Neuroscience Press Releases
View a listing of neuroscience related press releases from Baylor College of Medicine.
Dr. Kimberley Tolias, professor of neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, and Dr. Lingyong Li, associate professor at University of Alabama at Birmingham, in the department of anesthesiology, discovered a gene and mechanism regulating chronic pain. The results of their study were published this month in Neuron, in the paper titled “Tiam1 Coordinates Synaptic Structural and Functional Plasticity Underpinning the Pathophysiology of Neuropathic Pain.”
They identified the enzyme Tiam1 as a key driver of the maladaptive synaptic plasticity responsible for the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain, and they showed that abolishing Tiam1 activity can alleviate neuropathic pain symptoms in a variety of animal models, thus identifying Tiam1 as a potentially promising therapeutic target to treat neuropathic pain effectively.
Dr. Tolias was also recently interviewed by PainRelief.com about the background of this study and the main findings.
Dr. Kara Marshall was named a 2023 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Freeman Hrabowski Scholar on May 9, 2023. This is a new program from HHMI that recognizes exceptional early-career faculty with demonstrated potential to become leaders in their respective research fields. The award is named in honor of Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president emeritus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), who was a major force in increasing the number of scientists, engineers and physicians from underrepresented backgrounds in the United States. Kara is one of 31 Freeman Hrabowski Scholars from 22 institutions across the United States who will be appointed to a five-year renewable term. In all, HHMI has committed $1.5 billion to support up to 150 Freeman Hrabowski Scholars over the next 20 years. Read the press release.
Dr. Xiaolong Jiang, Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital, along with collaborators, completed a pioneering study recently published in ELife that revealed a surprisingly rich cellular heterogeneity and local wiring logic of a group of brainstem neurons called locus coeruleus. Given that the dysregulation of the LC has been implicated in many neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders including autism and Alzheimer's disease, these findings provide an essential knowledge base to decipher cellular and circuit mechanisms of these diseases. Read the paper.
Dr. Paul Pfaffinger has been named the chair of the Department of Neuroscience effective Feb. 1, 2023. Dr. Pfaffinger is a professor of neuroscience, holding a secondary appointment in the Department of Integrative Physiology, and has been a Baylor faculty member for more than 30 years. His lab focuses on understanding the regulation of ion channels and their roles in native neurons. Currently, research in the Pfaffinger lab is focusing on understanding the roles of channel diversity in information processing as well as the biophysical mechanisms underlying ion channel regulation by small peptide modulators and the role of this regulation in the brain. Together, the members of our department strive to advance science and discovery, improve human health, and provide a collaborative and inclusive environment for all to work and train. We look forward to continuing the growth of our department under Dr. Pfaffinger’s leadership: BCM press release.
Dr. Melanie Samuel, associate professor of neuroscience and the Huffington Center on Aging was named the 73rd Mallinckrodt Scholar by the Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation.
This national competition recognizes innovative investigators engaged in biomedical research that has the potential to significantly advance the understanding, diagnosis or treatment of disease. Studies funded by this award will investigate roles for neuron-microglia signaling in modifying neural disease outcomes. View previous award recipients.
Faculty Awards Day took place on May 19, 2022 to recognize Baylor College of Medicine faculty for their excellence in education, patient care, service and professionalism. Dr. Russell Ray, assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience and McNair Scholar was the recipient of a 2022 Norton Rose Fulbright Faculty Excellence Award in the category of Teaching and Evaluation which is given to most skilled and committed educators in our College. View a full list of faculty award recipients.
Dr. Melanie Samuel, associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Huffington Center on Aging was named recipient of 2022 Women of Excellence Award by Baylor College of Medicine for her extraordinary contributions and accomplishments to towards promotion of women in science and diversity and inclusion. She exemplifies BCM values and is exceptionally dedicated to issues that affect women at BCM and in the larger community. View a full list of faculty honorees and details about this prestigious award.
Dr. Nuo Li Recieves 2021 Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Excellence in Research Award
Dr. Nuo Li, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and McNair Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine, was selected to receive the 2021 Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Excellence in Research Award.
Principal investigator Dr. Matthew McGinley was featured in the Wall Street Journal. The article describes the research in the McGinley Lab using pupillometry (measurement of pupil size and reactivity) as a non-invasive biosensor to monitor arousal and attention in health and disease. Read the article: "How to Get Smarter: Start with the Brain Itself."
Microbes may hold the key for treating neurological disorders
New research by Baylor College of Medicine scientists, including Dr. Mauro Costa-Mattioli at suggests that microbes in the gut may contribute to certain symptoms associated with complex neurological disorders.
Dr. Peter Saggau has been appointed as an emeritus professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Saggau was among the first wave of recruits to Neuroscience and quickly established an outstanding research program in optical methods for studying neuronal activity and circuit function. Dr. Saggau played a particularly important role in helping other researchers at BCM establish his innovative, cutting edge optical methods for their research programs..
Dr. Matthew Rasband recognized for outstanding mentorship
Dr. Matthew N. Rasband, professor, and Vivian L. Smith Endowed Chair in Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, has been awarded the Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship.
Dr. Joanna Jankowsky receives Alzheimer’s Association grant
Dr. Joanna Jankowsky has been awarded a Zenith Fellows research grant, which supports scientists who have contributed significantly to the Alzheimer's disease research field.