$7 million to support research into how human genome works

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has received a $7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help lead national efforts to investigate how variations in the human genome sequence affect how the genome functions. Such information is critical for understanding human health and seeking new ways to treat diseases. […]

Chen receives Stein Innovation Award

Shiming Chen, PhD, professor of ophthalmology in the John F. Hardesty, MD, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine, has received a 2021 Stein Innovation Award from Research to Prevent Blindness. The $300,000 award provides flexible funding to scientists engaged in research to improve the understanding of the visual system […]

Time until dementia symptoms appear can be estimated via brain scan

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed an approach to estimating when a person who is likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, but has no cognitive symptoms, will start showing signs of Alzheimer’s dementia. The algorithm, available online in the journal Neurology, uses data from a kind of brain scan known […]

Gordon receives Balzan Prize

Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is a recipient of this year’s Balzan Prize for his role in founding the field of human gut microbiome research and revolutionizing the understanding of gut microbes and their roles in human health and disease. Each […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“Striatal oxidative damages and neuroinflammation correlate with progression and survival of Lewy body and Alzheimer diseases” (2022) Neural Regeneration Research Striatal oxidative damages and neuroinflammation correlate with progression and survival of Lewy body and Alzheimer diseases (2022) Neural Regeneration Research, 17 (4), pp. 867-874.  Li, H., Knight, W., Xu, J. Department of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, […]

Yoo wins research grants

Andrew Yoo, PhD, associate professor of developmental biology at the School of Medicine, has received a two-year $486,844 grant from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston for his project titled “Investigation of neurodegenerative pathways in directly reprogrammed, XDP patient neurons”; and a two-year $345,000 grant from the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund for his project titled “Neuronal subtype-specific modeling of Alzheimer’s […]

Sabin Nettles receives SfN Next Generation Award

Sabin Nettles, a neuroscience PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. Harrison Gabel, is the recipient of the Pre-/ Post-Doctoral Next Generation Award from the Society for Neuroscience (SfN). The Next Generation Award recognizes SfN chapter members who have made outstanding contributions to public communication, outreach, and education about neuroscience through activities such as classroom […]

‘First-in-class’ tool for potential treatment of brain disorders

New methods to treat human brain disorders is one of the top priorities of the National Institutes of Health’s ambitious BRAIN Initiative. To find noninvasive tools that are equally or more effective is a kind of Holy Grail for neuroscience, and a biomedical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis has it in her sights. […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“The mechanism of Annexin A1 to modulate TRPV1 and nociception in dorsal root ganglion neurons” (2021) Cell and Bioscience The mechanism of Annexin A1 to modulate TRPV1 and nociception in dorsal root ganglion neurons (2021) Cell and Bioscience, 11 (1), art. no. 167, .  Zhang, Y.a b f , Ma, S.a b , Ke, X.a b , Yi, Y.a b , Yu, H.a b , Yu, D.a b , Li, Q.c , Shang, Y.b d , Lu, […]

COVID-19 transmission at school rare for children with disabilities

Studies have determined that in-school transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 is rare when masking, social distancing and other safety protocols are followed. However, little has been known about COVID-19 risks at school for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These students often are unable to mask or maintain social distancing and may have underlying […]

Fall-prevention program can help reduce harmful in-home falls by nearly 40%

For many aging Americans, the dream of maintaining an active, independent lifestyle while living at home comes crashing down with a fall. Falls are the leading cause of injury, accidental death and premature placement in a nursing home among older adults in the United States. Now, new research from Washington University School of Medicine in […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

"A machine learning approach for the factorization of psychometric data with application to the Delis Kaplan Executive Function System" (2021) Scientific Reports A machine learning approach for the factorization of psychometric data with application to the Delis Kaplan Executive Function System(2021) Scientific Reports, 11 (1), art. no. 16896, .  Camilleri, J.A.a b , Eickhoff, S.B.a b , Weis, S.a b , Chen, J.a b c , Amunts, J.a b , Sotiras, A.d , […]

‘Unprecedented opportunity’ to understand neurovascular recovery after stroke

Each year in the U.S., nearly 800,000 people have a stroke, which leads to more than $46 billion spent annually in health care and related costs. A powerhouse team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis is collaborating to understand how the brain remodels after stroke with the goal of finding new therapeutic targets […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“Basal ganglia shape features differentiate schizoaffective disorder from schizophrenia” (2021) Psychiatry Research – Neuroimaging Basal ganglia shape features differentiate schizoaffective disorder from schizophrenia (2021) Psychiatry Research – Neuroimaging, 317, art. no. 111352, .  Cobia, D.a e , Rich, C.b , Smith, M.J.c , Mamah, D.d , Csernansky, J.G.e , Wang, L.e f g a Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Center, Brigham Young University, 1036 KMBL, Provo, UT 84602, United […]

Antibodies block specific viruses that cause arthritis, brain infections

Alphaviruses — mosquito-borne viruses that can trigger brain infections and arthritis — may have met their match. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified two antibodies that protect animals from disease caused by alphaviruses. The antibodies worked for every alphavirus tested, meaning they potentially could form the basis of treatments […]

$6.2 million grant to fund Center for Perioperative Mental Health

The average person will undergo nine surgical procedures in his or her lifetime, and the periods before, during and after surgery are considered high risk regarding mental health, particularly among older adults. Depression and anxiety are especially common in older surgery patients; past research has demonstrated that about 40% of older surgical patients have mental […]

Brain trust: Symposium brings together diverse community of undergraduate neuroscientists

The WUSTL ENDURE program, which hosts the annual symposium, partners with groups across WashU and local institutions to attract top talent, provide training and mentorship opportunities, and improve the diversity of the neuroscience field. “What would happen if you lost your heart?” Ephraim Oyetunji, a rising junior studying neuroscience in the Department of Biology and […]

Cannabis use disorder: another COVID risk factor

Should doctors take particular care to talk to patients about the potential dangers of COVID-19 if those patients have a problematic relationship with pot? New research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests perhaps they should. Diabetes, obesity and a history of smoking cigarettes are all considered risk factors for poorer COVID-19 outcomes. Warnings and […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“Long range synchronization within the enteric nervous system underlies propulsion along the large intestine in mice” (2021) Communications Biology Long range synchronization within the enteric nervous system underlies propulsion along the large intestine in mice (2021) Communications Biology, 4 (1), art. no. 955, .  Spencer, N.J.a , Travis, L.a , Wiklendt, L.b , Costa, M.a , Hibberd, T.J.a , Brookes, S.J.a , Dinning, P.b , Hu, H.c , Wattchow, […]

Variations in sodium channel molecular composition may drive drug efficacy

Precision medicine considers each person’s unique genetic makeup, lifestyle and environment when considering treatments for illness and disease. A team of Washington University in St. Louis researchers is taking steps toward developing precision medicine for patients with irregular heartbeats by studying how two anti-arrhythmic drugs affect different parts of the heart. Jeanne Nerbonne, PhD, professor […]

17-year study of children associates poverty with smaller, slower-growing subcortical regions

Children in poverty are more likely to have cognitive and behavioral difficulties than their better-off peers. Plenty of past research has looked into the physical effects of childhood poverty, or documented mental health disparities between socioeconomic classes. But Deanna Barch, chair and professor in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences in Arts & Sciences at […]

$33 million to support study comparing anesthetic medications

More than 50,000 surgical patients undergo general anesthesia every day in the United States, but clinicians and scientists lack evidence indicating which types of anesthesia drugs result in the best outcomes for patients. A new study led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of Michigan will compare […]

Memory disorders after viral infections focus of $8.7 million grant

More than half of the survivors of West Nile virus brain infections are left with memory disorders that make everyday tasks such as remembering the route from home to work challenging. Similar issues can arise in the aftermath of other viral infections, such as the “brain fog” that plagues some people after a diagnosis of […]

Wang receives award to further develop pregnancy imaging system

Yong Wang, PhD, an associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology and of radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received a 2021 Next Gen Pregnancy Research Grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to biomedical science through research and education. Wang, also an associate professor of electrical […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

"Chronic neuroleptic treatment combined with a high fat diet elevated (3H) flunitrazepam binding in the cerebellum (2022) Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry Chronic neuroleptic treatment combined with a high fat diet elevated [3H] flunitrazepam binding in the cerebellum(2022) Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 112, art. no. 110407, .  Richardson, B.a b , Swenson, S.a , Hamilton, J.a b , Leonard, K.c , Delis, F.d , […]

Schmidt recognized for contributions to neuropathology

Robert Schmidt, MD, PhD, a professor of pathology & immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received the Meritorious Contributions to Neuropathology Award from the American Association of Neuropathologists. The award recognizes Schmidt’s contributions to the advancement of knowledge of diseases that affect the nervous system. For more than 30 years, […]

Creed and Other Outstanding Mental Health Researchers Honored by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF) has announced the winners of its 2021 Klerman and Freedman Prizes, which recognize exceptional clinical and basic research in mental illness. The prizes are awarded annually to honor the work of outstanding scientists who have been supported by the Foundation’s Young Investigator Grants Program. “The Klerman and Freedman prizes […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“Gene therapy for aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase deficiency by MR-guided direct delivery of AAV2-AADC to midbrain dopaminergic neurons” (2021) Nature Communications Gene therapy for aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase deficiency by MR-guided direct delivery of AAV2-AADC to midbrain dopaminergic neurons (2021) Nature Communications, 12 (1), art. no. 4251, .  Pearson, T.S.a b , Gupta, N.a , San Sebastian, W.a , Imamura-Ching, J.a , Viehoever, A.c , Grijalvo-Perez, A.c , […]

New Brain Tumor Center at Siteman Cancer Center to be Part of Neuroscience Research Building

When a patient is informed of a brain tumor, the experience is frightening. “When anyone finds out they have a brain tumor. It is super scary,” described neurosurgeon and scientist Dr. Albert Kim, MD, PhD, the inaugural director of the new Brain Tumor Center at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes Jewish Hospital and Washington University […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“A single-cell guide to retinal development: Cell fate decisions of multipotent retinal progenitors in scRNA-seq” (2021) Developmental Biology A single-cell guide to retinal development: Cell fate decisions of multipotent retinal progenitors in scRNA-seq (2021) Developmental Biology, 478, pp. 41-58.  Shiau, F.a , Ruzycki, P.A.a , Clark, B.S.a b a John F Hardesty, MD Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Washington University School of […]

MRI’s magnetic field affects focused ultrasound technology

In a mouse model study of MRI-guided focused ultrasound-induced blood-brain barrier opening at MRI field strengths ranging from ­approximately 0 T (outside the magnetic field) to 4.7 T, the static magnetic field dampened the detected microbubble cavitation signal and decreased the BBB opening volume. (Image courtesy of Chen lab)

MRI-guided focused ultrasound combined with microbubbles can open the blood-brain barrier and allow therapeutic drugs to reach the diseased brain location under the guidance of MRI. It is a promising technique that has been shown safe in patients with various brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and glioblastoma. Chen While MRI […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

"Comparing stress prediction models using smartwatch physiological signals and participant self-reports" (2021) Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine Comparing stress prediction models using smartwatch physiological signals and participant self-reports(2021) Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 208, art. no. 106207, .  Dai, R.a , Lu, C.a , Yun, L.b , Lenze, E.c , Avidan, M.b , Kannampallil, T.b d a Department of Computer Science, McKelvey School of Engineering, United […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“Critical tests of the continuous dual-process model of recognition” (2021) Cognition Critical tests of the continuous dual-process model of recognition (2021) Cognition, 215, art. no. 104827, .  Cha, J., Dobbins, I.G. Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Washington University in Saint Louis, United States Abstract Dual process recognition models assume recognition depends upon context recollection and/or item familiarity. While most […]

New Alzheimer’s treatment targets identified

A research team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has identified potential new treatment targets for Alzheimer’s disease, as well as existing drugs that have therapeutic potential against these targets. The potential targets are defective proteins that lead to the buildup of amyloid in the brain, contributing to the onset of problems […]

Laughing Gas Can Provide Relief For Depression, Study Finds

When Laura Hely’s psychiatrist told her about a Washington University-based study related to depression, Hely didn’t hesitate to sign on to participate. After trying many medications and other treatment methods over the years to no avail, she was “desperate for anything that might help” her own condition. And so several years ago, she agreed to […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“Advanced cognitive impairment among older nursing home residents” (2021) BMC Geriatrics Advanced cognitive impairment among older nursing home residents (2021) BMC Geriatrics, 21 (1), art. no. 382, .  Gracner, T.a , Stone, P.W.b , Agarwal, M.c , Sorbero, M.d , Mitchell, S.L.e f , Dick, A.W.g a RAND Corporation, 1776 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401, United States b Center for Health Policy, Columbia University School of Nursing, 560 […]

Kroll receives NIH grant

Kristen Kroll, PhD, professor of developmental biology at the School of Medicine, has received a four-year $2.09 million R01 research grant from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for her project titled “The cis-regulatory grammar and epigenetic control of human interneuron progenitor specification.” Originally published at The […]

McKelvey Engineering faculty lead MURI to study brain dynamics, reinforcement learning

Over the past half century, artificial intelligence has gone from a concept to everyday life, with electronic payments, facial recognition and social media becoming the norm. But the dynamic mechanisms in the brain on which artificial intelligence is based, which are more efficient, reliable and flexible, remain unclear to scientists, leading to a disconnect between […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“GPS driving: a digital biomarker for preclinical Alzheimer disease” (2021) Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy GPS driving: a digital biomarker for preclinical Alzheimer disease (2021) Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy, 13 (1), art. no. 115, .  Bayat, S.a b , Babulal, G.M.c d e , Schindler, S.E.c d , Fagan, A.M.c d f , Morris, J.C.c d f g h i , Mihailidis, A.a b j , Roe, C.M.c d a Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, 550 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 1X5, […]

Raji receives NIH grant for Alzheimer’s study

Cyrus Raji, MD, PhD, assistant professor of radiology and of neurology at the School of Medicine, received a three-year $2.3 million grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for his research titled “Neuroinflammation and Alzheimer’s Disease Imaging Biomarkers in Midlife Obesity.” Originally published on The Source.

Lee named head of Department of Neurology

Jin-Moo Lee, MD, PhD, recognized internationally for his research on the cellular and molecular pathophysiology of brain injury, has been named head of the Department of Neurology and the Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He will begin in his new role Sept. 1. Currently […]

New snack foods nurture healthy gut microbiome

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified ingredients for snack food prototypes that have been formulated to deliberately change the gut microbiome in ways that can be linked to health. Translating results from animal models, the scientists have shown in two pilot human studies of overweight participants that snacks containing […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“Epigenetic regulation in Huntington’s disease” (2021) Neurochemistry International Epigenetic regulation in Huntington’s disease (2021) Neurochemistry International, 148, art. no. 105074, .  Hyeon, J.W.a , Kim, A.H.a b c d e , Yano, H.a b c e a Department of Neurological Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, United States b Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, United States c Department of Genetics, Washington University […]

Protein linked to heart health, disease a potential therapeutic target for dementia

Mice prone to developing Alzheimer’s-like brain damage have potentially damaging activated immune cells in their brains (above). Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that high levels of a normal protein associated with reduced heart disease also protect against Alzheimer’s-like damage in mice, opening up new approaches to slowing or stopping brain damage and cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s. (Image: Yang Shi)

By the time people with Alzheimer’s disease start exhibiting difficulty remembering and thinking, the disease has been developing in their brains for two decades or more, and their brain tissue already has sustained damage. As the disease progresses, the damage accumulates, and their symptoms worsen. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis […]

Investigational Alzheimer’s drug improves biomarkers of the disease

Randall Bateman, MD, director of the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network-Trials Unit (DIAN-TU), an ongoing international clinical trial to evaluate experimental Alzheimer’s drugs, speaks with DIAN-TU participant Taylor Hutton. One of the drugs tested in the DIAN-TU, gantenerumab, improved biomarkers of disease despite unclear cognitive effects, prompting study leaders to offer participants the option of continuing to receive the drug and participate in follow-up examinations as part of a so-called open label extension. (Photo: Matt Miller/WUSM)

An investigational Alzheimer’s drug reduced molecular markers of disease and curbed neurodegeneration in the brain, without demonstrating evidence of cognitive benefit, in a phase 2/3 clinical trial led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis through its Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network-Trials Unit (DIAN-TU). These results led the trial leaders to offer the drug, […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“In-vivo design feedback and perceived utility of a genetically-informed smoking risk tool among current smokers in the community” (2021) BMC Medical Genomics In-vivo design feedback and perceived utility of a genetically-informed smoking risk tool among current smokers in the community (2021) BMC Medical Genomics, 14 (1), art. no. 139, .  Bourdon, J.L.a , Dorsey, A.b , Zalik, M.b , Pietka, A.b , Salyer, P.b , Bray, […]

Ravichandran named BJC investigator

Kodi S. Ravichandran, PhD, a world leader in understanding innate immunity, has been named a BJC Investigator as well as director of the Division of Immunobiology in the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His studies of how dead cells are cleared from the body have shed light on innate immunity […]

What makes us sneeze?

Portrait of a young woman sneezing

A tickle in the nose can help trigger a sneeze, expelling irritants and disease-causing pathogens. But the cellular pathways that control the sneeze reflex go far beyond the sinuses and have been poorly understood. Now, a team led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has identified, in mice, specific cells […]

Immunologist joins Colonna lab as Pew Latin American Fellow

Brazilian immunologist José Luís Fachi, PhD, will join the laboratory of Marco Colonna, MD, the Robert Rock Belliveau, MD, Professor of Pathology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, as a Pew Latin American Fellow in Biomedical Sciences. The program is designed to promote exchange and collaboration between investigators in the United States and […]

4 physician-scientists named Dean’s Scholars

The Division of Physician-Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has named its second class of physicians for the Dean’s Scholars Program. The awardees will receive up to two years of financial support and mentorship, as well as dedicated lab time to conduct scientific research. The four physicians (from left) are: Mary “Maggie” Mullen, Erica Young, Matthew Shew, and Rong Mei Zhang.

The Division of Physician-Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has selected four physicians for its second class of Dean’s Scholars. The program provides up to two years of financial support and mentorship to aspiring, early-career physician-scientists, along with dedicated time for conducting laboratory research. The newly named class includes: Mary “Maggie” Mullen, MD; Matthew […]