Benjamin Wolozin, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He was elected for his contributions to molecular and translational neuroscience, particularly discovery of the role of cholesterol in Alzheimer’s disease.
On January 26, 2017, Dr. Karen Antman, BUSM Dean and BUMC Provost announced that Dr. Wolozin is the recipient of the Jack Spivack Excellence in Neurosciences Award for 2017. His discovery of the essential role of RNA Binding proteins in the pathology of tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease, represents a paradigm shift in our understanding of these diseases. With this discovery comes dramatic new opportunities for therapeutic interventions for Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies, based on targeting important members of the translational stress response, such as TIA1.
Congratulations to Ben!
Annina Leo, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Molecular NeuroTherapeutics under the mentorship of Tsuneya Ikezu, M.D., Ph.D., was selected as one of two Boston University School of Medicine recipients of the 2016 Alzheimer’s Association Grant Award. Dr. Deleo’s research application on “Characterization of Human AD Brain-Derived Exosomes on Tau Propagation” focus on the question, “How do cellular transport pathways contribute to the movement of abnormal tau protein throughout the brain in Alzheimer’s disease.” Dr. Deleo will receive $175, 000 over 3 years to support her postdoctoral research.
Dr. David Farb was the featured speaker at a sold-out Science on Screen presentation of “Embrace of the Serpent” at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline. This stunning film is based on the real-life journals of Theodor Koch-Grünberg and Richard Evans Schultes and their quest through the Columbian Amazon for the sacred and rare Yakruna plant. The film focuses on their encounter with Karamakate, a shaman and the last survivor of his people, with whom they forge a profound friendship over 40 years and learn ancient lessons in the sacred and medicinal powers of plants.
As a neuropharmacologist, Dr. Farb’s presentation focused on the use of plants, particularly hallucinogens, by shaman throughout history and how these “entheogens” were subsequently studied and at times even exploited following their discovery by western scientists in the 20th century.
Science on Screen is supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation with additional support from Gesmer Updegrove LLP, Rubin Anders Scientific, and Ken Loveday and Ellen Hoffman, Brookline, and co-presented by the Museum of Science.
Tsuneya Ikezu, M.D, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology, received the Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for Alzheimer’s Research at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Toronto, Ontario, July 24-28, 2016 and is one of two Boston University faculty members to receive a grant from the BrightFocus Foundation. Dr. Ikezu, whose research focuses on molecular therapeutic intervention of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, gave a plenary lecture at the conference.
The Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for Alzheimer’s Research recognizes the senior author of the most impactful study on the biology of Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions published during the two calendar years preceding AAIC. The selected paper is “Depletion of microglia and inhibition of exosome synthesis halt tau propagation,” (Nature Neuroscience 2015 Nov;18(11):1584-93).
Dr. Inge Grundke-Iqbal, an internationally renowned neuroscientist, made a milestone discovery in the 1980’s: that abnormal hyperphosphorylation microtubule-associated protein tau is the building block in paired helical filaments (PHFs)/neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the Alzheimer’s brain. This seminal discovery has contributed greatly to our overall understanding of neurodegeneration and led to major advances in Alzheimer’s research.
The BrightFocus Foundation has awarded Dr. Ikezu $300,000 for his research on the TREM2 molecule to develop novel therapeutics for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The BrightFocus grant award and Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award both attest to the fact that Dr. Ikezu’s stellar work is pushing the boundaries of Alzheimer’s research.
We congratulate Dr. Ikezu on being selected for the prestigious Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for Alzheimer’s Research and the BrightFocus grant award.
A new article published in Neuropsychopharmacology announces the discovery of a new therapeutic target to block binge eating by researchers in the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders (LAD). The research of Drs. Pietro Cottone and Valentina Sabino, directors and co-principal investigators of the LAD, is focused on unraveling the neurobiological mechanisms of motivated behaviors, such as drug addiction, stress-related disorders, and depression. The study provides new hope to approximately 15 million people who suffer from binge eating, obesity, and other eating disorders.
Alissa Frame received the Best Poster Award at the American Heart Association’s Council on Hypertension 2016 Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida, September 14 – 17, 2016. Alissa’s poster, “Impaired Central, Renal, and Blood Pressure Responses to Alterations in Fluid and Electrolyte Homeostasis in Aged Sprague-Dawley Rats,” was selected from over 600 posters, which is quite a feat for her first poster presentation at a national meeting.
Alissa is an M.D., Ph.D. graduate student in the NIGMS sponsored training program in Bimolecular Pharmacology and is conducting her predoctoral research on the neural and renal mechanisms regulating blood pressure in the Laboratory for Cardiovascular Renal Research under the mentorship of Richard D. Wainford, Ph.D.
Congratulations to Alissa!
Dr. Laurie Glimcher, incoming President and CEO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, spoke to WBUR’s CommonHealth regarding the Future of Cancer Research.
Congratulations to Price S. Blair, Ph.D., has who received the Edward A. Polloway Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching at Lynchburg College. Dr. Blair, shown with his wife Beverly, is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Biology and Biomedical Science, the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, and Physician Assistant in Medicine Program. He received his Ph.D. in 2008 from the Program in Bimolecular Pharmacology under the mentorship of Jane E. Freedman, M.D. His current research focuses on the role that platelets play in the processes of hemostasis, thrombosis, and inflammation.
Congratulations to our 2016 Program in Bimolecular Pharmacology Ph.D. and M.D., Ph.D. graduating class. Well done!
Benjamin Wolozin, M.D., Ph.D., Advisor
Richard D. Wainford, Ph.D., Advisor
Shelley J. Russek, Ph.D., Advisor
Rachel L. Flynn, Ph.D. Advisor
Howard Eichenbaum, Ph.D., Advisor
Benjamin Wolozin, M.D., Ph.D.
Kristin Elizabeth Hokenson, Ph.D.
Shelley J. Russek, Ph.D., Advisor
Neil J. Ganem, Ph.D., Advisor
Kavitha Sugunan, Ph.D.
David H. Farb, Ph.D., Advisor
Richard D. Wainford, Ph.D., Advisor
Neema Yazdani, a Ph.D. graduate student in the Program in Bimolecular Pharmacology at Boston University, has been awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) from National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health. The title of his proposal is “Functional mechanisms of Hnrnph1 in methamphetamine addictive behaviors.” His training under this award includes characterizing differences in methamphetamine (MA) reward and volitional administration in Hnrnph1+/- mice through behavioral assessments including conditioned place preference (CPP) and operant oral self-administration. He will also investigate the neurobiological mechanisms underlying reduced MA sensitivity and reward in my Hnrnph1+/- mice using brain tissue immunohistochemistry, RNA-seq, and in vivo micro dialysis.
Neema is co-sponsored for the award by Camron D. Bryant, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry and Director of the Laboratory of Addiction Genetics and Benjamin Wolozin, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology and Director of the Laboratory of Neurodegeneration. Neema will spend the upcoming summer training in operant oral self-administration and in vivo microdialysis in the laboratory of Karen K. Szumlinski, Ph.D., at University of California, Santa Barbara.
Kudos to Neema on receiving this prestigious and highly competitive predoctoral fellowship award!