Parkinson’s Disease by Rajeshwar Awatramani, 2010

Dr. Awatramani proposes that there is a developmental basis for dopamine neuron diversity. In other words, during embryonic development, the dopamine progenitor pool is parceled in a manner meaningful to later dopamine subtype identity. Elucidating the developmental basis for this diversity will be critical for understanding differential susceptibility of dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s disease (PD), as well as generating accurate Embryonic Stem cell or induced Pluripotent Stem cell derived models and therapies for PD. Indeed, this has been identified as a priority by stem cell scientists in the field of PD (3).

Other Grants

Rebekah C. Evans, Ph.D., Georgetown University
In Vivo and Ex Vivo Dissection of Midbrain Neuron Activity During Exercise
Exercise is important for the health of the body and the mind. Exercise promotes learning and reduces symptoms of brain-related diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. However, it…
William J. Giardino, Ph.D. Stanford University
Deciphering the Neuropeptide Circuitry of Emotional Arousal in Narcolepsy
This research project aims to investigate the neural mechanisms of a specific type of brain cell called neuropeptide neurons within a region of the brain’s amygdala network called the bed…
Howard Gritton, Ph.D., University of Illinois
Attention Mechanisms Contributing to Auditory Spatial Processing.
Our world is composed of a rich mixture of sounds. We often process sounds including speech in the presence of many other competing auditory stimuli (e.g., voices in a crowded…
Nora Kory, Ph.D., Harvard University
Elucidating the Fates and Functions of Lactate in the Brain
The human brain requires significant energy to function. Despite accounting for only 2% of our body weight, the brain consumes a substantial 20% of the body’s energy, relying on a…