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Appointments

Joseph Cheer, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, has been appointed as a Visiting Professor for 2015 at the University of Cagliari in Cagliari, Italy where he will study the effects of dopamine and addictive disorders.

Grants

Daniel Covey, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Joseph Cheer, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology received a three-year, $183,234, National Research Service Award (NRSA) for his project titled: Endocannabinoid regulation of dopamine function and reinforcement.

Jennifer Wenzel, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Joseph Cheer, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology received a two-year, $115,542, National Research Service Award (NRSA) for her project titled “Neural Regulation of Cocaine Valuation By Adolescent Cannabinoid Exposure.”

Donna Calu, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, received a three-year, $300,000 McKnight Memory and Cognitive Disorders Award for her investigation of “Individual Differences in Attention Signaling in Amygdala Circuits.”

Mary Kay Lobo, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, received a $60,000 two-year Start-up research grant from the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation for “Genetics and physiology of ventral pallidum microcircuits.”  She received a $500,000 three-year grant from the National Science Foundation on "Focused electrical stimulator for targeted neuromodulation.”  She also received a $250,000 three-year IMHRO Janssen Rising Star Translational Research Award for “Stabilizing neuronal architecture for Depression therapeutics.”

Donna Calu, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, was awarded a 2-year $70,000 2016 Young Investigator Grant from The Brain and Behavior Research Fund, for her investigation of the “Role of amygdala projections in incubation of fear and drug craving.”

Joseph Cheer, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, was awarded a five-year $2,200,000 R01 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to examine the long-term consequences of Ritalin and marijuana exposure in adolescence.

Shaolin Liu, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, received a five-year $1,304,750 grant from the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders for “Functional Mechanisms Underlying the Intrabulbar Associational Circuit in the Olfactory System.”

Ramesh Chandra, PhD, Research Associate, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, received a two-year, $70,000 2015 NARSAD Young Investigator Grant titled "Cell Subtype Molecular Mechanisms of Mitochondria Dynamics in Depression."

Reha S. Erzurumlu, PhD, Professor, and Elizabeth M. Powell, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, received a five-year $2,475,313 R01 grant from the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) for “Thalamocortical circuit defects in developmental brain disorders.”  The goal of the project is to define sensory thalamocortical synaptic defects in mouse models of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Mary Kay Lobo, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, received a five-year, $1,918,750 R01 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for "The Neurocircuitry of Depression: Molecular and Cell Subtype Mechanisms”.

Mary Kay Lobo, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, received a five-year, $1,918,750 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for "Cell Subtype Transcriptional Mechanisms in Cocaine Addition.”

Iris Lindberg, PhD, Professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, received a two-year, $456,663 grant from NIH and the National Institute on Aging for "The Secretory Chaperone 7B2 as Endogenous Regulator of Amyloid Pathology.”

Dennis Sparta, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, received a three-year, $736,215 continuation award for a K99 grant from the NIH and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for "The Role of the BNST to VTA Neural Circuit in Binge Alcohol Consumption.”

Events & Lectures

Reha Erzurumlu, PhD, Professor from the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology has been selected to give the 2015 EFEM (European Federation for Experimental Morphology) lecture at the XXIV International Symposium on Morphological Sciences (ISMS), to be held September 2nd-6th, 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Mary Kay Lobo, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology was selected as one of ten early career investigators from across the world to represent the U.S. and participate in a Future Leaders group at the 11th Annual Science and Technology in Society forum, held in Kyoto, Japan in October.

Honors and Awards

Mary Kay Lobo, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, was honored by President Obama as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Donna Calu, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, received the 2016 Outstanding Young Scientist Award by the Maryland Academy of Sciences and the Maryland Science Center.

Mary Kay Lobo, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, will present on her IMHRO/ Janssen Rising Star Translational Research Award proposal at the 22nd IMHRO Music Festival for Brain Health in Napa Valley, CA on September 17, 2016.

Adam C. Puche, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology received the pre-clinical Golden Apple award by the University of Maryland School of Medicine Class of 2016 and was also selected to be one of the Hooding faculty members at the class’s graduation ceremony held at the Hippodrome. Dr. Puche is Course Director of Structure and Development, the 1st year medical course instructing anatomy, histology and embryology to the medical class.

Adam C. Puche, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology was featured in the cover story Anatomy: Crossroad in Medical Education in the spring 2016 issue of Medicine Bulletin. The article discusses the significant ways in which anatomical instruction has changed in the last few years – from classical lists of structures to training that is more interactive and clinically oriented.  As the focus has changed so have the teaching modalities. Anatomy now uses “smart dissection tables” each equipped with a touch panel computer containing a wealth information all of which can be accessed with a touch of a finger.

Publications

Michael T. Shipley, Ph.D., Donald E. Wilson Distinguished Professor and Chairman, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, was senior author on “The Interglomerular Circuit Potently Inhibits Olfactory Bulb Output Neurons by Both Direct and Indirect Pathways” in the Journal of Neuroscience, 2016 36(37):9604-9617.

Ilia V. Baskakov, PhD, Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology and Center for Biomedical Engineering and Technology was the senior author on "Reversible off and on switching of prion infectivity via removing and reinstalling prion sialylation" in Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 33119 (2016).

Iris Lindberg, PhD, Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, was the senior author on “The neural chaperone proSAAS blocks α-synuclein fibrillation and neurotoxicity.” Proc Natl. Acad Sci., 2016 Aug 9;113(32):E4708-15.

Michael T. Shipley PhD, Donald E. Wilson Distinguished Professor and Chairman, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, was among the co-authors on “Cell type-specific modulation of sensory responses in olfactory bulb circuits by serotonergic projections from the raphe nuclei” in The Journal of Neuroscience, 2016 36:6820-6835.

Joseph F. Cheer, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, was the senior author on “Compromised Dopaminergic Encoding of Reward Accompanying Suppressed Willingness to Overcome High Effort Costs is a Prominent Prodromal Characteristic of the Q175 Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease” which was chosen for the featured comment "Dopamine Reduction May Underlie Apathy in Huntington’s” in the Journal of Neuroscience, May 4, 2016; Vol. 36, No. 18.

Reha Erzurumlu, PhD, Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology and Yu Chen, PhD, Associate Professor, Fischell Department of Bioengineering, UMCP, were co-senior authors on “In Vivo Mesoscopic Voltage-Sensitive Dye Imaging of Brain Activation” in Nature-Scientific Reports, 2016, April 29, 6:25269.  Their studies were partly funded by the UMB-UMCP seed grant.

Reha Erzurumlu, PhD, Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology edited a special issue of Experimental Neurology on “CNS Consequences of Neonatal Peripheral Injury.” January 2016, Vol 275, Part 2.

Reha Erzurumlu, PhD, Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology and Yu Chen, PhD, Associate Professor, Fischell Department of Bioengineering, UMCP were co-senior authors on “In Vivo Voltage-Sensitive Dye Imaging of Subcortical Function” in Nature-Scientific Reports, 2015, November 27, 5:17325. The studies were funded by the UMB-UMCP seed grant.

Michael Shipley, PhD, Professor and Chair, and Adam Puche, PhD, Associate Professor, both from the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, were co-authors on "Cholinergic Inputs From Basal Forebrain Add an Excitatory Bias to Odor Coding in the Olfactory Bulb" in Journal of Neuroscience, 2014;34(14):4654-64. They were also co-authors on Chapter 27, "The Olfactory System," in The Rat Nervous System, Edition 4 (G. Paxinos, Ed), 2014, and were among the co-authors on "Role of Intraglomerular Circuits in Shaping Temporally Structured Responses to Naturalistic Inhalation-Driven Sensory Input to the Olfactory Bulb" in Journal of Neurophysiology, 2015 February 25.

Frank Margolis, PhD, Professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, was among the co-authors on "The Spatio-Temporal Segregation of GAD Forms Defines Distinct GABA Signaling Functions in the Developing Mouse” in Developmental Neurobiology, 2014 Aug 14 [Epub ahead of print].

New Faculty

Donna Calu, PhD, has been appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology. Dr. Calu received her BS in Biology from University of Maryland, College Park in 2004. In 2010, she received her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. After her postdoctoral fellowship with the National Institute on Drug Abuse under an Intramural Research Training Award from 2010–2011, she served as NIH’s first Early Independent Scientist from 2011–2015.

Dennis Sparta, PhD, has been appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology. Dr. Sparta received his BA from Rutgers University in 2002. In 2004, he received his MA in Biological Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience there in 2007. He has held fellowships at the University of California, San Francisco from 2008-2010 and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2010-2014.