Neurobiology News

Dr. Jeremy Day, an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology, has been selected to receive an Avenir Award from The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The Avenir Award program supports early stage investigators proposing highly innovative studies that open new areas of research for the genetics or epigenetics of addiction. The  5-year grant will support research in Dr. Day’s lab on epigenetic regulation in brain reward circuits. Join us in  congratulating Dr. Day!

NINDA's press release:
New research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham identifies an epigenetic cause for why patients with temporal lobe epilepsy tend to have memory loss, and suggests a potential way to reverse that loss. The findings, published in April in the Annals of Translational and Clinical Neurology, indicate the discovery may have implications for many other memory disorders.

Memory loss in epilepsy patients...
UAB Reporter
The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and the School of Medicine are pleased to announce that David Sweatt, Ph.D., has agreed to serve as interim director of the Civitan International Research Center (CIRC) at UAB effective June 1, 2015. An accomplished investigator in the study of biochemical mechanisms of learning and memory, David is currently the Evelyn F. McKnight Endowed Chairman of the Department of Neurobiology and the Director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute. He also holds secondary appointments in the Departments of Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology, Genetics, and Psychology. Dr. Sweatt will serve until a search for a permanent director is completed, a process that will be initiated very shortly. As you are all aware, this appointment is made necessary because of Harry Sontheimer's decision to accept a position at Virginia Tech beginning this summer. We anticipate a smooth transition during the interim period and no loss of the remarkable momentum that Harry has generated as director over the past years. Please join us in congratulating David on his appointment and Harry on his new opportunity.

Dick Marchase and Selwyn Vickers

8th McKnight Inter-institutional Meeting
Miami, Florida
April 29 - May 1, 2015

Dr. Gwen King was honored with the Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence  in Mentorship on April 21, 2015.  A group of 10 students nominated her for her outstanding dedication to her students. Join us in congratulating Gwen on receiving this award!

Gwen is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology and director of the SPIN Program at UAB.

A special THANK YOU to all of the terrific neuroscience trainees who presented their work at this year’s UAB Comprehensive Neuroscience Center Retreat!  The following students received presentation awards…
CNC Retreat
Postdoc Poster Presenter Winner!
Winner - Xin Xu.  The BDNF val-66-met polymorphism impairs dendritic complexity and dendritic spine density and form in hippocampal neurons of Mecp2 knockout mice.  Xin Xu , Jordi Garcia, Rachel Ewalt, Shelly Nason and Lucas Pozzo-Miller.
Graduate Trainee Poster Presenter Winners!
Winner – Lauren Hablitz.  Circadian Response to Melatonin is Mediated by G-protein Coupled Inwardly Rectifying Potassium (GIRK) Channels.  Lauren M. Hablitz, Hylton E. Molzof, and Karen L. Gamble
Winner – Ian Kimbrough. Vascular Amyloidosis Impairs the Gliovascular Unit in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer Disease. Ian F. Kimbrough, Stefanie Robel, Erik Roberson, and Harald Sontheimer
Winner – Thaddaeus Kwan. Post-transcriptional Regulation of Inflammatory Cytokines by the RNA-binding Protein Human Antigen R in Astrocytes after Spinal Cord Injury.  Thaddaeus Kwan, Candace Floyd, Betty Pat, and Peter King
Winner – Laura McMeekin.  PGC-1α-Mediated Transcriptional Regulation in Pyramidal Neurons Impacts Electrophysiological Properties and Behavioral Output. Laura J. McMeekin, Andrew S. Bohannon, John J. Hablitz  and Rita M. Cowell 
Data Blitz Presenter Winners!
Winner - Kirsten Evonuk.  System xc–transporter Modulates CNS Infiltration of Immune Cells and Reactive Gliosis in Autoimmune Inflammatory Disease.  Kirsten Evonuk, Brandi Baker, Ryan Doyle, Carson Moseley, Christine Sestero, Bryce Johnston, Patrizia De Sarno, Andrew Tang, Igor Gembitsky, Sandra Hewett, Harald Sontheimer, Chander Raman, and Tara DeSilva
Winner - Joseph C. Griffis.  Induction of Functional and Structural Plasticity by Intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation in Post–Stroke Aphasia.  Joseph C. Griffis, Rodolphe Nenert, Jane B. Allendorfer, and Jerzy P. Szaflarski
Winner – Natasha Pacheco.  Aberrant Astrocyte Maturation Contributes to Rett Syndrome Pathogenesis.  Natasha L. Pacheco, Ian Michalak, and Michelle L. Olsen