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  • December 14, 2009

    NSC Graduate Student, Cory Hussar, Publishes an Article in December 2009 Edition of Neuron

    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 Neuron. The article, entitled Flexibility of sensory representations in prefrontal cortex depends on cell type, reports that neurons in prefrontal cortex (PFC) represent visual motion with precision comparable to cortical neurons at early stages of motion processing, and readily adapt this representation to behavioral context. Furthermore, results show that flexible sensory representation during active discrimination tasks is achieved in the PFC by a specialized neuronal network of both NS neurons readily adjusting their selectivity to behavioral context, and BS neurons capable of maintaining relatively stable sensory representation.

  • November 10, 2009

    Scientists Create a 'Golden Ear' Mouse with Great Hearing as It Ages

    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 ears because 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.

  • September 30, 2009

    $10.5 Million in Funding Creates Center to Study OCD

    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.

  • 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.

  • April 15, 2009

    Rochester Scientist Wins Major Award for Alzheimer's Research

    A Rochester researcher whose work has opened up a whole new avenue in Alzheimer's disease research has received a major prize from the American Academy of Neurology.

    Berislav Zlokovic, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Neurodegenerative and Vascular Brain Disorders at the University of Rochester Medical Center, will receive the 2009 Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick's, Alzheimer's, and Related Diseases during the AAN annual meeting later this month in Seattle.

  • 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

    Rigorous Visual Training Teaches the Brain to See Again After Stroke

    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.

  • December 29, 2008

    Can’t hear at holiday parties? Blame your brain

    Scientists are still trying to piece together why our hearing goes downhill with age, with the goal of trying to slow it or even reverse it. When it comes to the cocktail party problem, the dimmer switch is a piece of that story, though it's not clear just how big a factor.

    I think it's a significant player, said Robert Frisina of the University of Rochester in New York, who is studying it. Frisina and colleagues published evidence in 2002 that the dimmer switch effectiveness declines with age. The drop-off showed up in middle-aged people (ages 38 to 52) and was even worse in people past age 62.

  • October 30, 2008

    Scientists Rate University of Rochester a Best Place to Work

    Not only is the University of Rochester the region's largest employer - it's also one of the best places in the nation for scientists to work, according to The Scientist magazine.

    It's gratifying to be recognized for the research environment that we've worked hard to create, said Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of the Medical Center. This is an institution founded on the principle of interdisciplinary collaboration. Our scientists' satisfaction plays an important role in the ultimate success of our research enterprise, and helps us truly achieve Medicine of the Highest Order.

  • June 1, 2008

    Chris Holt, Ph.D. Joins the University of Rochester

    The Departments of Neurobiology & Anatomy and Otolaryngology are pleased to welcome Dr. Chris Holt as a co-appointee effective June 1, 2008. Chris' research interests are in the vestibular efferent system and the synaptic pharmacology and physiology by which efferents modulate vestibular input responses to head motion and orientation.

    Having received his BS in Biology from Pembroke State University in 1991, Chris began work on his MS at Northeast Louisiana University but left in 1994 to pursue his PhD in Parmacology and Toxicology at Tulane University School of Medicine. After completing his degree in 1999, Chris moved on to a postdoctoral fellowship and Research Associate position in the Department of Neurobiology, Pharmacology, and Physiology at the University of Chicago with Jay M. Goldberg, PhD. In 2005, he joined the faculty of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Texas Medical Branch as an Assistant Professor and established a close collaboration Shawn Newlands, MD, PhD.

  • May 9, 2008

    Nature Photographic Exhibit by Babak & Anne Razavi

    Babak Razavi is a trainee in the Medical Scientist Training Program pursuing an M.D. as well as a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. His passion with photography began at a young age when his father taught him how to take pictures using a Canon AE-1 back in Iran. Anne Razavi worked as a medical physicist at the Wilmot Cancer Center and Department of Radiation Oncology. She trained at the Charité Hospital, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany. She is now a product marketing manager with Siemens Medical Solutions. Babak and Anne both enjoy capturing a variety of themes including abstracts, nature, candids, weddings, and each other.

  • March 1, 2008

    Shawn D. Newlands, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS Joins the University of Rochester

    Dr. Shawn Newlands has been appointed Professor & Chair of Otolaryngology and Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy effective March, 2008. Shawn is an expert in head and neck oncologic surgery and an accomplished neuroscientist. His appointment will serve as a basic science anchor as a neuroscientist within our Community and contributes to the mutual benefit of both departments and the growth of translational research interests at Rochester. His is currently studying normal and pathologic vestibular function in primates and humans.

    Shawn comes to Rochester from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, where he served as Harry Carothers Wiess Professor and Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology since 2003. Prior to joining the University of Texas in 1999, he served for three years on the faculty of the Division of Otolaryngology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

    Shawn was among the first graduates of the combined MD, PhD program at the University of Texas Medical Branch, earning a PhD in neuroscience along with his medical degree. He completed an internship in general surgery at Virginia-Mason Medical Center in Seattle, followed by a residency in otolaryngology at the University of Washington in Seattle. Shawn holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of California in Santa Barbara, as well as a master's in business administration from the University of Texas in Austin.

  • January 14, 2008

    Our Understanding of Movement Is on the Move

    How our brain controls our movements is a bit more complex and varied than scientists have previously recognized, according to research recently published in Science by a team of scientists and physicians at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

    The team led by neurologist Marc Schieber, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Neurology and of Neurobiology & Anatomy, showed that at least occasionally, the brain is able to bypass the usual route of nerve fibers it uses for controlling hand and finger movements, using an alternate route to send its signals. Such flexibility in controlling movement has been suspected but not actually shown before.

  • November 7, 2007

    Copper Damages Protein that Defends Against Alzheimer’s

    The research by neuroscientists at the URMC was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego Nov. 3-7. The work was highlighted as part of a press conference on potential environmental influences on Alzheimer's disease.

    The team found that copper damages a molecule known as LRP (low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein), a molecule that acts like an escort service in the brain, shuttling amyloid-beta out of the brain and into the body. The molecule's role in Alzheimer's was revealed more than a decade ago by another author of the work, Berislav Zlokovic, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Neurosurgery and Neurology and director of the Frank P. Smith Laboratory for Neuroscience and Neurosurgery Research. Zlokovic is widely recognized for demonstrating that blood vessels, blood flow, and the blood-brain barrier are central to the development of Alzheimer's disease.

  • August 30, 2007

    Alzheimer’s Project Focuses on Role of Brain Inflammation

    Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center have received $1.37 million to continue their work looking at some of the earliest events that occur at the start of Alzheimer's disease - a condition that now generally goes undetected until the death of key brain cells has been underway for decades.

    The team led by William Bowers, Ph.D., associate professor of Neurology and a scientist in the Center for Neural Development and Disease, is focusing on the role of inflammation in the evolution of the disease. Just as rheumatoid arthritis can ravage the body's joints because of the inflammation it causes, scientists are realizing that the same thing happens to the brain in patients with Alzheimer's disease. The brain can be under assault for decades as the body attempts to fend off some perceived threat.

  • August 13, 2007

    Draining Away Brain's Toxic Protein to Stop Alzheimer's

    Scientists are trying a plumber's approach to rid the brain of the amyloid buildup that plagues Alzheimer's patients: Simply drain the toxic protein away.

    That's the method outlined in a paper published online August 12th by Nature Medicine. A team of scientists from the University of Rochester Medical Center, led by neuroscientist Berislav Zlokovic, M.D., Ph.D., show how the body's natural way of ridding the body of the substance is flawed in people with the disease. Then the team demonstrated an experimental method in mice to fix the process, dramatically reducing the levels of the toxic protein in the brain and halting symptoms. The team is now working on developing a version of the protein that could be tested in people with the disease.

  • June 4, 2007

    Brain Inflammation May Be Friend, Not Foe, For Alzheimer’s Patients

  • June 2, 2006

    Rochester Neuroscientist Awarded NSF Career Grant

    David Pinto, Ph.D., assistant professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy and Biomedical Engineering, will receive $590,000 for his research during the next five years, as part of NSF's program to support promising scientists early in their careers.

  • February 23, 2006

    $3.5 Million Grant To Support Research on New Treatment for Severe OCD

    As part of a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers will look at whether a breakthrough therapy for Parkinson's disease can also treat the worst cases of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). A research team led out of the University of Rochester Medical Center will measure whether Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) can reduce the rampant anxiety that keeps some OCD patients homebound.

    DBS is one of the most promising areas of OCD research because early studies show that it may help many within the approximately 20 percent of OCD patients for whom neither psychological nor drug therapy works, said Suzanne Haber, Ph.D., a professor within the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Some patients have been able to venture out to work and school for the first time with DBS, said Haber, who is lead investigator for the grant.

  • March 28, 2002

    New Findings About Brain's 'Compass' Offer Clues About Alzheimer's

    A tiny section of the brain that is ravaged by Alzheimer's disease is more important for our ability to orient ourselves than scientists have long thought, helping to explain why people with the disease become lost so easily. The findings by neuroscientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center are reported in the March 29 issue of Science.

    Neurologist Charles Duffy, M.D., Ph.D., previously discovered that a small section of brain tissue slightly above and behind the ear - known as the medial superior temporal area (MST) - acts much like a compass, instantly updating your mental image of your body's movements through space. In new research, Duffy and graduate student Michael Froehler show that the MST acts not only as a compass but also as a sort of biological global positioning system, providing a mental map to help us understand exactly where we are in the world and how we got there.

  • January 31, 2002

    Road Skills Hint At "Motion Blindness" Of Alzheimer's

    Doctors have added to the evidence that patients with Alzheimer's disease lose their way not simply because their memory is failing but because they are subject to a unique form of brain damage that causes symptoms doctors call "motion blindness." Some of the new data comes from driving tests of a small number of patients, where researchers have linked the condition to the loss of one specific driving skill: the ability to stay in one's lane while driving.

    While it's obvious that people with Alzheimer's disease are losing their memory, that's only part of the reason why they become lost, says neurologist Charles Duffy, M.D., Ph.D., who leads the research team at the University of Rochester Medical Center. These patients also lose their ability to perceive their own motion. That's ultimately what puts them at much greater risk than others of becoming lost.

  • April 18, 1995

    Two Scholars Win Sloan Fellowships

    Charles J. Duffy, professor of neurology and ophthalmology, and Turan Erdogan, assistant professor of optics, have been awarded 1995 Sloan Research Fellowships.

    The two University of Rochester professors were among 100 scientists and economists selected from a field of 400 nominees. Each Sloan Research Fellowship recipient is awarded $30,000 over a two-year period. Sloan Research Fellows are engaged in pioneering research in physics, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, neuroscience and economics. Once they have been selected, Fellows are free to pursue whatever line of inquiry interests them. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation created the fellowship program in 1955 to encourage research by young scholars at a critical time in their careers.

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