Two WashU faculty awarded Sloan Research Fellowships

Two Washington University in St. Louis faculty members have been awarded prestigious early-career fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Zachariah Reagh, PhD, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, and Gaia Tavoni, PhD, an assistant professor of neuroscience at the School of Medicine, were among 126 scientists selected for […]

Water quality monitor, locust-inspired electronic nose under development

Two teams of engineers led by faculty in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis will work toward developing products to monitor drinking water quality and to detect explosives with an electronic nose with one-year, $650,000 Convergence Accelerator Phase 1 grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Barani Raman, PhD, professor […]

Apte receives Catalyst Award for innovative approaches to research 

Rajendra Apte, MD, PhD, the Paul A. Cibis Distinguished Professor and vice chair for innovation and translation in the John F. Hardesty, MD, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received a $300,000 Research to Prevent Blindness /American Macular Degeneration Foundation Catalyst Award for innovative research approaches in studying age-related […]

Locusts’ sense of smell boosted with custom-made nanoparticles

Our sensory systems are highly adaptable. A person who cannot see after turning off a light in the night slowly achieves superior power to see even small objects. Women often attain a heightened sense of smell during pregnancy. How can the same sensory system that was underperforming can also exceed the expectation based on its […]

Timing matters: Condensates’ composition determined by when RNA is added

Biomolecular condensates transport RNA molecules inside of cells for functions such as cell signaling and regulating cell processes, but little is known about how they form distinct compositional identities, similar to how oil and water stay separated.  Rohit V. Pappu, PhD, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of biomedical engineering in the McKelvey School of […]

Research network to focus on AI, integrated circuits

With the increased demand for efficient hardware for artificial intelligence and integrated circuits comes a need to educate students and researchers on how to design and create these tools. To address this need, Shantanu Chakrabartty, PhD, the Clifford W. Murphy Professor and vice dean for research and graduate education at the McKelvey School of Engineering, is […]

Three named 2023 Young Investigator grantees

 Sarah D. Ackerman, PhD, Gabor Egervari, MD, PhD and Tao Xie, PhD, all of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, have been named 2023 Young Investigator grantees by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. This year’s funding will support 150 promising early-career scientists across the field of neuropsychiatry with innovative ideas in mental health research. The two-year grant […]

Mapping the cell’s membrane-less compartments

Cells are compartmentalized into distinct communities, with organelles and membranes keeping specific proteins and processes in one place. Interestingly, even without the benefit of a membrane, proteins and molecules can be concentrated into membraneless bodies known as biomolecular condensates. These condensates include bodies known as stress granules that form and dissolve in response to and […]

Singamaneni to develop advanced protein imaging method

Cell-secreted proteins, such as antibodies, hormones and neurotransmitters, play a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being. They are also key components in disease research and in developing diagnostic tools and personalized medicines. However, current methods for studying these proteins are limited to observing large groups of cells together, which makes it difficult to […]

Yi and Gabel receive grants to study autism-related disorders

Jason Yi, PhD, an assistant professor of neuroscience, and Harrison Gabel, PhD, an associate professor of neuroscience, both at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, each have received two-year $300,000 pilot grants from the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative. The researchers will use the funds to investigate genetic diseases that result in autism. […]

Brighter fluorescent markers allow for finer imaging of nanoscopic objects

Researchers at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis have pioneered a new technique that will enable higher-resolution imaging of very small objects like neurons. The technique, which improves on an existing method called expansion microscopy, is described in a new paper published in the journal Nano Letters. Srikanth Singamaneni, PhD and Barani […]

Pappu to explore ways in which charge contributes to diverse states of proteins

Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are defined by structural diversity, and the determinants of this diversity are an important area of biophysical investigation. IDPs are involved in a range of important biological processes, including cell signaling and regulation, that allow healthy cells to respond to environmental factors appropriately, but they are also associated with human diseases […]

McIntosh receives NIH grant to study ethics in developing brain technologies

Tristan J. McIntosh, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received a $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study ethical collaborations between academia and industry in the development of brain technologies.   The goal is to fill gaps in understanding the ethical complexities […]

Researchers receive Alzheimer’s Association funding

Three researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis recently have received funding from the Alzheimer’s Association for projects that aim to study and make progress against the disease. Enmanuel Perez, MD, PhD, an instructor in neurology, has received a $250,000 grant from the Alzheimer’s Association to study how traumatic brain injury leads to […]

Quantum tunneling to boost memory consolidation in AI

A team of researchers at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis has developed an energy-efficient way to consolidate long-term memories on a tiny chip. Shantanu Chakrabartty, PhD, the Clifford W. Murphy Professor in the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering, and members of his lab developed a […]

Cooper receives two NIH grants to study rare genetic disease

Jonathan D. Cooper, PhD,  a professor of pediatrics, of genetics and of neurology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, received two grants totaling $2.55 million over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Cooper will study enzyme replacement therapy as a possible […]

Interfaces play important role in condensate behavior

Before mixing an oil-and-vinegar-based salad dressing, the individual drops of vinegar are easily seen suspended in the oil, each with a perfectly circular boundary that delineates the two liquids. In the same way, our cells contain condensed bundles of proteins and nucleic acids called condensates delineated by clear boundaries. The boundaries are known as interfaces […]

Puri wins postdoctoral fellowship to study ALS

Anuradhika Puri, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate working with Meredith Jackrel, PhD in the Department of Chemistry in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, won the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association’s Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellowship. The $150,000 award supports her work on applying the human disaggregase, HtrA1, to counter amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Originally published on […]

Researchers studying links between retinal appearance, Alzheimer’s

Four years after Washington University in St. Louis researchers detected a possible link between risk for Alzheimer’s disease and the appearance of the eye’s retina, a $10.3 million grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is expanding the effort to understand that connection. Gregory P. Van Stavern, MD, […]

Researchers awarded $1.2M to study depression among youth with HIV in Uganda

Proscovia Nabunya, PhD, an assistant professor at the Brown School and co-director of the International Center for Child Health and Development (ICHAD); and Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, PhD, a professor of psychiatry at the School of Medicine, both at Washington University in St. Louis, have received a five-year $1.2 million research grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, […]

Hill receives grant for healthy aging research

Patrick Hill, PhD, an associate professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, received a three-year $237,970 grant from Velux Stiftung, a science-funding foundation based in Switzerland, for research on future time perspective as a motivator for healthy aging practices. Originally published on The Source.

Braver receives NIH award to study aging effects

Todd Braver, PhD, a professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, received a $442,135 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study aging effects on the neural coding of proactive and reactive cognitive control. Originally published on The Source.

Multi-scale imaging technique may enable objective assessment of myofascial pain

About 50 million Americans experience chronic pain. For many, the pain involves the muscle and the fascia surrounding it, creating myofascial pain with trigger points. This chronic pain syndrome significantly affects patients’ daily functioning and quality of life. While there are treatments, including physical therapy, non-opioid and opioid medications and trigger point injections, adequately controlling […]

A sound approach for effective gene therapy delivery to brain

Researchers have been experimenting with different ways to deliver genes to the brain to treat central nervous system diseases and tumors. One of the obstacles, however, is the ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier while having minimal effect on the other organs in the body. Hong Chen, PhD, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the […]

Biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease sought through imaging

More than 10 million people worldwide live with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement, balance and thinking. Severity of the disease is measured through external symptoms, as there are no effective biomarkers that indicate the phase of the illness. A team of engineers, physicians and researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, […]

NIH grant supports Jha’s work on ethics of AI in imaging

An interdisciplinary project has received funding to help ensure that if — or more likely, when — certain imaging tools that use artificial intelligence (AI) are put to clinical use, their inherent uncertainty is considered as part of any subsequent clinical decisions, including guiding treatment. The project, led by Abhinav Jha, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical […]

Kamilov awarded second Scialog grant

Ulugbek Kamilov, PhD, assistant professor of electrical and systems engineering and of computer science at Washington University in St. Louis’ McKelvey School of Engineering, is among 21 early-career researchers awarded funding in the second year of Scialog: Advancing Bioimaging. The project is supported by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the […]

Garcia to study neurological developmental disorder

Benjamin Garcia, PhD, the Raymond H. Wittcoff Distinguished Professor and head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, along with Elizabeth Bhoj, at the University of Pennsylvania, received a five-year $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for their research titled […]

Goodhill receives grant to monitor neurons in brain during sleep, wake

Although sleep consumes one-third of our lives and is a common feature among all animals, how the brain orchestrates sleep remains largely unexplained. To fill in this knowledge gap, Geoffrey Goodhill, PhD, professor of developmental biology and of neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues will track each cell in the […]

Holy awarded grant to study mouse pheromones

For animals such as mice, olfaction is their primary route to pick up social information, whether that’s identifying the dominant male in a group or figuring out the reproductive status of females. In turn, these signals can influence animals’ behavior and physiology. Pheromones in male urine, for instance, can trigger early puberty in mice. While […]

Wang receives funding for preterm birth research

The factors that lead to preterm birth, which affects nearly 10% of pregnancies worldwide, are poorly understood. Its effects, however, are known. Among them: cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, and visual and hearing impairments. In order to better understand the cause of preterm birth, researchers need to better understand the uterine contractions patterns responsible for initiating […]

Head, Zacks to study aging, development

Denise Head, PhD, professor of psychological and brain sciences, and Jeffrey Zacks, PhD, associate chair and professor of psychological and brain sciences, both in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, won a five-year $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for work on aging and development. Originally published on The Source.

Zhao receives grant to study proteomics in the brain

Guoyan Zhao, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, received a $433,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to apply a cutting-edge imaging technology to study subcellular features of brain tissue from Alzheimer’s patients. Read more.

Pappu lab untangles more IDR secrets

Intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) of proteins, when tethered to folded domains, function either as flexible tails or as linkers between domains. Most IDRs are composed of a mixture of oppositely charged residues. Recent measurements of tethered polyampholytes have shown that arginine- and lysine-rich sequences tend to behave very differently from one another. In a paper […]

Padoa-Schioppa receives NIH grant

Camillo Padoa-Schioppa, PhD, professor of neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine, as well as professor of biomedical engineering and of economics, received a five-year $2.3 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research titled “Neuronal mechanisms of good-based economic decisions.” Originally published on The […]

Samineni wins NIH research grant

Vijay K. Samineni, PhD, assistant professor of anesthesiology at the Washington University School of Medicine, received a five-year $2.34 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research titled “Neural mechanisms underlying IC/BPS.” Originally published on The Source.

Rutherford to study noise-induced hearing loss

Mark A. Rutherford, PhD, assistant professor of otolaryngology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, received a $3.5 million grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research on the pore-forming and auxiliary subunit molecular anatomy of AMPA-type glutamate receptors in the cochlea […]

NIH funds Barch research on neurodevelopment

In order to understand healthy neurodevelopment — and the threats to that health — researchers need a more comprehensive understanding of how the brain grows throughout childhood and young adulthood. To that end, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a $753,181 grant to Deanna Barch, PhD, chair and professor of psychological and brain […]

NSF awards grant to Van Engen

Kristin Van Engen, PhD, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences and of linguistics, both in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has received a $433,242 National Science Foundation grant to support research into why some speakers are more difficult to understand than others and how listeners adjust to unfamiliar accents. Unlike […]

Saligrama part of team that received Wellcome Leap grant

Naresha Saligrama, PhD, an assistant professor of neurology and of pathology and immunology at the School of Medicine, is part of a team led by Lisa Wagar, of the University of California, Irvine, that has received a multiyear, multi-million-dollar grant through Wellcome Leap to use human tonsil organoids to study immune responses. Originally published on […]

DiAntonio, Bloom, Milbrandt win ALS grant

Aaron DiAntonio, MD, PhD, the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Professor of Developmental Biology;  Joseph Bloom, PhD, assistant professor of genetics; and Jeffrey Milbrandt, MD, PhD, the James S. McDonnell Professor and head of the Department of Genetics, all at the School of Medicine, received a two-year $300,000 grant from the ALS Finding a Cure and […]

Craver wins National Science Foundation grant

Carl F. Craver, PhD, a professor of philosophy and of philosophy-neuroscience-psychology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has won a grant of $282,603 from the National Science Foundation. The NSF grant will fund a new project titled “Time and Episodic Memory: Neuropsychology Meets Philosophy.” This will build on Craver’s previous investigations with R. […]

Li receives Whitehall grant

The Whitehall Foundation has awarded a three-year $225,000 grant to Tristan Qingyun Li, PhD, assistant professor of neuroscience and of genetics at Washington University School of Medicine. The funding will go to investigate the function of microglia, immune cells that reside in the brain and perform myriad critical functions during development, injury and disease. Microglia were once thought […]

Four neuroscience faculty members receive R01 grants

Four faculty members in the Department of Neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis — Yao Chen, Thomas Papouin, Jason Yi and Guoyan Zhao — have been awarded their first R01 grants through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This funding will support research critical to understanding the cellular and molecular processes occurring during neurodevelopment and […]

Goodhill awarded grant to advance brain imaging

Geoffrey Goodhill, PhD, professor of developmental biology and of neuroscience at the Washington University School of Medicine, has received a two-year $675,000 grant to enhance the capabilities of light field microscopy for brain imaging. The funds, awarded by the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will […]

Marcus receives NIH grant

Daniel Scott Marcus, PhD, professor of radiology at the School of Medicine, received a one-year $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research titled “A high performance research image repository (RIR) for the Washington University Center of High Performance Computing.” Originally published on The Source.

Kerschensteiner to research visual pathways

Daniel Kerschensteiner, MD, professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, of biomedical engineering and of neuroscience the School of Medicine, received a five-year $2 million grant from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)for research titled “Synaptic organization and function of retinal interneurons and downstream visual pathways.” Originally published on The Source.

Shaw to study sleep and Alzheimer’s disease

Paul J. Shaw, PhD, professor of neuroscience at the School of Medicine, received a one-year $2.3 million grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research titled “Bidirectional interactions between sleep and Alzheimer’s disease: Functional dissection of the brain transcriptome in humans and drosophila.” Originally published on The Source.

Mennerick receives NIH grant

Steven J. Mennerick, PhD, the John P. Feighner Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and a professor of neuroscience at the School of Medicine, received a five-year $2.3 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research titled “GABAA receptor populations in hippocampus and thalamus.” Originally published on The […]