Neuroscience News

Faulty cell signaling derails cerebral cortex development, could it lead to autism?

Faulty cell signaling derails cerebral cortex development, could it lead to autism?

Anton Lab Researchers pinpoint signaling problems in the progenitor cells crucial for proper neuron generation and organization.

Faulty cell signaling derails cerebral cortex development, could it lead to autism? - Read More…

UNC named NIH Autism Center of Excellence for third time

UNC named NIH Autism Center of Excellence for third time

As part of a five-year, $7.5 million award, UNC researchers led by Joseph Piven, MD, will follow up on innovative imaging studies to create interventions to help children with autism.

UNC named NIH Autism Center of Excellence for third time - Read More…

NIH grant to help UNC researchers explore microRNA as route to Alzheimer’s therapy

NIH grant to help UNC researchers explore microRNA as route to Alzheimer’s therapy

The National Institute on Aging awarded a $2.6-million, five-year grant to UNC’s Mohanish Deshmukh’s lab to explore miR-29, a key molecule that helps mature brain cells avoid death.

NIH grant to help UNC researchers explore microRNA as route to Alzheimer’s therapy - Read More…

Unraveling Alzheimer’s: New Study Documents How Brain Cells Go Bad

Unraveling Alzheimer’s: New Study Documents How Brain Cells Go Bad

In a first-of-its-kind study, UNC researchers show how a damaging cascade of events inside brain cells – and related to Alzheimer’s disease – can be stopped or reversed.

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Gupton Lab Featured on Cover of Molecular Biology of the Cell

Gupton Lab Featured on Cover of Molecular Biology of the Cell

The axon guidance cue netrin-1 and its receptor DCC promote axon branching in developing cortical neurons. In this study, we detail a novel molecular mechanism by which the brain-enriched E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM9 orchestrates multimerization of DCC, requisite activation of FAK and Src family kinases, and increases in exocytic vesicle fusion, all during netrin-dependent neuronal morphogenesis. We are the first to show that non-degradative ubiquitination of a receptor alters kinase activation and signaling pathways during morphogenesis.

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Patricia Maness, PhD, Receives NIH R01 Titled, "Mechanisms of Developmental Spine Pruning Regulated by Ig-CAMS and Semaphorins"

Patricia Maness, PhD, Receives NIH R01 Titled, "Mechanisms of Developmental Spine Pruning Regulated by Ig-CAMS and Semaphorins"

The focus of this grant is to illuminate a novel mechanism for dendritic spine pruning in the mammalian neocortex by immunoglobulin (Ig)-class cell adhesion molecules and secreted Semaphorins. The overall goal is to identify mechanisms that govern synaptic connectivity in the mammalian neocortex, and to elucidate how their deficiency contributes to abnormal brain wiring relevant to neurodevelopmental disorders.

Patricia Maness, PhD, Receives NIH R01 Titled, "Mechanisms of Developmental Spine Pruning Regulated by Ig-CAMS and Semaphorins" - Read More…

Celia Shiau, PhD, Awarded 5-Year Outstanding Early-Stage Investigator MIRA Grant

Celia Shiau, PhD, Awarded 5-Year Outstanding Early-Stage Investigator MIRA Grant

The MIRA (Maximizing Investigators' Research Award), awarded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, provides flexibility for investigators to pursue innovative and important research directions as opportunities arise.

Celia Shiau, PhD, Awarded 5-Year Outstanding Early-Stage Investigator MIRA Grant - Read More…

Matthew Judson, PhD, Publishes in the Journal of Neuroscience

Matthew Judson, PhD, Publishes in the Journal of Neuroscience

Microcephaly is a hallmark of Angelman syndrome (AS), a debilitating neurodevelopmental disorder that results from loss of function of the HECT domain E3 ubiquitin ligase, UBE3A. However, until recently, the underlying causes of slowed brain growth in individuals with AS had gone unstudied, resulting in significant gaps in understanding of the pathogenesis of the disorder.

Matthew Judson, PhD, Publishes in the Journal of Neuroscience - Read More…

Spencer Smith Awarded UNC's 2017 Philip & Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic & Scholarly Achievement

Spencer Smith Awarded UNC's 2017 Philip & Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic & Scholarly Achievement

Spencer Smith, PhD, was awarded the highly prestigious 2017 Philip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. Established by Philip Hettleman in 1986, the award recognizes four highly promising faculty members at Carolina. The recipients will be given a $5,000 stipend and will receive recognition at the UNC Faculty Council meeting.

Spencer Smith Awarded UNC's 2017 Philip & Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic & Scholarly Achievement - Read More…

Jiami Guo, Anton Lab Postdoctoral Scholar, Publishes in Developmental Cell

Jiami Guo, Anton Lab Postdoctoral Scholar, Publishes in Developmental Cell

An antenna-like structure on cells, once considered a useless vestige, appears to be important for proper brain development in mammals and when impaired can cause defects in the brain’s wiring similar to what’s seen in autism, schizophrenia, and other neuropsychiatric disorders. In lab experiments, UNC School of Medicine scientists prevented these wiring defects by restoring signaling though these antenna-like structures called primary cilia. The study was published on August 7, 2017 in Developmental Cell.

Jiami Guo, Anton Lab Postdoctoral Scholar, Publishes in Developmental Cell - Read More…

Spencer Smith to Lead $10-Million Project to Build Brain-Imaging Technology

Spencer Smith to Lead $10-Million Project to Build Brain-Imaging Technology

The five-year NSF project led by UNC Neuroscience Center research, Spencer Smith, will develop new imaging systems and technology to explore the brain like never before.

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ALS: New Clues to the Cause and How Future Drugs Might Reverse Disease

ALS: New Clues to the Cause and How Future Drugs Might Reverse Disease

The Cohen Lab and NC State researchers team up to reverse TDP-43 protein aggregation, a hallmark of degenerative diseases.

ALS: New Clues to the Cause and How Future Drugs Might Reverse Disease - Read More…

Hiroyuki Kato Publishes in Neuron

Hiroyuki Kato Publishes in Neuron

In the study published July 6th in the journal Neuron titled, "Network-level Control of Frequency Tuning in Auditory Complex", Kato et al. found a neuronal network basis for how our brain precisely represents the external world.

Hiroyuki Kato Publishes in Neuron - Read More…

Anne Marion Taylor Recieves American Heart Association Grant

Anne Marion Taylor Recieves American Heart Association Grant

Anne Marion Taylor’s lab receives an American Heart Association grant to further their research investigating how axon damage causes synaptic remodeling following stroke

Anne Marion Taylor Recieves American Heart Association Grant - Read More…

Joseph Piven Publishes in Science Translational Medicine on Early Detection of Autism

Joseph Piven Publishes in Science Translational Medicine on Early Detection of Autism

"In a new study, Emerson et al. show that brain function in infancy can be used to accurately predict which high-risk infants will later receive an autism diagnosis...These findings must be replicated, but they represent an important step toward the early identification of individuals with autism before its characteristic symptoms develop." (http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/9/393/eaag2882)

Joseph Piven Publishes in Science Translational Medicine on Early Detection of Autism - Read More…

Timothy Gershon, MD, PhD Continues to Seek Strategy for Starving Brain Tumors

Timothy Gershon, MD, PhD Continues to Seek Strategy for Starving Brain Tumors

In the journal Cancer Research, UNC Lineberger researchers led by Neuroscience Center member Timothy R. Gershon, MD, PhD, report in the latest in a series of attempts to shut down the energy production machinery in medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in children. The findings may help researchers identify a suitable therapeutic target within the sugar metabolism pathway, and provide clues to a scientific mystery surrounding the confounding way that some cancer cells get energy from sugar.

Timothy Gershon, MD, PhD Continues to Seek Strategy for Starving Brain Tumors - Read More…

Brotherly Love, No Matter What

Brotherly Love, No Matter What

UNC undergraduate Austin Ludwig works at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities to play a role in autism research he hopes will help millions of people, perhaps even his younger brother.

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Researchers Find Molecular Trigger for Brain Inflammation

Researchers Find Molecular Trigger for Brain Inflammation

UNC School of Medicine research findings could lead to new drug targets for treating multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.

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UNC Neurocience Labs Awarded Emerging Challenges in Biomedical Research Grants

UNC Neurocience Labs Awarded Emerging Challenges in Biomedical Research Grants

The UNC School of Medicine and NC TraCS announced that three labs were selected for $50,000 pilot grants to further Alzheimer’s Disease research being conducted at UNC.

UNC Neurocience Labs Awarded Emerging Challenges in Biomedical Research Grants - Read More…

UNC researchers link orphan receptor to opioid-induced itching

UNC researchers link orphan receptor to opioid-induced itching

With a more accurate understanding of the characteristics and function of the receptor MRGRPX2, University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers were also able to create chemical probe that will allow them study the receptor more precisely.

UNC researchers link orphan receptor to opioid-induced itching - Read More…

WUNC Interviews Piven on Innovative Autism Research

WUNC Interviews Piven on Innovative Autism Research

On March 23, 2017 Joseph Piven, MD, director of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, gave an interview on his new study showing it is possible to use MRI scans to predict whether babies with autistic siblings will also develop autism.

WUNC Interviews Piven on Innovative Autism Research - Read More…

Garret Stuber Receives over $2 Million Dollars to Contine Upstream Neural Circuit Research

Garret Stuber Receives over $2 Million Dollars to Contine Upstream Neural Circuit Research

Congratulations to Garret Stuber, PhD, on receiving more than $2 million dollars to continue his NIH-funded research studying upstream neural circuits that interface with VTA dopamine neurons to encode rewards and predictive cues.

Garret Stuber Receives over $2 Million Dollars to Contine Upstream Neural Circuit Research - Read More…

Stuber Lab Publishes in Nature

Stuber Lab Publishes in Nature

James Otis & colleagues publish paper entitled, Prefrontal cortex output circuits guide reward seeking through divergent cue encoding, in Nature this week.

Stuber Lab Publishes in Nature - Read More…

Researchers use MRIs to Predict Which High-Risk Babies will Develop Autism as Toddlers

Researchers use MRIs to Predict Which High-Risk Babies will Develop Autism as Toddlers

This first-of-its-kind study used MRIs to image the brains of infants, and then researchers used brain measurements and a computer algorithm to accurately predict autism before symptoms set in.

Researchers use MRIs to Predict Which High-Risk Babies will Develop Autism as Toddlers - Read More…

UNC Neuroscience Center Researcher to Headline Upcoming Science Café

UNC Neuroscience Center Researcher to Headline Upcoming Science Café

Flavio Frohlich, PhD, will be the featured scientist at next week’s Science Café at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh.

UNC Neuroscience Center Researcher to Headline Upcoming Science Café - Read More…