Neuroscience News Fall 2007

Published by the UCLA Brain Research Institute
Fall, 2007
Volume 16, No. 3

Table of Contents



    Scott Arno first studied neuroscience at Boston University while pursing a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering. He developed his interest in the field of neuroengineering while working for a medical device company focusing on sleep research, and later at Tufts University, working towards a Master of Science degree in biomedical engineering. His background is in signal processing and computational neuroscience, and he is specifically interested in analyzing the dynamics of networks of cortical and hippocampal neurons, as well as applying the knowledge gained from these studies towards translational medicine in the form of brain-machine interfaces and medical devices.

    Aida Attar graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience, and genetics, cell biology, and development from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. While there, studies focused on the brain's roll in hypertension, and another project investigated the localization of specific glycoproteins that are involved in hyperalgesia. Aida is interested in neuroscience related to disease on the molecular and cellular levels, and the potential role of stem cells in treating neurodegenerative diseases. 

    Jamee Bomar earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Michigan. After graduation, she studied the genetic cause of Cayman ataxia and the effect of human urocortin II on circadian rhythms. Her current research focus is on neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly language impairments and autism. 
    Jesse Brown earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley with a major in cognitive science with an emphasis in neuroscience. His areas of interest are neuroimaging and the roles of cortico-hippocampal circuity in memory encoding and retrieval.

    Cortney Crego graduated from Occidental College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in cognitive science with an emphasis in neuroscience. After graduation she spent nearly two years as a technician in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Barad at UCLA studying pharmacological treatments of PTSD and the neural mechanisms of learning and memory. She would like to continue studying learning and memory, and attention from an electrophysiological standpoint.

    Kishan Gupta received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and computer sciences at UC Berkeley where he pursued research in optical and biological microelectronic mechanical systems (MEMS). He currently studies hippocampal grid cells in rat models.

    Kim Hathaway received a Bachelor of Science degree with high honors from Emory University where she studied the relationship between testosterone and aggression in humans, the subsequent effects of altering maternal hormones on mammalian behavior, and the localization of distinct serotonin receptors to neuropeptide-containing neurons in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis using fluorescent in situ hybridization. Kim's research interests include anxiety and emotion, learning and memory, brain imaging, brain injury and repair, and sleep. 

    April Ho graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, and a minor in education. April participated in research at UCSF involving serotonin systems and their associated behavioral traits. She is currently interested in neuroimaging and brain mapping.

    Milky Kohno received her psychology degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where she participated in multi-sensory integration studies using EEG and neural plasticity research using fMRI. Her current interests are brain imaging, cognitive decision making, and drug addiction. 

    Laurel Martin-Harris received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College in neuroscience with a minor in studio art. In Fernando Nottebohm's lab at Rockefeller University, she researched neurogenesis in birds and mice. Laurel is interested in human neural plasticity, spatial learning, attention and executive control.

    Angie Morales received a Bachelor of Arts degree in human biology from Stanford University. At Stanford her laboratory research project aimed at understanding moral emotion. After graduation she worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Palo Alto conducting research that examined how responses to opportunity for reward and executive function related to substance use. Angie would like to continue studying substance use while at UCLA.

    Wei Song Ong received Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Imperial College London, specializing in neuroscience. She is interested in autism and its (possibly) related areas- psychosis, language, cognition, and comorbid/similar disorders.

    Florence Roussotte received a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA, where she studied psychology and neuroscience, and participated in studies related to the neuroimaging of episodic memory. Her current research interests include clinical neuroscience, especially the study of addiction and other neuropsychiatric disorders, as well as cognitive neuroscience, in particular learning and memory.

    Jason Stein received a Bachelor of Arts in the Integrated Science Program from Northwestern University. He spent two years following graduation researching brain connectivity in schizophrenia at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He is interested in neuroimaging as a gateway to understanding mental illness.

    Besim Uzgil graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience. As an undergraduate student he studied synaptic transmission in transgenic mouse models of Huntington's disease. He is currently pursuing a dual M.D., Ph.D. degree; his research interests focus on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity.


    The Brain Research Institute welcomes its newest members, Dr. Gene Block, Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, and Physiological Science; Chancellor, UCLA; Dr. Richard De La Garza, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences; Dr. Erin Keen-Rhinehart, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, UCLA-Harbor Medical Center; Dr. Paul M. Macey, Assistant Professor, UCLA School of Nursing; Dr. John (Jack) Van Horn, Assistant Professor of Neurology; and Dr. William Yong, Associate Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.

    Gene Block received a Ph.D. degree in psychology (neurobiology) from the University of Oregon. He then completed two postdoctoral research fellowships, one in the Department of Biology at Stanford University, and the second at the Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford. In 1978 Dr. Block accepted an appointment at the University of Virginia as an Assistant Professor of Biology. During his career at the University of Virginia, Dr. Block served in numerous capacities including, Professor of Biology, Acting Chair of Biology, Director of the Biodynamics Institute, Associate Director of the Markey Center, Research Professor of Neuroscience, Founding Director of the NSF Center for Biological Timing, Vice Provost for Research, Vice President for Research and Public Service, and Vice President and Provost. Dr. Block joined UCLA in 2007 as Chancellor, and Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, and Physiological Sciences. 

    Dr. Block will spend a great deal of his time addressing the administrative duties as Chancellor, but will also pursue his research investigating circadian rhythms and aging. “Humans and other organisms exhibit daily rhythms in behavior, physiology, and molecular biology. These rhythms are driven by a timing system inside of us, a clock. My laboratory has a long-standing interest in understanding the cellular organization of these biological clocks. We are particularly interested in understanding how the mammalian circadian system changes as we age. In order to address this question, we use a variety of range of techniques including behavioral and electrophysiological analysis as well as optical measurements of gene expression.” 

    Richard De La Garza received a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Texas Medical Branch in 1996. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, followed by an appointment as an associate research scientist at Yale University School of Medicine. In 2000, Dr. De La Garza was appointed Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Neuroscience at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In 2004, Dr. De La Garza joined UCLA and is currently an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, and co-director of the UCLA Stimulant Abuse and Addiction Research Group.

    Dr. De La Garza’s research interests focus on the clinical pharmacology of drug addiction, and investigations center on the safety and efficacy of novel medications for methamphetamine or cocaine addiction. “A key component of this effort is to establish endophenotypes for stimulant dependence. I lead efforts to develop novel experimental approaches for the assessment of human self-administration patterns, and am interested in the role of stress system activation in stimulant abuse and addiction. In addition, I am involved in research that will characterize methamphetamine-related immunologic changes and evaluate a potential mechanism relevant to HIV infection and HIV disease progression.”

    Erin Keen-Rhinehart received a Ph.D. degree from the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Neuroscience program at the University of Florida College of Medicine in 2003. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Biology at Georgia State University, followed by a NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship in Research and Science Teaching at Emory University. Dr. Keen-Rhinehart joined the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCLA-Harbor Medical Center in 2007. 

    Dr. Keen-Rhinehart’s research interest is reproductive and metabolic neuroendocrinology. “My current research project is to determine the consequences of neonatal stress, in the form of maternal food restriction, on adult neuroendocrinology and behavior. Specifically, I am currently trying to determine how neonatal stress causes alterations in the central nervous system that program the adult male and female rats to have increased appetite and decreased metabolic rate leading to obesity. In addition, I am interested in examining the effects of maternal food restriction on the developing central nervous system that impact the adult stress axis and mood related behaviors as well as the reproductive axis and related behaviors in male and female rats.”

    Paul Macey received a Ph.D. degree in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in 1998. He then spent a year as a consultant researcher in the Community Pediatric Unit at Christchurch Hospital. Dr. Macey first joined UCLA as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurobiology. He was then appointed as an assistant researcher, and later as an associate researcher. In 2007, Dr. Macey joined the UCLA School of Nursing where he is currently an assistant professor. 

    Dr. Macey’s research focuses on the central control of sleep and breathing, and changes in the CNS with sleep-disordered breathing. “I investigate patients with sleep-disordered breathing, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), using neuroimaging to show how the brain is impacted in the condition. I am especially interested in how brain changes are influenced by factors other than sleep-disordered breathing, including depression. My earlier work showed that both structure and function are affected in OSA, and I have recently found that depression contributes to the deficits we see. I aim to combine a variety of MRI data (diffusion tensor imaging, T2 relaxation time, high-resolution structural imaging, spectroscopy, and functional imaging) and narrow down the nature of the brain pathology. Future research questions are whether the brain changes precede or are a consequence of OSA and depression, whether the combination of OSA and depression has a cumulative detrimental impact on the brain relative to each condition alone, and exactly what areas of the brain are affected, relative to a large population sample.”

    John (Jack) Van Horn received a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University College London in 1992. He then completed an IRTA Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the Unit on Integrative Neuroimaging at the National Institute of Mental Health. In 1997, he returned to graduate school and earned a Masters of Engineering degree from the University of Maryland. During this time (1997-2000) he also held appointments as a guest researcher in the Brain Imaging Center at the National Institute of Drug Abuse, and a staff fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health. In 2000, Dr. Van Horn moved to New Hampshire as an assistant research professor in the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Dartmouth College. In addition, from 2001-2006, Dr. Van Horn served as Operations Director for the fMRI Data Center, and from 2002-2006 as Assistant Director of the Dartmouth Brain Imaging Center, and research associate professor. Dr. Van Horn joined UCLA’s Laboratory of NeuroImaging as an Assistant Professor of Neurology in 2006.

    Dr. Van Horn’s research focus is human neuroimaging. “I examine the neurophysiology of human cognition using in vivo neuroimaging techniques, e.g. functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging, and its relations to other biological systems. Areas of interest in neuroimaging include visuo-spatial task performance, motor learning, working memory, and continuous task performance. My recent work involves the use of pharmacological manipulations as probes of cognitive and physiological networks during fMRI. I also study mathematical applications and engineering solutions for neuroimaging, and have made contributions to neuroinformatics: mathematical modeling, experimental design, statistical, quantitative methods, data visualization, and the sociological and technical issues of neuroscientific data sharing, as well as neuroimaging data base and data mining. Present projects include the application of communications and information theory to analysis of functional connectivity.”

    William Yong received his M.D. degree from UCLA in 1991. He completed a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and then joined UCLA as a fellow in neuropathology, and STAR fellow (Specialty Training and Advanced Research). Dr. Yong served as Director of Neuropathology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from 1998 through 2006. Dr. Yong is currently an Associate Clinical Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and attending neuropathologist at UCLA medical center. 

    Dr. Yong’s research interests focus on brain tumor diagnostics and pathology informatics. “The overarching goal of our lab is to improve the delivery and quality of neuropathology diagnoses ultimately enhancing the ability of patients and clinicians to make better decisions on therapy in a timely fashion. The main thrust of the lab is studying biomarkers in surgical and autopsy brain tumor tissues to predict response to therapy. In close co-operation with others in the UCLA brain tumor program, we hope to translate these findings into individualized treatment profiles for each brain tumor patient by amalgamating biomarker results with the standard histopathologic diagnoses in pathology reports. A secondary area of interest is the development of software that will improve the ease of tracking pathology specimens. As neuropathology laboratories move a substantial volume of materials inside and outside of the medical center for special studies and consultations, good tracking systems are important for timely delivery of materials for processing and to prevent loss of vital clinical specimens. In addition, I provide neuropathology support to the Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the SPOTRIAS (Stroke) research programs.”

    The Brain Research Institute is happy to welcome its newest members.


    The BRI congratulates the meritorious achievements of Drs. Steven Clarke, Carlos Grijalva, Louis Ignarro, Emeran Mayer, and Nancy Wayne.

    Steven Clarke, Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science which honors efforts in advancing science applications in various fields.

    Carlos Grijalva, Professor of Psychology, has been appointed Associate Dean of the Graduate Division. He will serve as the academic liaison for the Physical Sciences Division, Management, ACCESS and Basic Biomedical Sciences, Medicine, Oral Biology, and Psychiatry and Comparative Literature. He will also serve as the lead Associate Dean for the Alliance in Graduate Education in the Professoriate (AGEP) and the Diversity Initiative for Graduate Study in the Social Sciences (DIGSSS) grants and will be fully engaged in the Graduate Division’s efforts to improve student diversity at the graduate level.

    Louis Ignarro, Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, and winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in medicine, has been elected to the American Philosophical Society. It is the country’s oldest learned society, recognizing extraordinary achievements in science, letters and the arts.

    Emeran Mayer has received a $5.77 million Specialized Center of Excellence Grant. This renewed grant is for the UCLA Center for Neurovisceral Sciences and Women’s Health (recently renamed the UCLA Center for Neurobiology of Stress) and will fund research studying the interaction of stress, pain, emotion and sex-related differences underlying two pelvic pain disorders that affect primarily women—irritable bowel disease and interstitial cystitis. 

    Nancy Wayne, Professor of Physiology, has been appointed as an Academic Administrative Intern for the Graduate Division. She has been the recipient of a number of grants and fellowships for her work in neuroscience and neuroendocrinology. As an active participant in graduate and postdoctoral education, Nancy will make invaluable contributions to the Division’s work.

    Warm congratulations to Drs. Clarke, Grijalva, Ignarro, Mayer, and Wayne from the staff, students and faculty of the Brain Research Institute!


    The Joint Seminars in Neuroscience series will resume Winter quarter beginning January 8, 2008. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us every Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. in the Neuroscience Research Building Auditorium.
    The Joint Seminars in Neuroscience are sponsored by the Brain Research Institute, the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

    Joint Seminars in Neuroscience
    Winter Quarter 2008

    January 8, 2008
    Thomas C. Südhof, M.D., Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Chair, Department of Neuroscience, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
    “Molecular Mechanisms of Neurotransmitter Release: From Autapses to Autism”
    (Host: Yi Sun;

    January 15, 2008
    James J. DiCarlo, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neuroscience, McGovern Institute for Brain Research and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    “How Does the Visual System Achieve Transformation-Tolerant Object Representation?”
    (Host: Tad Blair; 
    January 22, 2008
    Todd C. Sacktor, M.D., Departments of Physiology, Pharmacology, and Neurology, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York
    “PKMζ: The First Long-Term Memory Storage”
    (Host: Tom O’Dell;

    January 29, 2008
    Thomas L. Schwarz, Ph.D., Departments of Neurology, and Neurobiology, Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
    “Title to be Determined”
    (Host: Felix Schweizer;

    February 5, 2008
    Xiaoqin Wang, Ph.D., Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
    “Title to be Determined”
    (Host: Dean Buonomano;

    February 12, 2008
    Matthew A. Wilson, Ph.D., Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, RIKEN-MIT Neuroscience Research Center, Departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
    “Title to be Determined”
    (Host: Carlos Portera-Cailliau;

    February 19, 2008
    Rachel Wong, Ph.D., Department of Biological Structure, University of Washington, Seattle
    “Imaging Circuit Assembly in the Vertebrate Retina” 
    (Host: Nick Brecha;

    February 26, 2008
    Ulrike A. Heberlein, Ph.D., Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco
    “Of Flies and Mice: What Have We Learned About Drug Addiction”
    (Host: Mark Frye;

    March 4, 2008
    Lori L. McMahon, Ph.D., Department of Physiology & Biophysics, University of Alabama, Birmingham
    “Title to be Determined”
    (Host: Felix Schweizer;

    March 11, 2008 
    The Brain Research Institute Nineteenth Annual H.W. Magoun Lecture 
    “Speaker and Title to be Determined” 
    (Host: Chris Evans;

    Friday, January 25, 2008
    Neuroscience Research Building, UCLA
    8:30 am - 5:00 pm

    Welcome and Introduction: GABA Research at UCLA
    Richard W. Olsen, Ph.D., Program Project Director; Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, University of California, Los Angeles

    GABAA Receptor Plasticity During Pregnancy and Postpartum: Clues for Postpartum Depression
    Istvan Mody, Ph.D., PI, Program Project; Tony Coelho Professor of Neurology, and Professor of Physiology, University of California, Los Angeles

    GABAA Receptor Subunit Mutations and Idiopathic Generalized Epilepsies: In Vitro Analysis of Subunit Expression and Assembly and of Receptor Trafficking and Function
    Robert Macdonald, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Neurology, Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, and Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee

    GABAA Receptor Dysfunction in a Mouse Model of a Human Epilepsy Gamma-2 Subunit Mutation
    Steven Petrou, Ph.D., Florey Neurosciences Institute, University of Melbourne, Australia

    Roles for Extrasynaptic GABA Receptors in Circuit Activity 
    Tom Otis, Ph.D., PI, Program Project; Professor of Neurobiology, University of California, Los Angeles
    GABAA Receptor Subtype-Specificity of Drug Action: A Paradigm Leading to Novel Therapeutic Strategies
    Uwe Rudolph, M.D., Laboratory of Genetic Neuropharmacology, McLean Hospital; Department of Psychiatry, Harvard University Medical School, Belmont, Massachusetts

    Searching for Neurosteroid Binding Sites on the GABAA Receptor.
    Trevor Smart, Ph.D., Schild Professor of Pharmacology and Head, Department of Pharmacology, University College London, United Kingdom

    Hippocampal Inhibition and Anesthetic-Induced Amnesia
    Robert Pearce, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Closing Remarks


    The Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation (KTGF) 2008-2009 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Programs

    Eligibility: Applicants must be promising young clinicians or basic researchers who have demonstrated skills for independent research and have completed all training, including post-doctoral clinical and/or research training. 

    Program Summary: The Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation (KTGF) was started in 1993 and is administered by the grandchildren of Joseph Klingenstein of the "Klingenstein Fund.” The KTGF grant programs are separate and unique from the parent fund. KTGF strives to improve the lives of families afflicted by clinical depression and gives special consideration to childhood and adolescent depression. 

    This sponsor recently changed its grantmaking policy. All of its funding is now directed towards its two postdoctoral research fellowship programs and its medical student training.

    UCLA is included in the list of organizations eligible to nominate qualified candidates for the KTGF postdoctoral fellowships.

    Beginning in 2007, the sponsor is offering two types of fellowships:

    • Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Childhood & Adolescent Depression
    • Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Childhood & Adolescent ADHD (New Program)

    Applicants for both programs must hold Ph.D. and/or M.D. degrees and must have completed all research training, including postdoctoral training. Candidates must also be planning a career working in the field of childhood and adolescent depression research or childhood and adolescent ADHD research. One purpose of the fellowship programs is to establish a bridge for young investigators to secure future financial support from the NIMH.

    Due Dates: January 2008, date to be determined – Mandatory Letters of Nomination; April 2008 date to be determined – Invited Full Proposals.

    To Apply: Please visit the KTGF website for the application procedures. The sponsor uses a two-step application submission process. Consideration for the Fellowships is by nomination only. Candidates must be nominated by a department chair or division director. The Letter of Nomination and other required documentation is due in January. After review, a selected number of candidates will be invited to submit full proposals due in April. At UCLA, invited Full Proposals are reviewed and submitted by the relevant OCGA Grant Analyst who has the delegated authority to submit grant proposals on behalf of the UC Regents. For more information contact:

    Sophie McKane, Program Associate
    The Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation
    787 Seventh Avenue, 6th Floor
    New York, NY 10019-6016
    Phone: (212) 492-6182

    2008 McKnight Scholar Awards

    The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience supports innovative research designed to bring science closer to the day when diseases of the brain can be accurately diagnosed, prevented, and treated. To this end, The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience invites applications for the 2008 McKnight Scholar Awards.

    These awards were established to encourage emerging neuroscientists to focus on disorders of learning and memory. Applicants for the McKnight Scholar Awards must demonstrate interest in solving important problems in relevant areas of neuroscience, including the translation of basic research to clinical neuroscience. Awards are given to exceptional young scientists who hold the M.D. and/or Ph.D. degree and who are in the early stages of establishing an independent laboratory and research career. Traditionally, successful candidates have held faculty positions for at least one year. Up to six McKnight Scholars each will receive three years of support, beginning July 1, 2008. 

    Eligibility. Applicants must have the following: M.D. and/or Ph.D. degree; formal postdoctoral training completed at the time of application. A record of meritorious research in areas pertinent to the interests of the Endowment Fund. Not more than four years of experience in an independent/tenure-track faculty position. Evidence of a commitment to a career in neuroscience. U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status. U.S.-based sponsoring institution, to which awards will be paid.

    Applicants may not: Be employees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute or scientists within the intramural program of the National Institutes of Health. Apply in more than two rounds of competition. Apply for continued postdoctoral support. Hold tenured positions or their equivalent.

    Amount and Purpose of Support. Each McKnight Scholar will receive $75,000 annually in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Funds may be used in any way that will facilitate development of the Scholar’s research program, but not for indirect costs. 

    Selection Process. A review committee will evaluate applications and invite a select few to interview with the committee. Applicants selected will be notified by March 27. The interviews are scheduled for Friday, April 25, 2008, in New York. The committee then will recommend candidates to the Board of Directors of the Endowment Fund for final decision. Awards will be announced on or before May 15, 2008. 

    For application forms and guidelines, please visit the McKnight Foundation website, or email, call or write the office of The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience. Completed applications must arrive no later than January 2, 2008.

    The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience 
    710 South Second Street, Suite 400 
    Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401

    The Whitehall Foundation --Grants for Research in Neurobiology

    The Whitehall Foundation is accepting applications throughout the year for grants to support basic research in neurobiology, especially on how the brain's sensory, motor, and other complex functions relate to behavior.

    Candidates eligible for these grants include tenured or tenure-track professors at accredited American institutions.

    Deadlines for letters of intent to apply are due by January 15, April 15, and October 1; the three deadlines for applications during the year are June 1, September 1, and February 15. 
    The total amount to be awarded and number of awards is not specified, however, the amount of individual awards range from $30,000 to $75,000 each year for up to three years.

    View the full text of the announcement on the Foundation's web site:


    Carol Moss Spivak Cell Imaging Facility
    Confocal Microscopy
    For information, contact: 
    Dr. Matt Schibler X59783

    Electron Microscopy and Specimen Preparation
    For information, contact:
    Marianne Cilluffo, x59848 (310-825-9848)

    Microscopic Techniques and Histological Preparation
    For information, contact:
    Marianne Cilluffo, x59848 (310-825-9848)

    Other Cores:
    Pasarow Mass Spectrometry Laboratory
    For information, contact:
    Dr. Kym Faull X67881


    Postmortem Human Frozen Brain Tissue and Matched Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) and Blood are Available for Scientists to Search for Etiopathogeneses of Human Disease.

    The National Neurological Research Specimen Bank and the Multiple Sclerosis Human Neurospecimen Bank, located at VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, maintains a collection of quick frozen and formalin fixed postmortem human brain tissue and frozen cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients with neurological diseases (including Alzheimer's Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, depressive disorder/suicide, epilepsy, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, schizophrenia, stroke/CVA and other less common diseases). Full inventory is available upon request. Diagnoses are documented by clinical medical records and gross/microscopic neuropathology.

    Special features of the Bank are as follows:

    1). Serial digital images of coronal sections (7 mm thick and obtained before quick freezing) are available for selecting samples to be studied.
    2). Microscopic neuropathology is available on each dissected sample and the dissected sample's localization is sketched on the gross coronal section image from which it came.
    3). Plaques of demyelination are classified as active, chronic active or inactive, and a shipment includes adjacent normal appearing white and nearby gray matter from the same case (they serve as a type of control).
    4). Ice artifact is minimized and it does not interfere with in situ hybridization or in situ PCR or immunocytochemistry.
    5). Tissue samples have been used for harvesting enough mRNA for microarray assay plates.
    6). CSF cells and cell-free CSF are available pre- and postmortem as is serum, plasma and buffy coats. They are stored quick frozen (full inventory is available upon request).

    The Bank is supported by NIH (NINCDS/NIMH), the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Veterans Affairs West Los Angeles Healthcare Center.
    For further information on tissues/CSF available and how to access them, contact:

    Wallace W. Tourtellotte, M.D., Ph.D.
    Neurology Research (127A)
    VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center
    11301 Wilshire Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90073
    (310) 268_4638; fax: (310) 268_4638
    web site:

    Alzheimer's Disease Brain Tissue and CSF

    The Neuropathology Laboratory at UCLA Medical Center maintains a bank of frozen, formalin and paraformaldehyde-fixed and paraffin-embedded postmortem human brain tissues and frozen cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients who die with Alzheimer's disease and other dementing and degenerative illnesses (including progressive supranuclear palsy, Parkinson's disease, fronto-temporal dementia), as well as control materials removed in a similar fashion from patients who are neurologically normal. Tissues are maintained as part of the NIA-funded Neuropathology Core functions of the UCLA Alzheimer's Disease Center. These tissues/fluids are available as a resource to investigators in any discipline. Pilot studies using the tissues/CSF to examine biomolecules that are of known importance in animal models and suspected significance in human neurodegenerative conditions are particularly encouraged. Every attempt will be made to provide research materials for worthwhile projects in a timely fashion. For further information on tissues/CSF available and how to access them, contact:

    Dr. Harry Vinters
    Section of Neuropathology
    UCLA Medical Center, CHS 18-170
    Los Angeles, CA 90095-1732
    Phone: 310-825-6191; Fax: 310-206-8290


    Postdoctoral Position in Adolescent Clinical Psychology

    A Postdoctoral Fellowship is available in Adolescent Clinical Psychology at the Center for the Assessment and Prevention of Prodromal States (CAPPS) in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at UCLA. Investigators at CAPPS are conducting a clinical research study following adolescents and young adults who are at increased risk for developing schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders based on behavioral evidence of prodromal features. The fellowship offers advanced training in neuropsychological and psycho-diagnostic assessment. Fellows learn through supervised practice and weekly multidisciplinary treatment team case conference meetings. Fellows provide clinical, psychosocial and neurocognitive evaluations with adolescents and their families, and participate in community outreach with local mental health professionals. Each fellow will be expected to aid in ongoing research and to develop his/her own research project. Applicants must have a Ph.D. or Psy.D. from an APA-accredited doctoral program and must have completed an APA-accredited internship. Applications will be accepted continuously until the position is filled; the preferred start date is April 1, 2008, although this is negotiable. This fellowship is NIMH-funded position with a competitive stipend plus benefits.

    Send a statement of interests, vita, and reprints/preprints, and have three individuals familiar with your clinical experience and research promise to send letters of recommendation to:

    Dr. Carrie E. Bearden
    Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
    300 Medical Plaza, Suite 2265
    University of California, Los Angeles
    Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563
    UCLA is an Equal Opportunity Employer; applications from women and minorities are encouraged.

    Postdoctoral Positions in Neuroscience

    Two positions are now available to study the molecular and cellular basis of human Spinocerebellar Ataxia-13. Mammalian neuronal explant cultures and/or zebrafish will be used to investigate the role of electrical activity and K channel function in neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration. Expertise in confocal microscopy, primary tissue culture, or patch clamp is required.

    To apply, please send curriculum vitae and the names of three references to:

    Diane M. Papazian, Ph.D.
    Department of Physiology
    David Geffen School of Medicine
    University of California at Los Angeles
    Box 951751
    Los Angeles, CA 90095-1751

    Postdoctoral Positions in Retinal Ganglion Cell Biology and Degeneration

    A Postdoctoral position is available for highly motivated individuals in a laboratory that studies retinal ganglion cell (RGC) biology and degeneration. The successful candidate will join a research group with current projects focused on understanding the mechanisms of RGC degeneration in animal models for glaucoma and functional characterization of novel RGC-expressed genes. 

    Qualifications: The candidate must have a Ph.D. or M.D. degree, with strong background and training in molecular biology, biochemistry or cell biology. Excellent technical skills in the following areas are essential: standard molecular biology techniques, including molecular cloning, construction and use of fusion vectors, PCR techniques including qRT-PCR, protein expression, purification and western methods, in situ hybridization and immunohystochemistry, and tissue culture and transfection techniques. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required. Interested candidates should send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references to:

    Natik Piri, PhD
    Jules Stein Eye Institute, 100 Stein Plaza
    UCLA School of Medicine
    Los Angeles, CA 90095


    The BRI regularly receives letters and resumes from people looking for work in the field of neuroscience. Below is an abbreviated list of the candidates and the type of work they seek. Copies of their resumes are often available in our editorial office. If you are interested in one or more of these individuals, please contact them directly, or call the editorial office at x56055.

    Maykel Abdelmessih is a pre-med senior at California State University, San Bernardino. Major academic courses include: cell physiology, genetics, behavioral ecology, anatomy and physiology, microbiology and psychophysiology. Maykel would like to obtain a research assistant position at UCLA studying genetic psychological disorders such as mental retardation, brain injured subjects, neuroleptic disorders, clinical neuroscience and psychophysiology beginning in the summer of 2008. Please contact Maykel directly at email:

    Rami Assadi graduated in May from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with degrees in neuroscience, physiology and French. Rami’s long-term goal is to obtain an M.D. or M.D. /Ph.D. degree, but would like to commit to a laboratory for some added research experience until that time. 

    Rami is currently a research assistant at the University of Minnesota in the neuroscience laboratory of Professor Karen Mesce where the research project seeks to explain the location of biogenic amines in the brain of Apis mellifera and their effects on behaviors. Having worked in the lab for over two years, skills gained include microdissections of the nervous system of several of our experimental species, immunocytochemical capabilities to label neurons of interest, confocal microscopy, and necessary computer skills to generate the statistics used in our analysis. Rami has also kept current about developments in the field and their impacts through the use of primary literature. Rami will be (or has already) relocated to Los Angeles. Please contact Rami directly

    Naheed Hamid is interested in a staff research associate position at UCLA. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from UCLA in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics in the summer of 2007. Her studies in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics affirmed her passion for science and her courses enabled her to conceptually understand the molecular mechanisms of viruses, bacteria, and parasites and to use problem-solving skills to understand these mechanisms even further. She was fortunate to have had the opportunity to receive hands on laboratory training under the guidance of Assistant Professor Kent Hill during her undergraduate years at UCLA. She conducted microbial research on the parasites that cause African sleeping sickness. This research included performing polymerase chain reactions, yeast II hybrids, western blots, mini and maxi preps, and also maintaining bacterial and parasitic cultures. She maintained several cell lines and has extensive experience in passaging. The parasites that she studied were eukaryotic organisms and she performed transfections, IFA’s, and did substantial light microscope work. She worked closely with other members of the lab and has strong communication and collaborative teamwork skills. Please contact Naheed directly at Email:

    Hanpeng Xu received a M.D. degree (1993), a Master of Science degree in human anatomy (1996) and a Ph.D. degree in neurobiology (2000) from the Fourth Military Medical University in China. From 2000-2002, he was a research fellow in the Institute of Neuroscience at the Fourth Military Medical University. He was a visiting scholar in the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Bordeaux, France for one year, and since 2004 has been a postdoctoral associate at Rockefeller University. Dr. Xu would like to obtain a postdoctoral position at UCLA. He is currently in the Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology, where his research topics include: In vivo stem cell transplantation and differentiation; Myelination and demyelination of transgenic mice; Molecular mechanisms of demyelination; Epigenetic change of Schwann cell during Wallerian degeneration; Schwann cell de-differentiation and transdifferentiation; Mechymel stem cell and muscle stem cell. Please contact Dr. Xu directly at:, or


    Neuroscience News serves as the primary vehicle for disseminating information to the UCLA neuroscience community. It is published solely on the Brain Research Institute’s web site and distributed to the BRI Calendar E-mail list. Please submit all information to the BRI editorial office, E-mail, or call extension 56055 or 55061.

    Editor: Linda Maninger