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Neuroscientist Earns Young Investigator Award

Neuroscientist Earns Young Investigator Award
Nikolai Dembrow aims to characterize how the brain chemicals dopamine and noradrenaline affect neurons differentially in the prefrontal cortex.
Nik DembrowAUSTIN, Texas—Nikolai Dembrow, a research associate in the Center for Learning and Memory, received a Young Investigator grant award from the NARSAD Brain and Behavior Research Fund.

Dembrow aims to characterize how the brain chemicals dopamine and noradrenaline affect neurons differentially in the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain responsible for higher-order executive functions.

Prefrontal cortex function is impaired in schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Many treatments for these disorders alter the way dopamine and noradrenaline modify activity of prefrontal neurons.

Using rat brain samples, Dembrow will determine whether dopamine and noradrenaline alter activity in the dendrites, tree like structures projecting from neurons that receive inputs from other neurons.

Elucidating distinctions between neuron types and what occurs in the dendrites should help to explain how the prefrontal cortex performs executive functions and may permit improved drug design and targeting.

Two hundred and fourteen researchers from leading research institutions on six continents have been selected from more than 1,000 applicants to receive Young Investigator grant awards to support their innovative research. Young Investigator grants are catalysts for additional funding, providing researchers with “proof of concept” for their work.

For more information on NARSAD, visit their Web site: www.narsad.org.
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Thursday, 15 April 2021

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