December 14, 2009
NSC Graduate Student, Cory Hussar, Publishes an Article in December 2009 Edition of
Cory Hussar, a 5th year Neuroscience graduate student in Dr. Tania Pasternak's lab (NBA) has published an article in this month's edition of
December 9, 2009
Helen Wei and Youngsun Cho Accepted into MSTP Program
Congratulations to Helen Wei and Youngsun Cho, both recently accepted into the MSTP (MD-PhD program) from the MD-MS Program in Medical Neurobiology. We are delighted to welcome them to a continued and augmented commitment to neuroscience research as they now pursue their PhD candidacy and thesis projects.
November 10, 2009
What do you get when you cross a mouse with poor hearing and a mouse with even worse hearing? Ironically, a new strain of mice with
golden ears- mice that have outstanding hearing as they age.
The work by one of the world's foremost groups in age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, marks the first time that scientists have created the mouse equivalent of a person with
golden ears- people who are able to retain great hearing even as they grow older. The research at the University of Rochester Medical Center was published online recently in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.
The new mouse is expected to offer clues about how these lucky folks are able to retain outstanding hearing even through old age. Researchers estimate that approximately 5 percent of people, mainly women, fall into this category. The new mice created in the laboratory of Robert Frisina, Ph.D., embody many of the same traits of human
golden earsbecause of an astute cross of two types of mice long popular with researchers.
October 28, 2009
Dr. Gary Paige has been elected President & Conference Chair of the Society for the Neural Control of Movement
Gary D. Paige, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of Neurobiology and Anatomy, has been elected President and Conference Chair of the Society for the Neural Control of Movement. The Society serves as an international forum for scientists, physicians, educators and students bound by a common interest in the neural systems that underlie the control of movement, and in disorders of these systems. The NCM Annual Conference, held each spring, is the premier international conference dedicated to the presentation of novel research and interchange of ideas related to major issues in the field.
October 1, 2009
The son of two educators, Kerry O'Banion has always adopted a broad view in his scientific pursuits. As an undergraduate at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, he investigated pair bonding behavior in common prairie voles, but chose Microbiology for his PhD work because of the promise of immersing himself in molecular biology. Indeed, at the same time he was learning about human pathophysiology and how to do a proper neurological examination as an MD-PhD trainee in the nascent Medical Scholars Program, also at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Kerry entertained working with Carl Woese, who had established the existence of a new kingdom of organisms (Archaea) by sequencing rRNA. Ultimately Kerry carried out his thesis work with Manfred Reichmann in Microbiology and John Sundberg in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology to characterize and clone novel animal papillomaviruses. All together, he cloned viruses from six animal species and witnessed at national and international conferences the recognition that oncogenic human papillomaviruses caused cervical and other epithelial cancers.
September 30, 2009
A new research center exploring the science underlying a potential new treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder has been established at the University of Rochester Medical Center, thanks to a $10.5 million award from the National Institute of Mental Health.
Rochester will serve as the hub of a five-year collaborative effort that includes six institutions around the nation and in Puerto Rico. The prestigious Silvio O. Conte Center will link more than 50 researchers who will focus on how deep brain stimulation affects people with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a truly debilitating disease for some patients,said Rochester neuroscientist Suzanne Haber, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology and Physiology, who heads the center.
While treatment helps most patients lead fulfilling lives, there are a few for whom today’s therapies simply don’t work. Our center is designed to explore the science and the effects of deep-brain stimulation, which has been effective for some other diseases involving the brain, such as Parkinson’s disease.
A new research center exploring the science underlying a potential new treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder has been established at the University of Rochester Medical Center, thanks to a $10.5 million award from the National Institute of Mental Health (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml). Rochester will serve as the hub of a five-year collaborative effort that includes six institutions around the nation and in Puerto Rico.
September 30, 2009
Dr. Edward Brown Receives an NIH Director's New Innovator Award
Dr. Edward Brown has received an NIH Director's New Innovator Award to support a 5 year/$1.5M study that seeks to understand the cells and signals responsible for collagen organization in tumor-draining lymph nodes (TDLNs). This study exploits an optical phenomenon called Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) which allows for the microscopic imaging of ordered collagen fibers within living tissue. Tumor cells can exploit these ordered fibers during metastasis, and Dr. Brown hopes to determine the cells and signals which influence the SHG+ fibers in order to disrupt their production and inhibit metastasis via the TDLN, which is a primary route. He will also explore the ability of SHG imaging of TDLN biopsies to predict metastatic ability, to aid in customization of postoperative therapy. This project continues work that has been previously funded by a D.o.D.
Era of HopeScholar Award and a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences Award, and complements a recently awarded D.o.D.
Era of HopeScholar Research Award.
August 28, 2009
Dr. Edward Brown has received funding from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program to support a 5 year/$2M study that seeks to understand the cells and signals responsible for collagen organization in breast tumors. This study exploits an optical phenomenon called Second Harmonic Generation which allows for the microscopic imaging of ordered collagen fibers within breast tumor models. Breast tumor cells exploit these ordered fibers to escape the tumor mass, and Dr. Brown hopes to determine the cells and signals which influence the SHG+ fibers in order to disrupt their production and inhibit metastasis. He will also explore the ability of SHG imaging of breast tumor biopsies to predict metastatic ability, to aid in customization of postoperative therapy. This project continues work that has been previously funded by a D.o.D.
Era of HopeScholar Award and a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences Award.
August 19, 2009
The annual Elizabeth Doty Lecture at the University of Rochester, Consciousness from Neurons, will be given by Randy L Buckner
The annual Elizabeth Doty Lecture at the University of Rochester, Consciousness from Neurons, will be given by Randy L Buckner, Depts of Psychology & Neuroscience, Harvard University:
The Brain's Default Network: Implications for Consciousness, Monday, 2 November 2009.
July 28, 2009
A compound strikingly similar to the common food additive that gives M&Ms and Gatorade their blue tint may offer promise for preventing the additional – and serious – secondary damage that immediately follows a traumatic injury to the spinal cord. In an article published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers report that the compound Brilliant Blue G (BBG) stops the cascade of molecular events that cause secondary damage to the spinal cord in the hours following a spinal cord injury, an injury known to expand the injured area in the spinal cord and permanently worsen the paralysis for patients.
This research builds on landmark laboratory findings first reported five years ago by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center. In the August 2004 cover story of Nature Medicine, scientists detailed how ATP, the vital energy source that keeps our body's cells alive, quickly pours into the area surrounding a spinal cord injury shortly after it occurs, and paradoxically kills off what are otherwise healthy and uninjured cells.
This surprising discovery marked a milestone in establishing how secondary injury occurs in spinal cord patients. It also laid out a potential way to stop secondary spinal injury, by using oxidized ATP, a compound known to block ATP's effects. Rats with damaged spinal cords who received an injection of oxidized ATP were shown to recover much of their limb function, to the point of being able to walk again, ambulating effectively if not gracefully.
July 24, 2009
Julie Fudge, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurobiology & Anatomy and Psychiatry has co-authored an article in Nature Reviews Neuroscience with Walter Kaye and Martin Paulus. Fudge's lab studies the anatomy and neurochemistry of brain regions associated with symptoms in major psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and mood disorders.
June 12, 2009
MD-MS Students Continue Their Graduate Education in the NBA PhD Program
Congratulations to MD-MS students Helen Wei and Youngsun Cho who have each chosen to continue their graduate education and research in the NBA PhD program before returning to medical school, and have each received additional support from the Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI).
April 1, 2009
Greg Gdowski, PhD, elected Chair of the Rochester Section of the Society for Engineering in Medicine and Biology
Greg Gdowski, Ph.D., has been elected Chair of the Rochester Section of the Society for Engineering in Medicine and Biology. The Society is an organization within the framework of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) whose members maintain principal professional interest in biomedical engineering.
April 1, 2009
By doing a set of vigorous visual exercises on a computer every day for several months, patients who had gone partially blind as a result of suffering a stroke were able to regain some vision, according to scientists who published their results in the April 1st issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.
We were very surprised when we saw the results from our first patients,said Krystel Huxlin, Ph.D., the neuroscientist and associate professor who led the study of seven patients at the University of Rochester Flaum Eye Institute.
This is a type of brain damage that clinicians and scientists have long believed you simply can't recover from. It's devastating, and patients are usually sent home to somehow deal with it the best they can.
March 23, 2009
A type of brain cell that was long overlooked by researchers embodies one of very few ways in which the human brain differs fundamentally from that of a mouse or rat, according to researchers who published their findings as the cover story in the March 11 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.
Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that human astrocytes, cells that were long thought simply to support flashier brain cells known as neurons that send electrical signals, are bigger, faster, and much more complex than those in mice and rats.
"There aren't many differences known between the rodent brain and the human brain, but we are finding striking differences in the astrocytes. Our astrocytes signal faster, and they're bigger and more complex. This has big implications for how our brains process information," said first author Nancy Ann Oberheim, Ph.D., a medical student who recently completed her doctoral thesis on astrocytes.