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Paul S. Holcomb, a Biomedical Sciences Graduate student studying Neuroscience, was recently awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institutes of Health. This highly selective and very prestigious fellowship will allow Paul to complete a research project entitled, “Structural Polarity Influences Terminal Placement and Competition in Formation of the Calyx of Held.”

Matthew Boots, a Mechanical Engineering graduate student pursuing research in assistive robotics to help stroke survivors with daily challenges, has been awarded a Ruby Distinguished Doctoral Fellowship. Matthew is currently conducting his research in the Neural Engineering Lab in the Center for Neuroscience, under direction of Dr. Sergiy Yakovenko. Matthew’s graduate research has also been recognized with the honorable mention from the National Science Foundation in 2014.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) has awarded the Center for Basic and Translational Stroke Research (CBTSR) a CoBRE grant in the amount of $10.7 million over the next five years. The CBTSR conducts basic and translational research on stroke, one of the leading causes of long-term disability – and the fourth highest killer – in the US.

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Faculty Spotlight

Dr. James W. Lewis, received his PhD in Neurobiology from California Institute of Technology. His lab group investigates the general principles of how the human brain processes auditory and multisensory information, advancing models of cognition and of autism research. They primarily use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), with the 3T scanner at the Center for Advanced Imaging, but also use neurophysiological techniques such as collecting evoked response potentials (ERPs). One of their main research goals is to understand how the brains of people with autism are organized to represent knowledge of sensory events, and be able to gain a sense of meaning behind what they see and hear.

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Student Spotlight

Abigail Myers earned her bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from Penn State University and her Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is interested in how the migration of cortical inhibitory interneurons could influence the development of severe neurological diseases such as autism, schizophrenia, and epilepsy. She is currently completing her dissertation research in Dr. Eric Tucker's lab, and has recently found a requirement for the c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling pathway during early cortical interneuron migration.

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