Catherine Escoffier

Mentor: Dr. Connie Mulligan

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

"I got involved with research to contribute to the scientific community and learn fundamental skills for use later on in life."


Nutritional Sciences



Research Interests

  • Health Disparities
  • Stress Related Illnesses

Academic Awards

  • UF's President's List (2015 - 2016)
  • Florida Agriculture Rehabilitation Scholarship (2016 - 2017)
  • College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Dean's List (2016 - 2017)
  • University Scholars Program (2017-2018)


  • Gatorwell
  • Inter Residence Hall Association (IRHA)
  • National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH)


  • Shands Student Dental Clinic
  • Alachua County Humane Society
  • Gainesville Pet Rescue

Hobbies and Interests

  • Running
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • Dogs
  • Traveling

Research Description

Examination of the Serotonin Transporter Gene (5-HTTLPR) in Syrian Refugee Youth
I will be looking at a genetic variant within the serotonin transporter gene, 5-HTTLPR. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that controls mood, sleep, appetite, and sexual activity in humans. This particular polymorphism is a common variant in the promoter region that varies in length and affects gene expression, the amount of protein made from a gene. Previous research has also linked it to environmental interactions and reactions to stressful experiences. I am testing for a link between genetic differences in samples and stress measures of individuals before and after the intervention via multiple regression analysis methods. 5-HTTLPR may be able to help us understand why some Syrian refugee youth recover better from their stressful experiences than others.