ChangHui Pak and Gerry Downes awarded the Armstrong Fund for Science

The Armstrong Fund for Science was established in 2006 by benefactors John and Elizabeth Armstrong to help research projects gain more ground before they are eligible for traditional grants. The 2021 award was given to Biology’s Gerald Downes, and MCB’s ChangHui Pak for their collaborative research into the disruption of brain development by the mutation of a gene, TBCK. Mutations of the gene cause a rare condition called TBCK Syndrome. Professors Pak and Downes will receive funding of $40,000 for 2 years for the preliminary research needed to prepare for a larger research project.

ChangHui and Gerry hope to learn more about how the mutations in the TBCK gene cause the debilitating syndrome which leads to a high rate of mortality in children and adolescents with progressive loss of muscle tone, intellectual disability, and drug-resistant epilepsy among some of the symptoms. The collaboration will involve the zebrafish that the Downes Lab has already engineered with TBCK syndrome. Pak will be using pluripotent stem cells that will be engineered with the mutations specific to TBCK syndrome, grow them into neurons and compare the mutated cells with healthy cells. They are both excited to work together learning from each model.

The entire neuroscience community extends an enthusiastic congratulations and will look forward to seeing the progress!

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UMass Neurosciences Publications – February 2021

Deepak Ganesan

This month’s featured researcher is Deepak Ganesan. He is a Professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences. This month, he was the senior author on a paper in the Journal of Medical Internet Research entitled, “Effect of Sleep and Biobehavioral Patterns on Multidimensional Cognitive Performance: Longitudinal, In-the-Wild Study“. Deepak’s group is building wearable sensors for monitoring health. His work involves low-power sensing and communication, networked systems, and machine learning. His recent work includes the design of ultra-low passive radios for wearables, novel wearable technologies such as low-power eye trackers to monitor health signals, and robust detection of important health targets such as drug use, smoking, and over-eating

Here’s what else is new for ‘ ”University of Massachusetts” AND Amherst AND neuroscience’ in PubMed. These publications appeared on line in February. They are just a fraction of the neuroscience research that occurs on campus. You can click on the PubMed ID to find the publication.

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New Neuroscience Faculty

The Neurosciences at UMass continues to expand with the addition of several new faculty members in a number of departments and colleges.

Megan Huber, Chase Cornelison, Jennifer Rauch, Douglas Martini, Siyuan Rao

In the last year, UMass hired four new Assistant Professors who all approach neuroscience from different directions.

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UMass Neuroscience Publications – December 2019

This month’s Featured Researcher is Ilia Karatsoreos, who just joined the faculty of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Ilia’s research addresses how the body’s internal circadian clock and “stress response” systems help maintain mental and physical health.  His latest paper, which just appeared in the December issue of Frontiers in Neuroendrinology, reviews the research explaining how the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis interacts with downstream pathways to mediate resilience to environmental stresses.  Ilia is joining UMass from Washington State University. We are pleased to have him aboard. His lab is located in the newly renovated Neuroscience Wing on the 2nd floor of Morrill Science Center 4N.

Here’s what else is new for ‘ ”University of Massachusetts” AND Amherst AND neuroscience’ in PubMed. These publications appeared on line in December. They are just a fraction of the research that occurs on campus. You can click on the PubMed ID to find the publication.

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UMass Neurosciences Publications – August 2019

This month’s featured researcher is Dr. Rebecca Ready. Dr. Ready is a professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. She works on the assessment of emotion regulation in healthy aging adults and in clinical populations, including Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. She studies emotion reactions in the lab and in daily life and is interested in how individual differences, such as executive functions, memory, and personality affect emotion regulation outcomes.  She is a member of the Center for Research on Families and the Center for Personalized Health Medicine. She has had 5 papers appear recently in PubMed (see below).

Here’s what else is new for ‘ ”University of Massachusetts” AND Amherst AND neuroscience’ in PubMed. These publications appeared on line in August. They are just a fraction of the research that occurs on campus. Continue reading Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

UMass Neurosciences Publications – July 2019

This month’s featured researcher is the UMass Director of Neurosciences, Paul Katz. His lab studies the neural basis of behavior. Three of his recent papers appeared in PubMed this month.  His recent commentary in Current Biology explores how often Life Scientists display a bias in their choice of experiments and their understanding of evolution. His work shows that different levels of biological organization undergo separate evolutionary history. In particular, his recent Journal of Neuroscience paper showed that the same neuron in different species have dramatically different functions in neural circuits that produce the same behavior. Another paper, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Academy, which appeared in PubMed this month showed convergent evolution of neural circuits and behaviors.  Katz is leading a collaborative team of researchers from four universities that form the Berghia BRAIN project to use high throughput methods to study the neural basis of behavior in a sea slug.

Here’s what else is new for ‘ ”University of Massachusetts” AND Amherst AND neuroscience’ in PubMed. These publications appeared on line in July. They are just a fraction of the research that occurs on campus. Continue reading Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

UMass Neurosciences Publications – May 2019

This month’s featured researcher is Margaret Stratton.  Meg is an assistant professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UMass. Her research focuses on  understanding the molecular components of memory. In particular, she works on a protein called calcium-calmodulin dependent protein kinase II or CaMKII. molecule is actually a complex of twelve subunits that provide it with unique properties that allow it to alter neuronal activity. In recent paper published in the journal Neuron, Meg and her collaborators demonstrated a novel mechanism that allows CamKII to have persistent effects.

Here’s what’ new for ‘ ”University of Massachusetts” AND Amherst AND neuroscience’ in PubMed. These publications appeared on line in May. They are just a fraction of the research that occurs on campus. Continue reading Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail