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Dr. David Margolis awarded grant from Rutgers Brain Health Institute

Under a new pilot grant program offered by the Brain Health Institute at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Rutgers University–Newark, and New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) designed to drive new collaborations, neuroscientists from various campuses and units at Rutgers and NJIT were recently awarded nine, one-year research grants totaling $360,000. The projects are expected to generate preliminary data that can then be used in applying for federal, state, and private grants. Each project is directed by at least two principal investigators from different schools. Collaborative teams submitted 27 applications for review by an external scientific review committee and an internal programmatic review committee. Nine $40,000 awards were made. Seven of the nine funded teams have already taken their pilot grant proposal and submitted new applications to external funding agencies. Learn more about the projects.

CBN Professor Margolis and Professor James Tepper (RU-Newark) received an award for their project entitled "Role of Sensory Cortex in Behavioral Response Inhibition."  Beyond its traditional role as an early-stage relay of tactile information, the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) has an increasingly appreciated role in sensorimotor behavior and motor control. Our proposed experiments explore the hypothesis that S1 is involved in sensory-driven behavioral response inhibition via differential connectivity with neural circuits of the striatum. Response inhibition, the ability to stop a goal-directed behavior in the appropriate context, is fundamental for the cognitive control of behavior. Impaired response inhibition underlies impulsive behaviors present across many neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as Tourette’s syndrome, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and addiction disorders. While current thinking holds that signaling from prefrontal cortex to striatum mediates response inhibition, this idea may be too simplistic; other cortical areas including S1 provide massive projections to the dorsal striatum (DStr) that could play important functional roles, especially during specific behavioral contexts. The proposed research will investigate the functional circuitry of S1-mediated response inhibition using an integrative experimental approach including optogenetics, mouse behavior and electrophysiology. The results have the potential not only to change current thinking about the role of S1-DStr projections in behavioral control, but could also identify S1-DStr signaling as a potential therapeutic target in disorders involving impulsive behaviors.

 

 

 

Dr. Mike Kiledjian awarded grant from Cure SMA

Cure SMA has awarded a $140,000 research grant to Dr. Kiledjian, CBN Chair and Distinguished Pofessor. SMA (spinal muscular atrophy) is a disease that robs people of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, eat, or breathe. It is the number one genetic cause of death for infants.

Joanna Burger featured in Risk Analysis paper

CBN Distinguished Professor Joanna Burger is featured in an article entitled, "Joanna Burger:  Respect for All Living Things," in the December 2015 issue of Risk Analysis.  [Download the Article]

Rutgers-New Brunswick is ranked #2 for health professions

Recently, Rutgers University-New Brunswick was ranked #2 in the nation for best schools to study health professions.  CBN professor, Bruce Babiarz, is featured in an article discussing the important role the Health Professions Office plays in students' lives.


Professor Melitta Schachner to be awarded prestigious honorary degree

Dr. Melitta Schachner has been selected to receive a prestigious honorary doctorate degree from the University of Heidelberg—the first such honor for extraordinary achievement in the life sciences that the institution has awarded in 50 years.

In 1976, Schachner became the first chair of the Department of Neurobiology at Heidelberg, where she also led the development of the Center for Neuroscience. She later established a Center for the Study of Neurobiology at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

A member of the German Academy of Sciences, Schachner has focused her research and written prolifically on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie development, maintenance, and modifications of the adult central nervous system. She has authored more than 800 articles in peer-reviewed journals. In 1965, as a summer student at the California Institute of Technology, she studied with Max Delbrück, the last person to receive the honor that Schachner will receive in Heidelberg in November.

Congratulations, Dr. Schachner!