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Neuroscience Initiative News Gallery

U Neurologist Receives Javits Award

A University of Utah neurology professor has received a more than $3.5 million Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award to further his research into neurodegenerative diseases. Stefan M. Pulst, M.D., has been awarded a seven-year research grant. He is among a handful of Utah scientists to receive the award since it began in 1983. Awardees cannot apply for the grants, but are nominated by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke staff and the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council. Winners must have a “history of exceptional performance,” according to the NIH website. Pulst specializes in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease and degenerative ataxias. His lab studies abnormal pathways in cerebellar nerve cells using genetically engineered mice. READ MORE

Changes in Scores of Genes Linked to Autism

October 30, 2014 - The Autism Sequencing Consortium (ASC), a research team from 37 institutions - including the University of Utah - report in the journal Nature that small differences in as many as one thousand genes contribute to risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study reports that previously unsuspected sets of genes may be involved, including some that control how nerve networks form in the brain. "The opportunity to study very large sample resources with detailed genetic sequence data allows us to begin to understand how multiple genetic changes may work together in complex ways in the brain to cause autism,” said Hilary Coon, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and genetic epidemiology. READ MORE

White House Highlights U of U's New Neuroscience Initiative

September 30, 2014 - The University of Utah (U of U) was highlighted at a White House press conference citing academic, corporate and private organizations making major commitments to neuroscience research in alignment with the goals of President Barack Obama’s BRAIN Initiative. In Oct. 2013, Vivian S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., University of Utah senior vice president for health sciences, announced the multidisciplinary neuroscience initiative and is now announcing commitment of $10 million for the project, including money to ramp up a strategic planning effort, renovate space for a neuroscience hub, provide seed funding for department and colleges, conduct symposia, recruit new faculty and other needs. READ MORE

Addressing Gender Bias in Research

September 23, 2014 - K.C. Brennan, M.D., assistant professor of neurology, received funding from the National Institutes of Health as part of a $10.1 million initiative to address widespread gender bias in basic research. In an interview with the New York Times he explains why many scientists prefer to work with male animals, and why it is important to understand sex differences in his research on migraines. Read the story in the New York Times

Brain Initiative Project to Develop "Electrogenetic" Reporters

September 26, 2014 - Matt Wachowiak, Ph.D., USTAR professor of neurobiology and anatomy, was awarded one of the first grants to come from President Obama's BRAIN initiative, aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the brain. The project, entitled "Electrogenetic reporters of neural activity", will develop a new strategy for measuring neural activity from genetically-targeted neurons in the intact brain. The goals of the project are to develop reporter proteins that are engineered to emit unique electrical or magnetic signals in response to neural activity, and to develop sensors that are optimized to detect these signals from individual neurons from any location in the mammalian brain, and in the freely-behaving animal.

 neuron coverMouse Model Provides Window Into Working Brain

September 3, 2014 - University of Utah scientists have developed a genetically engineered line of mice that is expected to open the door to new research on epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and other diseases. The research tool tool, allowing many cell types, including cells called astrocytes and microglia, to be studied in a new way, was published Aug. 14, 2014, in Neuron. READ MOREWATCH VIDEO

MRIMost Viewed PLOS Neuroscience Article

July 2, 2014 - With 171,671 views and 3,932 shares, a research paper by Jeffrey Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of neuroradiology entitled "An Evaluation of the Left-Brain vs. Right-Brain Hypothesis with Resting State Functional Connectivity Magnetic Resonance Imaging" is the most viewed PLOS Neuroscience article ever. READ MORE

 Brain Video Stirs Fascination, Goes Viral

May 23, 2014 - It’s not for the faint of heart, but with over one-half million views, it’s clear that there is something about the University of Utah Brain Institute video, “The Unfixed Brain”, that has struck a chord with viewers. READ MORE

walking mouseMice with MS-Like Condition Walk After Human Stem Cell Treatment

May 15, 2014 - Mice severely disabled by a condition similar to multiple sclerosis (MS) could walk less than two weeks following treatment with human stem cells. The study was co-led by University of Utah professor of pathology, Tom Lane, Ph.D. The finding uncovers new avenues for treating MS, was published online on May 15, 2014, in the journal Stem Cell Reports. READ MORE

A brain region for resisting alcohol's allure

April 2, 2014 - When a region of the brain called the lateral habenula is chronically inactivated in rats, they repeatedly drink to excess and are less able to learn from the experience. The study, published online in PLOS ONE on April 2, has implications for understanding behaviors that drive alcohol addiction. READ MORE

Searching for better treatments for epilepsy

March 31, 2014 - In the U.S, epilepsy causes more deaths– about 50,000 annually – than breast cancer. These disturbing trends are likely due, in part, to the fact that existing medications fail to adequately control seizures in one-third of epilepsy patients. Chair of pharmacology and toxicology Karen Wilcox, Ph.D., and her team are working to expand treatment options by investigating the fundamental differences in people for whom medications don’t work. READ MORE

CURE lecture on genetic basis of epilepsy

March 17, 2014 - The University of Utah hosted a lecture on March 17, in HSEB 1750 at 3:30 PM, focused on understanding the genetic basis of epilepsy and how to translate research findings into patient care. The lecture, “Large-Scale Team Science and Epilepsy Genetics: The EPGP and Epi4K Experience,” was delivered by Dan Lowenstein, M.D., Vice-Chairman of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco and is part of a national campaign sponsored by the non-profit group CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy)READ MORE

Brain Awareness Week: Touching brains and captivating minds

March 10, 2014 - An annual tradition, dozens of University of Utah neuroscientists taught more than 1,500 K-12 students along the Wasatch Front about the brain and brain health during Brain Awareness Week, which ran from March 10 – 15 this year. The week’s activities culminated in Brain Awareness Day on Sat. March 15, where the public took part in educational hands-on activities at the Leonardo museum.. READ MORE

Jeff Anderson squareWhat's the effect of religion on the brain? U launches new study

February 5, 2014 - The Deseret News reports on a new MRI study launched by neuroradiologist Jeffrey Anderson, M.D. investigating how religious and spiritual feelings impact behavior and interactions with other people.READ MORE

Brainstorm Conference, 2014Brainstorm Neurosciences Conference

January 15, 2014 - Presented by the U of U School of Medicine and Department of Neurology, the Brainstorm Neurosciences Conference: Advances at the Crossroads of Neurological Sciences, will be held in Park City, UT, March 21-23, 2014. The conference is intended to give physicians, nurses, and providers with advances in the care of the most common neurological conditions—headache and concussion; It also explores the latest developments in imaging, neurosurgical intervention of neurological disease. Early bird registration ends February 4, 2014. READ MORE

How Our Nerves Keep Firing

December 4, 2013 - University of Utah and German biologists discovered how nerve cells recycle tiny bubbles or “vesicles” that send chemical nerve signals from one cell to the next. The process is much faster and different than two previously proposed mechanisms for recycling the bubbles. READ MORE

 U Biologist Gets Neuroscience Prize

October 31, 2013 - The Society for Neuroscience has awarded the inaugural Nemko Prize to Shigeki Watanabe, Ph.D., of the University of Utah. This new prize acknowledges the achievements of a young scientist in recognition of an outstanding Ph.D. thesis advancing understanding of molecular, genetic or cellular mechanisms underlying brain function. READ MORE

Moran Eye Center Sponsors Charitable Surgery Day

October 9, 2013 – Charitable Surgery Day at the University of Utah's Moran Eye Center started in 2007. It's an annual event where doctors, nurses and other medical personnel volunteer their time to help those in need. On Oct. 12, a dozen grateful community members again will receive the gift of improved sight from the Moran Eye Center. READ MORE

U of U Health Sciences Announces Major Neuroscience Initiative

September 27, 2013 - Vivian Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, announced the planning of a major neuroscience initiative to enhance collaborations in brain and spinal cord research across campus, with an emphasis on bringing scientific advances to the clinic. The eighteen member planning committee, headed by Monica Vetter, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, is comprised of faculty from twelve departments. READ MORE

Discovering Genetic Risks for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

September 24, 2013 – University of Utah researcher and opthalmologist Paul Bernstein M.D., Ph.D., helped confirm an important finding from a group of Icelandic scientists who uncovered a rare risk locus for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). READ MORE

Utah Tops at Getting Clot-Busting Drugs to Patients

September 13, 2013 – Utah has the nation’s highest percentage of stroke patients who receive clot-busting drugs within 60 minutes of their arrival in a hospital emergency department, according to new study by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. READ MORE

Look at What I'm Saying

September 4, 2013 – University of Utah bioengineers discovered our understanding of language may depend more heavily on vision than previously thought: under the right conditions, what you see can override what you hear. READ MORE

Utah Autism Foundation Donates $50K for U Project

August 15, 2013 – The iSTAR project, a unique effort at the University of Utah that teaches kids on the autism spectrum how to use computer software to help them develop professional and social skills, received a $50,000 donation from the Utah Autism Foundation to develop and expand the initiative. READ MORE

Left Brain - Right Brain Divide Debunked

August 14, 2013 – Released research findings from University of Utah neuroscientists assert that there is no evidence within brain imaging that indicates some people are right-brained or left-brained. READ MORE

Hands-Free Talking, Texting are Unsafe

June 12, 2013 – Using hands-free devices to talk, text or send e-mail while driving is distracting and risky, contrary to what many people believe, says a new University of Utah study issued today by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. READ MORE

military man

Repeat Brain Injury Raises Soldiers' Suicide Risk

May 15, 2013 – People in the military who suffer more than one mild traumatic brain injury face a significantly higher risk of suicide, according to research by the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah. READ MORE

Phiil Taussky

Leading the Way in Stroke Treatment

May 6, 2013 - Dr. Phil Taussky talks with Fox 13 News about new ways in which strokes are being treated at University Hospital. WATCH VIDEO

Last Updated: 9/28/17