Hugo J. Aparicio, MD, MPH, assistant professor of neurology, and Stephanie Puig, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology & laboratory medicine, are the 2022 recipients of the Jack Spivack Neurosciences Pilot Awards.
Aparicio will work with investigators from the Slone Epidemiology Center’s Black Women’s Health Study and his colleagues in the Department of Neurology to understand the role of hypertension diagnosed in 10- to 30-year-olds in the risk of stroke and heart attack in 45- to 65-year-olds, causing mortality and long-term morbidity. The pilot funds will support medical record reviews and data analysis to refine and quantitate hypertension data, stroke subtypes, cognitive dysfunction and other brain health outcomes.
Puig will study Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression (OIRD), slow and ineffective breathing after taking opioids that can lead to overdose deaths. Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), cell surface receptors that can be activated by growth factors, regulate respiration via their action on the brainstem. Her study will determine if targeting RTKs could prevent OIRD, using neuropharmacology and mouse genetics to study RTKs signaling and neuronal circuits involved in OIRD.