Mammals’ Enhanced Capacity to See Emerges Early in Development
All vertebrates possess a primitive network in which the retina sends signals directly to the superior colliculus, an area of the brain that processes visual stimuli. In a more recently evolved pathway, signals from the retina are received in the thalamus and are relayed to the cortex, the brain’s seat of higher-order thinking.
Colón-Ramos named McConnell Duberg Associate Professor
Daniel A. Colón-Ramos, PhD, recently appointed as Dorys McConnell Duberg Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, focuses his research on how synapses are formed and maintained to control behavior and store memories. Colón-Ramos’ discoveries have altered long-held views on the process and may offer important clues in the fight against disease.
Picciotto to be Recognized with Marion Spencer Fay Award
The Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership of Drexel University College of Medicine will award its 2020 Marion Spencer Fay Award to Marina Picciotto, PhD, Charles B.G. Murphy Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in the Child Study Center, of Neuroscience and of Pharmacology at Yale School of Medicine.
A Perfect Day for a Zebrafish
The gargantuan microscope is being built, dedicated to the study of tiny organisms—zebrafish. Ellen Hoffman, MD, PhD ’14, assistant professor in the Child Study Center and of neuroscience, will use this microscope to perform whole-brain functional imaging in zebrafish to better understand the function of genes that increase the risk of autism.
Yale Designated as Parkinson’s Foundation Research Center
Yale School of Medicine been designated as one of four Parkinson’s Foundation Research Centers, the foundation announced July 30. The Parkinson’s Foundation awarded each center $2 million over five years “to drive innovative research developments and advance Parkinson’s disease research towards a cure.”
Parkinson’s Disease Study Identifies Possible New Treatment Target
Treatments for Parkinson’s disease have most recently focused on increasing dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain that affects reward-based behaviors and motivation, as well as movement. A new study by Yale researchers challenges long-held assumptions about dopamine’s sole role in this disorder.
Gracheva Receives Presidential Early Career Award
Elena Gracheva, PhD, associate professor of cellular and molecular physiology and of neuroscience, has been awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The White House announced its complete list of recipients, including two additional Yale faculty members, on July 2.
The Secret of Autobiographical Memory is in Assembly of Cells
Of all forms of memory, episodic memory is the most intimate. We recall the sequences of events that happen to us — a marriage, a visit to a foreign country, a personal achievement — in great autobiographical detail. But scientists have disagreed about the most important elements the brain uses to encode these episodes and consolidate them during sleep. A group of Yale scientists, however, reports that it is the size and shape of neuronal assemblies — not the strength of signals processed by neurons or the order in which neurons fire — that are the most crucial elements in our ability to record past events.
Sestan Honored for Research in Developmental Neuroscience
Nenad Sestan, MD, PhD, Harvey and Kate Cushing Professor of Neuroscience, and Professor of Comparative Medicine, Genetics, and Psychiatry, received the Constance Lieber prize for innovation in developmental neuroscience on June 19 at a prize symposium at in Baltimore, MD.
Higgins-Chen, Lin, O'Dell named recipients of Thomas P. Detre Fellowship Awards
Albert Higgins-Chen, MD, a second-year resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry; Eric Lin, MD, a third-year resident; and Ryan O’Dell, MD, PhD, a second-year resident, have been named recipients of the 2018-19 Thomas P. Detre Fellowship Awards in Translational Neuroscience Research in Psychiatry.
Yale Neuroscientist Awarded Grant to Investigate ALS
Junjie Guo, PhD, assistant professor of neuroscience, has been awarded a grant of $297,678 from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).The association funds advanced research that explores treatments and cures for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Yale New Haven Hospital Announces Plans to Build State-of-the-art Neurosciences Center on Its Saint Raphael Campus
The School of Medicine will be a major participant in the planning and operation of the $838 million facility, which will focus on innovation in the neurosciences and include two new patient facilities. Projected opening is in 2024.