Dr. Robert McCullumsmith was awarded the 2009 Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award. This 3 year award provides grants to junior physician-scientists to facilitate their transition to independent clinical research careers. . The Doris Duke Foundation provides grants for biomedical research to facilitate the discovery of disease processes and new treatments. Dr. McCullumsmith was nominated by UAB to compete nationally in the Psychiatry, Neurology, and Neurosurgery category, is among thirteen other recipients receiving this award across all disease categories, and is only the third clinical scientist from UAB to ever receive this award.
Dr. McCullumsmith’s application is focused on studying glutamate transporter localization abnormalities in schizophrenia. He plans to use laser-capture microdissection and immunoisloation of subcellular compartments to probe for changes in transporter function in glutamate synapses in human postmortem brain tissue. These studies represent an extension of his findings of altered transporter expression in corticothalamic circuitry in schizophrenia. These studies will help advance the understanding.