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!
Catherine Moore and Mariel Seiglie Receive Graduate Student Travel Awards from ASPET for the 2016 Experimental Biology Meeting
Catherine “Cassie” Moore and Mariel Seiglie, both Ph.D. graduate students in the Graduate Program for Neuroscience/Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology, have been selected to receive Graduate Student Travel Awards from the American Society of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET). In addition to covering registration fees for the Experimental Biology 2016 meeting, Cassie and Mariel will each receive $1,000 to cover their travel expenses to San Diego. The awards will be presented at the EB 2016 meeting. This important annual meeting hosts over 14,000 scientists and exhibitors representing six sponsoring societies and several guest societies. As this meeting is an important showcase for Ph.D. graduate students’ research, the ASPET Travel Award is highly prized.
Both Cassie and Mariel conduct their graduate research in the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders (LAD). Cassie, who is mentored by LAD Co-Director, Pietro Cottone, Ph.D., is investigating how overeating sugar-rich foods may affect mesolimbic dopaminergic reward. Her poster will show how a history of overconsumption of palatable food alters sensitivity to the rewarding and stimulatory effects of amphetamine-like drugs in a phase dependent manner (i.e. during palatable food access and withdrawal).
Mariel is mentored by LAD Co-Director Valentina Sabino, Ph.D. Her graduate research focuses on neuropeptide systems, specifically PACAP-PAC1R, which are involved in medicating the stress response towards acute chronic stressors. Her poster will demonstrate how intra-CeA and intra-BNST PACAP microinfusions can effect stress-like behavior and how the PACAP receptor, PAC1R, is responsible for mediating these effects.
Drs. Cottone and Sabino are internationally renowned for their research on addictive behaviors. The research conducted in the LAD provides important new insights in addictive behavior, especially in overeating and drug addiction. Their work holds great promise in developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of addictive behaviors. Please visit the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders website for more information.
Congratulations, Cassie and Mariel!
Congratulations to Rebecca Benham Vautour, Ph.D., on being selected for the ASPET Washington Fellows Program [HPA]. Dr. Benham Vautour, a post-doctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Genetic Neuropharmacology at McLean Hospital, is one of 10 selected from across the U.S. to participate in this program. She graduated from with a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Neuroscience from the Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology at Boston University School of Medicine in 2012. As a graduate student in the Laboratory of Translational Epilepsy under the mentorship of Dr. Shelley J. Russek, Dr. Benham Vautour’s graduate research thesis was on bdnfAND jak/stat: Partners in Seizure-Induced GABA-A Receptor Down Regulation.” Her research at McLean’s focuses on the role of GABA-A in depression.
Told in stunning cell images and videos, “Every Cell Has a Story” chronicles the career development of Neil J. Ganem, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics and Medicine, Section of Hematology and Medical Oncology, at Boston University School of Medicine. The article follows Neil’s rise from Dartmouth as young graduate student scientist making a momentous, life-changing decision on his research focus to a rising junior cancer biology/pharmacology investigator and director of the Laboratory of Cancer Cell Biology in the Cancer Center at BUSM.
Please visit Dr. Ganem’s Laboratory of Cancer Cell Biology website for more information on his research.
EurekAlert.org reported that researchers in the Laboratory of Addiction Genetics in the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics and Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine have identified a gene that may be linked to methamphetamine addiction. The article, “Hnrnph1 is a Quantative Trait Gene for Methamphetamine Sensitivity”Hnrnph1 is a Quantative Trait Gene for Methamphetamine Sensitivity” in PLOS Genetics. The article’s first author, Neema Yazdani, a Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology Ph.D. graduate student, is currently conducting his doctoral research work in the Laboratory of Addiction Genetics under the mentorship of Laboratory Director and Principal Investigator, Camron D. Bryant, Ph.D., who is the senior and corresponding author on the paper. Dr. Bryant’s research focuses on the genetic basis of behaviorial and molecular traits in substance abuse with the goal of discovering novel psychotherapeutics to treat addictive disorders. For more on this research, please visit the Laboratory of Addiction Genetics website.
Neema Yazdani, a Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology Ph.D. graduate student, has be selected to present a platform presentation at the Tuesday, November 10, 2015 Genome Science Institute’s (GSI) Annual Research Symposium. Neema’s presentation is entitled, ‘HnRNP H1 regulates the stimulant and addictive properties of methamphetamine: Transcriptomic and spliceomic analyses uncover novel neurodevelopmental mechanisms” and is based upon the research he is carrying out in the Laboratory of Addiction Genetics in the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics under the mentorship of Dr. Camron Bryant.
The GSI symposium will be held in Hiebert Lounge, L-14th Floor in the School of Medicine from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. and will include both poster sessions from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and platform presentations from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. The awards ceremony will immediate follow the platform presentations.
In his recent article, “Neurophysiology Charges Ahead,” Alan Dove reviews recent advances in electrophysiology and genetic approaches to neuroscience. The research of Dr. David Farb, Director and Principal Investigator of the Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology in the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University, among others, is highlighted. Noting the evolution of electrophysiology techniques, Dr. Farb discusses how these recent advances have increased the ability to measure brain activity which may lead to therapeutic discoveries for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. For more information on Dr. Farb’s research, please visit his website.
In This Issue:
- Message from the President: Dr Kenneth E. Thummel
- EB2016 Meeting Highlights
- Feature Article: Sleepy Sickness, Oliver Sacks, and the Early Days of L-Dopa
- Science Policy News
- Education News
- Journal News
- Membership News
- Members in the News
- Division News
- Chapter News
- Meetings and Congresses
Joon Ying Boon and Megan Varnum Participate in the 25th Annual BUMC Art Days and GMS Student Art Exhibit
Joon Ying Boon and Megan Varnum, Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology Ph.D. graduate students, contributed to the success of 25th Annual BUMC Art Days, March 30-31, 2015. BUMC students, faculty and staff were invited to contribute paintings, photos, poetry, sculpture, needlework, etc. for the event. This year’s keyword was INTERSECT and a special display section was set aside in Hiebert Lounge devoted to works focused on “Intersect.” On Tuesday, April 14, 2015, Joon’s and Megan’s art works were also displayed at a special exhibit sponsored by the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences featuring paintings and photographs by DGMS graduate students.
Joon Ying Boon has entitled her piece, “Grandfather Trees.” She explains that “somewhere in the overcrowded, busy and skyscrapers-filled urban Hong Kong, there is an old park with old trees where one can find peace and serenity.”
Joon is also a senior Ph.D. student pursing her dissertation research on the identification of proteins that bind to and regulate LRRK2 in the Laboratory of Neurodegeneration, under the mentorship of Principal Investigator and Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology, Benjamin Wolozin, M.D., Ph.D.
The banner painting above was done by Megan Varnum’s and is entitled, “A Mexican Hillside”. Megan elaborated on that, “Mexicans incorporate vibrant color into nearly every aspect of their culture, and I wanted to reflect that in this painting. Although I cannot personally take credit for taking the photo from which this was painted, it reminds me of the times my family would go to Mexico and how inspired I would be by all the colors.”
Megan is a senior Ph.D. student doing her dissertation research on traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the Laboratory of Molecular NeuroTherapeutics under the direction of mentor, Principal Investigator, and Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology, Tsuneya Ikezu, M.D., Ph.D.
These two aspiring young scientists inspire us with their creativity. Beautiful work, Joon and Megan!