer to be flowing, a 30-40 minute presentation with intermission, followed by discussion and Q&A.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Gunbarrel Brewing Company 7088 Winchester Circle, Boulder, CO 80301

Event Type

Lecture/Presentation, Social, Featured Event, Community Engagement


Science & Technology, Fun & Entertainment, Health & Wellness


Students, Faculty, General Public, Staff, Postdoc





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