Skip to main content
Explore URMC


URMC / Department of Neuroscience / Department News


20182017201620152014 Archive

Subscribe to Neuroscience LISTSERV

NBA's Patricia White's Research Featured in Journal of Neuroscience

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cochlear Inner Hair Cell

Cochlear inner hair cell from an adult mouse, viewed as a three-dimensional reconstruction from a whole mount confocal stack. The inner hair cell is labeled with Myo7a (grey), ribbon synapses and hair cell nuclei are labeled with CtBP2 (red), and glutamate receptors are labeled with Gria2/3 (green). This technique was used to analyze the role of Foxo3 in the adult mouse cochlea. For more information see Gilels et al..

Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Patricia White's most recent publication, Mutation of Foxo3 Causes Adult Onset Auditory Neuropathy and Alters Cochlear Synapse Architecture in Mice has been featured in the November edition of the Journal of Neuroscience. In addition, an image of a cochlear inner hair cell from the article was also selected as the cover for that journal.

Dr. White received her bachelor's degree in Biology from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena in 1989. She completed her Ph.D. degree in Developmental Biology, also at Caltech, in 2000, where she researched neural stem cells. She began post-doctoral work in hearing regeneration at the House Ear Institute, and joined the faculty at the University of Rochester Medical and Dental Center in 2010.

The White lab's goal is to find a biological treatment to reverse noise-induced hearing loss through a better understanding of the function of different genes in the cochlea.

Read More: NBA's Patricia White's Research Featured in Journal of Neuroscience

Professor Laurel Carney Receives NIH-NIDCD Grant Renewal

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Professor Laurel Carney received a renewal for another five years for her NIH-NIDCD grant entitled Auditory Processing of Complex Sounds. The new emphasis for the next five years is to investigate neural coding of speech sounds, starting with vowels. This new direction is possible thanks to the collaboration with Professor Joyce McDonough from the Linguistics Department. This grant will support graduate students and a post-doc in BME, Linguistics, or related fields who are interested in speech coding in the brain.

Clinical Trial for Children with Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (JNCL)

Friday, November 1, 2013

The University of Rochester Medical Center is currently recruiting subjects with JNCL for a clinical trial. This research study will focus on evaluating whether an investigational drug is safe and well tolerated in children with JNCL. Mycophenolate mofetil (also known as Cellcept) is a medication that suppresses the immune system. The study is 22 weeks long with a total of 8 in-person visits and 4 telephone contacts. Four visits require travel to University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York, and four visits are with your child’s local physician. Four contacts take place by telephone. Travel costs are covered by the study. Children enrolled in the study will take mycophenolate syrup twice a day, and will have blood drawn at each study visit to monitor safety.

More information on the trial can be found at, Time Warner Cable News (Rochester, NY television affiliate) and the URMC Newsroom.

For further information, please contact Amy Vierhile at (585) 275-4762.

Read More: Clinical Trial for Children with Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (JNCL)

Sleep 'Cleans' the Brain of Toxins

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The US team believe the waste removal system is one of the fundamental reasons for sleep. Their study, in the journal Science, showed brain cells shrink during sleep to open up the gaps between neurons and allow fluid to wash the brain clean. They also suggest that failing to clear away some toxic proteins may play a role in brain disorders.

One big question for sleep researchers is why do animals sleep at all when it leaves them vulnerable to predators? It has been shown to have a big role in the fixing of memories in the brain and learning, but a team at the University of Rochester Medical Centre believe that housework may be one of the primary reasons for sleep.

The brain only has limited energy at its disposal and it appears that it must choose between two different functional states - awake and aware or asleep and cleaning up, said researcher Dr Maiken Nedergaard. You can think of it like having a house party. You can either entertain the guests or clean up the house, but you can't really do both at the same time.

Read More: Sleep 'Cleans' the Brain of Toxins

Students Receive Awards at Neuroscience Retreat

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Anasuya Das, a former student in Dr. Krystel Huxlin's lab who defended her PhD thesis on July 18, 2013 was awarded the Doty Award for Excellence in Neuroscience Dissertation Research during 2013 Neuroscience Retreat.

Christina Cloninger, a 4th-year student in Dr. Gary Paige's lab, won second place in the John Bartlett Poster Session during 2013 Neuroscience Retreat, Rochester, NY.

Ryan Dawes, a third-year student in Dr. Ed Brown's lab, won a travel award from the Schmitt Program on Integrative Brain Research. Ryan plans to use this award to attend the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Advances in Breast Cancer Research Conference, which is being held in San Diego from October 3rd-6th, 2013.

Neuroscience Retreat to Feature Nobel Laureate

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The annual Neuroscience Retreat, sponsored by the Neuroscience Graduate Program and the University Committee for Interdisciplinary Studies, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, at the Memorial Art Gallery. The retreat will feature keynote speaker Martin Chalfie, University Professor at Columbia University and winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry; talks from current and former faculty and graduate students; and a poster session. The event is free and open to the University community but advance registration is required. To register or for more information, visit the retreat website.

Ethan Winkler Wins 2013 Vincent du Vigneaud Commencement Award

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ethan Winkler

The 2013 Vincent du Vigneaud commencement award for PhD research went to Ethan Winkler, an MD/PhD student in Dr. Zlokovic's lab. To date, Ethan has 12 publications, six of which he is first author or shares that position with Dr. R. Bell. These include publications in some of the very best journals like Nature and Nature Neuroscience. Congratulations, Ethan!

NGP Student, Helen Wei, Awarded the HHMI Med-Into-Grad Fellowship

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Helen Wei, Neuroscience and MD/PhD student in Dr. Maiken Nedergaard's lab was awarded the HHMI Med-Into-Grad Fellowship (September 2013-August 2014). Helen's current project is astrocytes in neurodegenerative disease. Congrats Helen!

NGP Student, Jennifer Stripay, Awarded Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from NIH

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Jennifer Stripay, 3rd year Neuroscience Graduate student in Dr. Mark Noble's lab was awarded F31 NIH (NRSA) Individual Pre-doctoral Fellowship for her project entitled: Identifying c-Cbl as a critical point of intervention in glioblastoma multiforme (September 2013-August 2016). Congrats Jennifer!

NGP Students Adam Pallus, Rebecca Lowery, and Brianna Sleezer Awarded a Competitive Graduate Fellowship From Center for Visual Science

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Adam Pallus, NGP graduate student in Dr. Ed Freedman's lab, Rebecca Lowery, NGP student in Dr. Ania Majewska's lab, and NGP student, Brianna Sleezer in Dr. Ben Hayden's lab were awarded a competitive graduate fellowship from the University of Rochester Center for Visual Science from 7/1/13 to 12/31/13. CVS offers competitive graduate fellowships for graduate students working in the lab of a CVS faculty member. Applications are made by a student's advisor to the vision training committee in CVS. Fellows receive full stipend support as well as funds to cover one academic conference per year.

NGP Students Christina Cloninger and Colin Lockwood Awarded Graduate Fellowship

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Christina Cloninger and Colin Lockwood have been awarded a Hearing, Balance, and Spatial Orientation Training Grant by the National Institutes of Health. The Hearing, Balance, and Spatial Orientation Training Grant (T32) is funded by the NIH National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The grant involves the collaborative efforts of the Departments of Otolaryngology, Biomedical Engineering, and Neurobiology & Anatomy. The grant supports PhD students, MD-PhD students, Post-doctoral fellows and Medical Residents in BME, Neuroscience, and Otolaryngology who are involved in research related to the auditory and vestibular systems. This Training Grant is an important resource for the University of Rochester's Center for Navigation and Communication Sciences, which provides technical and administrative support for 25 faculty members who are conducting research in this area. The grant provides financial support for several trainees each year. In association with the Training Grant, a graduate-level course entitled Hearing and Balance: Structure, Function and Disease is offered.

NGP Students Matthew Cavanaugh, Michael Chen, Heather Natola, Felix Ramos-Busot, Rebecca Rausch, Aleta Steevens Awarded Graduate Fellowships

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Matthew Cavanaugh, Michael Chen, Heather Natola, Felix Ramos-Busot, Rebecca Rausch, and Aleta Steevens have been awarded a competitive graduate fellowship, the Neuroscience Training Grant. This grant is funded by the National Institute of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This prestigious appointment provides stipend, tuition support, travel funds as well as funds to cover trainee related expenses. Students are appointed to the NSC Training Grant by the NGP committee.

Laura Yunes-Medina Receives Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award

Friday, July 19, 2013

Congratulations and best wishes to Laura Yunes-Medina for being awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships! This grant will support her research work on defining CHOP-10 dependent adaptive ER stress pathways in neurons.

Richard Aslin Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Richard Aslin

Dr. Richard Aslin

Richard Aslin, the William R. Kenan Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and director of the Rochester Center for Brain Imaging at the University of Rochester, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Membership in the academy is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States. Aslin will be inducted into the academy next April during its 151st annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

This honor is richly deserved. Dick is a pioneer in the field of cognitive development, said Peter Lennie, provost and the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering. His work has opened up a major new field and has transformed our understanding of how infants learn.

Read More: Richard Aslin Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Scott Seidman Named Engineering Professor of the Year

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dr. Scott Seidman and Ankit Medhekar

Dr. Scott Seidman and Ankit Medhekar, BME class of '13.
(Photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester)

The University of Rochester Student's Association has named Biomedical Engineering and Neurobiology & Anatomy professor, Scott Seidman, The Undergraduate Engineering and Applied Sciences Professor of the Year.

The award was presented at an awards ceremony in the Welles-Brown and Hawkins-Carlson Room in Rush Rhees Library. The ceremony and a poster session were part of the 2013 Undergraduate Research Expo that took place in the library on April 19, 2013. One of Dr. Seidman's students, Ankit Medhekar, BME class of '13, presented him with the award. Congratulations Scott!

NGP Graduate Student Kelli Fagan Wins Poster Award

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Kelli Fagan, a third-year NGP student in Doug Portman's lab, won first place in the Multicellular/Organismal category the Graduate Student Society poster session held on Apr. 5, 2013. Kelli's poster was entitled Sexually dimorphic neuromodulatory signaling elicits sex differences in sensory behavior. Along with this honor comes an $800 travel award that will allow Kelli to present her work at the upcoming Cell Symposium on Genes, Circuits and Behavior in Toronto, Canada. Congratulations, Kelli!

NGP Graduate Student, Revathi Balasubramanian, Wins Award for Excellence in Teaching

Thursday, April 4, 2013

NGP student Revathi Balasubramanian and Dr. Barbara Davis

Revathi Balasubramanian and her mentor,
Dr. Barbara Davis.

Revathi Balasubramanian, a Neuroscience Graduate Program student in Dr. Lin Gan's lab, studying the role of transcription factors in retinal neurogenesis, has been named a winner of the 2013 Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student. Only a handful of these are awarded each year, and all this year's nominees were extremely well-qualified. Congratulations Revathi!

NGP Graduate Student Ryan Dawes Awarded Grant from the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Neuroscience Graduate Program student, Ryan Dawes, has been awarded a 2013 Breast Cancer Research Grant, from the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. The 1-year, $50,000 grant will fund his project, entitled Breast Cancer Exosomes, Novel Intermediaries in Psychosocial Stress-induced Tumor Pathogenesis and was only one of two applications to be awarded this prestigious grant. This work will investigate if psychosocial stress can modulate the number or content of secreted small vesicles (exosomes), and determine if this can alter the process of tumorigenesis in an animal model of spontaneous breast cancer as Ryan continues his research in Dr. Edward Brown's lab.

NGP Student, Simantini Ghosh, Wins Travel Award to AD/PD Conference

Monday, February 11, 2013

Simantini Ghost receiving Travel Award at AD/PD Conference

Simantini receiving the award from AD/PD conference chair,
Dr. Roger Nitsch.

Congratulations to NGP Graduate Student, Simantini Ghosh on winning a travel award to present her work at the 11th International Conference on Alzheimer's & Parkinson's Disease in Florence, Italy on March 6-10, 2013. Simi works in Dr. Kerry O'Banion's lab, studying the effects of sustained Interleukin 1 beta overexpression on Alzheimer's disease pathology in transgenic mice.

NGP Student, Anasuya Das, Wins Travel Award to ECVP

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Congratulations to NGP Graduate Student, Anasuya Das on winning a travel award to present her work at the European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP) in Alghero, Italy on September 2-6, 2012. Anasuya works in Dr. Krystel Huxlin's lab in the Visual Training & Rehabilitation Lab. Her poster was entitled, Beyond blindsight: perceptual re-learning of visual motion discrimination in cortical blindness improves static orientation discrimination.

Study: Model for Brain Signaling Flawed

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A new study out today in the journal Science turns two decades of understanding about how brain cells communicate on its head. The study demonstrates that the tripartite synapse – a model long accepted by the scientific community and one in which multiple cells collaborate to move signals in the central nervous system – does not exist in the adult brain.

Our findings demonstrate that the tripartite synaptic model is incorrect, said Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., lead author of the study and co-director of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Center for Translational Neuromedicine. This concept does not represent the process for transmitting signals between neurons in the brain beyond the developmental stage.

Read More: Study: Model for Brain Signaling Flawed

A Trip to Mars Could Increase Chances of Alzheimer's for Astronauts

Thursday, January 3, 2013

As if space travel was not already filled with enough dangers, a new study out today in the journal PLOS ONE shows that cosmic radiation – which would bombard astronauts on deep space missions to places like Mars – could accelerate the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Galactic cosmic radiation poses a significant threat to future astronauts, said M. Kerry O'Banion, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy and the senior author of the study. The possibility that radiation exposure in space may give rise to health problems such as cancer has long been recognized. However, this study shows for the first time that exposure to radiation levels equivalent to a mission to Mars could produce cognitive problems and speed up changes in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's disease.