URMC / Labs / O'Banion-Olschowka Labs / Honors & News Honors & News 20212020201920162015 NASA Grant Will Explore Impact of Space Travel on the BrainFriday, November 13, 2015Kerry O'Banion, M.D., Ph.D., has been awarded $1.8 million from NASA to study whether extended deep space travel places astronauts at risk for neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.The grant is one of nine announced by NASA that will fund research that employ beams of high-energy, heavy ions simulating space radiation. The studies will be conducted in part at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island. By colliding matter together at very high speeds, the accelerators at Brookhaven can reproduce the radioactive particles found in space.The studies will seek to better understand and reduce the risks to humans associated with long journeys in deep space, specifically focusing on neurological and cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Understanding the potential health impact of space travel is a priority for NASA as it develops future plans for maned voyages to Mars and other destinations.Read More: NASA Grant Will Explore Impact of Space Travel on the BrainStudy: Brain's Immune System Could Be Harnessed to Fight Alzheimer'sWednesday, November 4, 2015A new study appearing in the Journal of Neuroinflammation suggests that the brain's immune system could potentially be harnessed to help clear the amyloid plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.This research confirms earlier observations that, when activated to fight inflammation, the brain's immune system plays a role in the removal of amyloid beta, said M. Kerry O'Banion, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the University of Rochester Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, the Del Monte Neuromedicine Institute, and the lead author of the study. We have also demonstrated that the immune system can be manipulated in a manner that accelerates this process, potentially pointing to a new therapeutic approach to Alzheimer's disease.The findings are the culmination of years of investigation that were triggered when O'Banion and his colleagues made a surprising discovery while studying mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. They observed that amyloid beta plaques -- which scientists believe play a major role in the disease -- were being cleared in animals with chronic brain inflammation.Read More: Study: Brain's Immune System Could Be Harnessed to Fight Alzheimer'sCongratulation Fatima Rivera-EscaleraMonday, November 2, 2015Fatima has successfully defended her PhD thesis. Congratulations Dr. Rivera-Escalera!!!Kerry O'Banion presents at the CTSI Workshop - Patent Infringement: COX FightingSunday, June 14, 2015Kerry O'Banion, interim chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, and University President Emeritus Thomas Jackson will present Patent Infringement: COX Fighting, from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 17, in Helen Wood Hall Auditorium. The event is part of the CTSI workshop series, Good Advice: Case Studies in Clinical Research, Regulation, and the Law.Read More: Kerry O'Banion presents at the CTSI Workshop - Patent Infringement: COX FightingUR Toxicology Graduate Students Make Strong Showing at 2015 SOT MeetingFriday, April 3, 2015Dr. Alison Elder and Elissa WongUR Toxicology graduate students made a strong showing at the Society of Toxicology (SOT) annual meeting in San Diego, CA. last week. 3rd year graduate student, Elissa Wong (Majewska Lab) and 5th year graduate student, Sage Begolly (O'Banion/Olschowka Labs) both won travel awards to attend and present their posters.Elissa Wong and Dr. Alison Elder also attended the event, hosting the UR recruitment table at the Society of Toxicology (SOT) Committee on Diversity Initiatives (CDI) session. Congrats to all!View all of the photos from the SOT meeting.MSTP Announces 40th Anniversary Celebration!Sunday, February 1, 2015Edward M. Eddy RubinThe Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) is excited to announce a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the MSTP NIH training grant on Friday, October 9, 2015.The keynote speaker will be an MSTP alumni from the Class of 1980: Edward Rubin, MD, PhD, Director, DOE Joint Genome Institute.Edward M. Eddy Rubin is an internationally-known geneticist and medical researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, where he became head of the Genomic Sciences Division in 1998. In 2002 he assumed the directorship of the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI) to lead the JGI's involvement in the Human Genome Project (HGP).For more information and schedule of events for the day, please visit the MSTP 40th Anniversary page.Congratulations to Fatima Rivera-EscaleraSunday, January 25, 2015Fatima Rivera-EscaleraCongrats to Fatima Rivera-Escalera, a fifth-year student in the Olschowka Lab who was awarded a Keystone Symposia Scholarship to attend the Keystone Symposium on Neuroinflammation in Diseases of the Central Nervous System in Taos, NM from January 25-30th, 2015.