The BRI Congratulates Member
Stephen Young, MD
Newly Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
Dr. Young, Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, is a renowned cardiologist and molecular geneticist. His work has enlightened our understanding of the mechanisms for human diseases in the context of plasma triglyceride metabolism and the role of nuclear envelope proteins.
Membership in the National Academy of Sciences is considered one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a scientist, and is a clear recognition of Dr. Young's distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.
Transverse section of mouse embryonic spinal cord, showing neurofilament in green, Robo3 in red, and Tag1 in blue. Robo3 in red (commissural axons), and Tag1 in blue (sensory and commissural axons). Axons grow aberrantly and project medially into the ventricular zone in netrin1 mutant spinal cords (right) compared to controls (left).
Project Advisor: Mrs. Mariam Rangoonwala School: Institute of Knowledge, Diamond Bar, Los Angeles County
More information on BRI outreach activities at State and County Science Fairs here.
Introducing the BRI's New Member
STEPHANIE SEIDLITS, PhD, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, BIOENGINEERING "Engineering the neural microenvironment"
Stephanie Seidlits is a bioengineer researching at the intersection of engineering, neuroscience and medicine. She uses biomaterial microenvironments and advanced imaging tools to develop clinical therapies for disorders including spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and glioma formation. The long-term goal of this research is to translate biomaterial microenvironments intoin vivo regenerative therapies, which do not exist at present.
Seidlits’ recent article in Biomarkers Insightsreviews of the current state of development of effective gene therapies in the spinal cord and discusses the potential of biomaterials to mediate gene delivery while providing inductive scaffolding to facilitate tissue regeneration.
Image: Transverse section of mouse spinal cord with a biomaterial substrate implanted at a dorsal injury site (4 weeks post-injury, neurofilament-200, immunofluorescence shown in red). Courtesy of Stephanie Seidlits.
More information about the Seidlits lab can be found here.
Giving Thanks to the Knaub Family
The Knaub Unitrust, established by Richard and Suzanne Knaub, has donated a sizable gift to the BRI in support of Multiple Sclerosis research at UCLA.
This gift will be used to endow an annual program to name and support Postdoctoral or Predoctoral Fellows pursuing relevant projects, and who exemplify trainee excellence, innovation, and a multidisciplinary approach to MS research.
"We want to express our sincere gratitude to the Knaub family for this generous gift which will enable young researchers to contribute to translational research related to understanding and treating MS," said BRI Director Christopher Evans.
The call for brief proposals will be made early in the fall of 2016. More details to come.
Dr. Michael Long
New York Stem Cell Foundation
Robertson Neuroscience Investigator
New York University School of Medicine
The sequential activation of neurons has been observed during a range of behaviors and cognitive states and is central to many models of neural circuit function, but the synaptic connections enabling such dynamics are poorly understood. Song production in the zebra finch depends on a cortical region called HVC, which contains a major class of premotor neurons that fire action potential bursts in a fixed, sequential pattern during singing. We employ a range of techniques to manipulate and monitor this network in order to test models of circuit function. We also compare/contrast the dynamics inherent in this system with those governing human speech production as well as the vocal production in a nontraditional rodent model system.