Dissecting microglial function in neuroinflammation by mapping nitric oxide in real time in the living brain

2016 Scientific Innovations Award
Yamuna Krishnan, Ph.D.
Department of Chemistry
The University of Chicago

Nitric oxide (NO), a gaseous chemical messenger, is a neuroprotective agent in the brain. It is vital to brain function, as controlled amounts are critical to triggering important signaling mechanisms. NO also causes neurodegeneration, as seen in conditions like stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementias. We seek to spatiotemporally image NO within the living brain, using molecularly programmed DNA-based nanodevices, which would offer deep insights into mechanisms of neurodegeneration.

Other Awards

Angelique Bordey, Ph.D., Yale University
The Role of Ribosomes in Synaptic Circuit Formation and Socio-Communicative Deficits
Our proposal aims at identifying a molecular mechanism responsible for autism-like socio-communicative defects in the developmental disorder, tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). TSC is a genetic disorder with a 30-60% incidence…
Adam E. Cohen, Ph.D., Harvard University
To spike or not to spike? Mapping dendritic computations in vivo.
The brain is made of neurons, and neurons convert synaptic inputs to spiking outputs. How does a neuron decide when to spike?
Gina Turrigiano, Ph.D., Brandeis University
Homeostatic Maintenance of Neocortical Excitation-inhibition Balance by Ciliary Neuropeptidergic Signaling
Brain circuit wiring is adjusted during adolescence to generate fully functional circuits, and this process depends on an interaction between genetics and experience. During this period of experience-dependent development, excitatory…
Gregory Scherrer, Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Mechanisms of Affective States and Drug Discovery at the Intersection of Chronic Pain and Opioid Addiction
Pain is normally a sensation that we experience when our body is exposed to damaging stimuli, such as the noxious heat of an open flame. However, when chronic, pain becomes…