Dr. Linnea Freeman graduated from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst Commonwealth College (Honors College) in 2006 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. At UMass, she completed an undergraduate thesis project on protein folding in the laboratory of Dr. Lila Gierasch. Her thesis project was entitled: "The Equilibrium Folding States of CRABPI and Single Tryptophan Mutants”; she received an Undergraduate Research Fellowship and the Dean Slakey Award for Research. In addition to performing this research during sophomore, junior, and senior year as well as most summers, Dr. Freeman spent a summer at Northeastern University in the Neuroscience laboratory of Dean James Stellar. There, she fell in love with Behavioral Neuroscience research.
Just after graduating, (and just after a few weeks of backpacking in Europe), Dr. Freeman moved to Charleston, South Carolina and began her graduate research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She quickly joined the laboratory of Dr. Lotta Granholm to study Aging and Alzheimer's Disease. Dr. Freeman's dissertation was entitled: "Damaging Effects of a High Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Diet to the Brain". She received a Predoctoral NRSA Award (F31) grant from the National Institute of Aging for this research.
After receiving her Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2011, Dr. Freeman moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to pursue a postdoctoral position with Dr. Jeffrey Keller. There, she continued her research interests in Nutritional Neuroscience and Alzheimer's disease. In the Keller Laboratory, she investigated many different aspects of how diet affects the brain: inflammation, oxidative stress, cognitive changes, as well as progressing Alzheimer's disease.
Next, Dr. Freeman accepted a second postdoctoral position back at the Medical University of South Carolina with Dr. Gary Aston-Jones. In the Aston-Jones Laboratory, Dr. Freeman expanded her research interests to investigate food "addiction" and sex differences in seeking of palatable food rewards. She received a grant from the K12 Career Development Program in Neurosciences - Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) to study: "Sex Differences in Demand for Highly Palatable Food Rewards: Role of Orexin Neurons". She was also an Adjunct Professor at the College of Charleston in the Biology and Psychology Department - teaching Introduction to Biology, Neurobiology and Behavior, and Neuropsychopharmacology.
In Fall 2015, Dr. Freeman was very excited to become an Assistant Professor of Biology and Neuroscience at Furman University. At Furman, Dr. Freeman is continuing her Nutritional Neuroscience research investigating the damaging effects of a high saturated fat diet on the brain, particularly looking at increased inflammation and changes to the blood-brain-barrier.