Newbern, a postdoc in William Snider’s lab at the UNC Neuroscience Center, has been awarded a Pathway to Independence-Career Development Award (K99/R00) by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the NIH. The award is part of an NIH-wide effort to support promising young scientists in transitioning to an independent research position. Neuroscience Center lead scientists, William Snider and Benjamin Philpot, will provide mentorship during the initial phase of the award.
A number of human neurodevelopmental syndromes are due to pathological changes in the activity of a key intracellular signaling kinase, known as ERK/MAPK. The primary goal of the grant is to define the function of ERK/MAPK signaling, in the development of inhibitory interneurons in the cerebral cortex. The project will combine state of the art mouse genetics and electrophysiology to examine how ERK/MAPK regulates inhibitory circuit development and whether adverse effects can be reversed.