Updated on 11/12/2010 2:55:50 PM.
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Director Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., announced that five 2010 Nicholas Hobbs Discovery Grants have been awarded to interdisciplinary teams led by VKC researchers.
Understanding how synapses communicate at a molecular level, and especially how the enzyme CaMKII plays a central role in translating calcium signals into synaptic changes, is the work of VKC investigator Roger Colbran, Ph.D. (Molecular Physiology and Biophysics). In collaboration with Louis Muglia, M.D., Ph.D. (Pediatrics), and Danny Winder, Ph.D. (Molecular Physiology and Biophysics), he received a Hobbs Discovery Grant to fund Time-Delimited Manipulation of CaMKII Activity During Development.
The research of Ron Emeson, Ph.D. (Pharmacology), investigates the RNA editing of serotonin receptor subtype 2C and how this editing may play a role in the origins of anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. In collaboration with Louis Muglia, M.D., Ph.D. (Pediatrics), and Melinda Arnett, Ph.D. (Pediatrics), he received a Hobbs Discovery Grant for Stress-Induced Alterations in Serotonin 2C Receptor Editing and Behavior.
Epidemiological studies promise to better our understanding of environmental risk factors for the health of individuals with developmental disabilities. Robert Hodapp, Ph.D. (Special Education), in collaboration with Richard Urbano, Ph.D. (Pediatrics), and Eva Pantaleoni, Ph.D. (VKC Visiting Scholar), were awarded a Discovery Grant for Air Pollution and Mortality Among Infants With Down Syndrome.
Andre Lagrange, Ph.D. (Neurology), studies the role of specific neurotransmitter receptors in brain development and how these processes are regulated and potentially disrupted, particularly by exposure to medications used to treat epilepsy and other conditions. Lagrange, in collaboration with Kevin Haas, M.D., Ph.D. (Neurology), and Mark Grier (Graduate Student, Pharmacology Training Program), received a Hobbs Discovery Grant for Epilepsy and Disrupted Thalamic Physiology in Mouse Model of Angelman Syndrome.
Sarika Peters, Ph.D. (Pediatrics), in collaboration with Alexandra Key, Ph.D. (Hearing and Speech Sciences), and Rachel Hundley, Ph.D. (Pediatrics), is combining imaging, genetics, cognitive, and behavioral data to better delineate symptoms of autism in Angelman syndrome and other genetic disorders. She received a Hobbs Discovery Grant for Angelman Syndrome and Rett Syndrome as Genetic Models of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Nicholas Hobbs Discovery Grants, made possible by the generosity of donors, provide essential seed funding that contributes to the discovery of new knowledge to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. Discovery Grants allow VKC investigators to gather novel data that will strengthen their ideas and help them gain a competitive edge in obtaining larger federal or foundation grants.
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