Research Results and Highlights
The Neuroscience Clinical Trials Unit (NCTU) supported 51 faculty, fellows, and residents and managed a total of 94 industry, NIH, and investigator-initiated trials. James Howard, MD and Manisha Chopra, MBBS examined several FDA-approved drugs to treat myasthenia gravis, creating additional treatment options that meet individual patient’s needs (Vu et al., NEJM Evidence, Guglieri et al, JAMA, press release).
Varina Boerwinkle, MD published a landmark article highlighting the use of fMRI to discern seizure onset and propagation zone (Boerwinkle et al., NeuroImage: Clinical).
Senyene Hunter, MD, PhD was named Simmons Scholar and American Epilepsy Society Sergievsky Scholar for her exceptional research in improving understanding of genetic epilepsies through the inclusion of ancestrally diverse and medically underrepresented individuals and related aspects of health equity. Dr. Hunter and the Epilepsy Neurogenetics Initiative team are part of the Epi25 Collaborative for Large-Scale Whole Genome Sequencing in Epilepsy, which will address the phenotypic spectrum associated with specific forms of epilepsy.
The laboratory of Todd Cohen, PhD made significant progress in understanding Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis through identifying novel mechanisms that control the formation (Tabassumet al., Journal of Biological Chemistry) and disposal (Wander et al., Acta Neuropathologica Communications) of pathological tau.
The laboratory of Rick Meeker, PhD, in collaboration with Leslie Morrow, PhD, revealed a novel means to control inflammatory activity by naturally occurring neurosteroids and opened a new avenue to suppress neurodegenerative activity (Balan et al., Frontiers in Immunology).
The laboratory of Ian Shih, PhD addressed how large–scale brain network dynamics are altered by selective activation of the locus coeruleus – a small brain nuc
leus in the brainstem that releases norepinephrine (Oyarzabal et al. Science Advances, press release). The Shih lab also developed an improved fiber-based optical technique for accurately measuring brain activity changes (Zhang et al. Cell Report Methods, press release) and received the 2022 NeuroImage Paper of the Year award – an honor given to the best paper amongst 3,000+ submissions to the journal over the past year – for their study examining dopaminergic activity and tissue oxygen transients during fMRI (Walton et al. NeuroImage, press release).