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Department Buzz

Cover of SOMnewsWhat's the Buzz at the UMSOM?

SOMnews, the official newsletter of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, features stories about the outstanding achievements of School of Medicine faculty in the clinical, education and research arenas.

Part of SOMnewsThe Buzz is a self reported publication highlighting important grants and contracts, journal publications and awards by our faculty. Delivered by hard copy and email, The Buzz features "What's on My Mind," a monthly message from Dean Reece.

SOMnews and Buzz Archives


Honors & Awards

Donna Calu

  • Joined the editorial board, in May 2020, as review editor, for Decision Neuroscience, including Frontiers in Neuroscience and Frontiers in Psychology.
  • Was honored by President Trump, in July 2019, 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.

Mary Kay Lobo

  • Was recently appointed a Reviewing Editor for the Journal of Neuroscience, the official journal for the Society for Neuroscience.
  • 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.

Iris Lindberg

  • Was elected an AAAS Fellow in recognition of her achievements in advancing science.  The announcement was made on November 27, 2018.  The induction ceremony will be held at the 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. on February 16, 2019.

Adam C. Puche

  • Received a $600,000 award for 2020, from the Maryland Department of Health. The award is titled “COVID-19 Temporary Mortuary Affairs Center (TMAC) Operational Support”. Adam is the Director of Operations under the Maryland Mass Fatality Plan, whose task is to manage unexpected fatality levels. The goal is to prevent events and images that we saw from New York City, of bodies in trailer trucks and laying on the street. This operation ensures that none of this occurs in Maryland.
  • Was a recipient of the 2020 University of Maryland Golden Apple from the graduating medical Class of 2020 and was inducted into the Pass and Susel Academy of Teaching Excellence.
  • Was a recipient of the 2019 University of Maryland System Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award is the highest honor that the Board of Regents bestows to recognize exemplary faculty achievement. Dr. Puche was presented the award at the Board of Regents meeting on April 19, 2019.

Grants

Asaf Keller

  • Among the recipients of a $200,000/year UMCP & UMB - Artificial Intelligence + Medicine for High Impact (AIM-HI) Challenge Award for “Precision Therapy for Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome,” effective February 15, 2020.
  • Five-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH NINDS), titled "Serotonin and Pain Modulation," effective June 1, 2019.

Adam Puche

  • Received a 5 year, mPI R01 grant “Brain-selective estrogen therapy for menopausal hot flushes in an advanced translational animal model,” with Istvan Merchenthaler.

Sam Bacharach, Graduate Student, Program in Neuroscience in the laboratory of Donna Calu

  • Three-year, $38,376 Predoctoral National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIH/NIDA) for "The Role of Cannabinoid Receptor-1 in Modulating Addiction Vulnerability." Joseph Cheer Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology was co-sponsor.

Donna Calu

  • Five-year $1,931,250 (total costs) R01 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to examine the “Role of basolateral amygdala projections in mediating individual differences in motivation and flexibility.” 
  • Three-year, $300,000 McKnight Memory and Cognitive Disorders Award for her investigation of “Individual Differences in Attention Signaling in Amygdala Circuits.”
  • Two-year $70,000 2016 Young Investigator Grant from The Brain and Behavior Research Fund, for her investigation of the “Role of amygdala projections in the incubation of fear and drug craving.”

Ramesh Chandra

  • Two-year, $70,000 2015 NARSAD Young Investigator Grant titled "Cell Subtype Molecular Mechanisms of Mitochondria Dynamics in Depression."

Mary Kay Lobo 

  • U01 grant from NIDA. This large Cooperative Agreement is titled "Heroin-Induced genomic regulation of Ventral Pallidum neuron subtypes".

Joseph Cheer

  • Five-year, $1,738,125 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA/NIH) for “Cannabinoid Receptor Control of a DRN to VTA Pathway and its Role in the Affective States,” effective March 1, 2019.  Also within Dr. Cheer's lab, Dan Covey, Assistant Professor, was awarded a $1,051,544 K99/R00 award from the NIDA/NIH for “Neural Circuit Control of Mesolimbic Dopamine and Reward,” effective February 2019.
  • 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.

Reha S. Erzurumlu

  • Five-year, $2,500,000 renewal of his existing R01 grant “Consequences of developmental defects in somatosensory map formation” from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS/NIH).
  • One-year $381,304 supplement to his existing R01 grant, from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) for “Thalamocortical circuit defects in developmental brain disorders,” effective September 1, 2019.
  • Five-year $2,475,313 R01 grant, along with Dr. Elizabeth Powell, 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.

Megan E. FoxPostdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Mary Kay Lobo

  • Two-year K99 $351,584 award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for "Circuit-Specific Molecular Mechanisms in Fentanyl Use and Relapse," effective April 1, 2020.

Iris Lindberg

  • Supplement for NIH grant from the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative funds  The parent grant is titled: Cyto-ProSAAS Chaperone Action in Alzheimer's Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia.
  • Five-year $2.6 million (direct costs) grant, along with Dr. Nigel Maidment, Co-PI, (UCLA), effective February 1, 2019, from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) for “ProSAAS-mediated neuroprotective mechanisms in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases: The role of secretory chaperones in neurodegeneration.”
  • Five-year R01 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) entitled “Opioid Peptide Synthesizing Enzymes” for 2.1 million dollars (total costs).
  • Two-year, $456,663 grant from NIH and the National Institute on Aging for "The Secretory Chaperone 7B2 as Endogenous Regulator of Amyloid Pathology.”

Shaolin Liu

  • 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.”

Mary Kay Lobo

  • U01 grant from NIDA. This large Cooperative Agreement is titled "Heroin-Induced genomic regulation of Ventral Pallidum neuron subtypes".
  • Five-year $1,617,772 RO1 award from the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) for "Cell Subtype Mechanisms Underlying Stress Susceptibility and Resilience," effective April 1, 2020.
  • Five-year $2,171,420 grant, effective February 1, 2019, from the National Institute of Drug Abuse for “Ventral pallidum molecular mediators in cocaine addiction.”
  • Two-year $60,000 start-up research grant from the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation for “Genetics and physiology of ventral pallidum microcircuits.”  
  • Tree-year $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation on "Focused electrical stimulator for targeted neuromodulation.”
  • Three-year $250,000IMHRO Janssen Rising Star Translational Research Award for “Stabilizing neuronal architecture for Depression therapeutics.”
  • 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”.
  • Five-year, $1,918,750 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for "Cell Subtype Transcriptional Mechanisms in Cocaine Addition.”

Dennis Sparta

  • Five-year $1,125,000 (direct costs) grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) for the project “CRF Neural Circuits of Binge Drinking,” effective, April 12, 2019.
  • 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."

Natalie Zlebnik

  • $1,061,248 K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Grant, effective August 1, 2019, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA/NIH) for “Effects of exercise on dopaminergic mechanisms of cocaine relapse.”

Publications

 

The Packard Center highlighted Mervyn Monteiro's recent work, showing that  increasing the expression of the UBQLN1 gene in a UBQLN2 mouse model of ALS/FTD helped to alleviate some of the behavioral and molecular signs of disease

Iris Lindberg and Manita Shakya were the authors of “Mouse Models of Human Proprotein Convertase Insufficiency,” which was published in Endocrine Reviews on December 31, 2020.

Vassiliy Tsytsarev and Reha Erzurumlu were among the co-authors of “In Vivo Voltage-Sensitive Dye Imaging of Mouse Cortical Activity with Mesoscopic Optical Tomography,” which was published in Neurophotonics on December 2, 2020. 

Megan Fox, Antonio Figueiredo, Miriam S Menken and Mary Kay Lobo new manuscript: "Dendritic spine density is increased on nucleus accumbens D2 neurons after chronic social defeat". Sci Rep 10: 12393, 2020. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-69339-7

Schneider KN, Sciarillo XA, Nudelman JL, Cheer JF, Roesch MR. Anterior Cingulate Cortex Signals Attention in a Social Paradigm that Manipulates Reward and Shock]. Curr Biol. 2020;S0960-9822(20)31031-9. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2020.07.039

Donna Calu, and her team of talented trainees, published a paper showing that inputs from the amygdala to accumbens differentially regulate behaviors in sign- and goal-tracking rats. The paper appeared in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

A review article by Reha Erzurumlu and Patricia Gaspar “How the barrel cortex became a working model for developmental plasticity. A historical perspective,” commemorating 50 years of the first publication on the barrel cortex in 1970 is in the press, in a special issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Society for Neuroscience.

A review article, "Secreted Chaperones in Neurodegeneration", by Kriti Chaplot, Tim Jarvela, and Iris Lindberg, was just accepted in Frontiers in Aging Neuros

Donna Calu and her student, Utsav Gyawali, were senior and lead authors, respectively, together with others from the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology and collaborators at NIDA, on a study entitled “Role of BNST CRFR1 receptors in the incubation of fentanyl seeking” that will be published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Natallia Makarava, Jennifer Chen-Yu Chang, Kara Molesworth, and Ilia V. Baskakov were authors of “Posttranslational modifications define the course of prion strain adaptation and disease phenotype,” which was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, June 2, 2020, 10.1172/JCI138677.

Donna Calu and David Martin, along with others, were senior and lead authors, respectively on “Effects of 5-HT 2A Receptor Stimulation on Economic Demand for Fentanyl After Intermittent and Continuous Access Self-Administration in Male Rats,” in Addiction Biology, 2020 May 26; e12926. doi: 10.1111/adb.12926. Online ahead of print.

Michel Engeln and Mary Kay Lobo, along with Ronna Hertzano were among the authors of “Individual Differences in Stereotypy and Neuron Subtype Translatome With TrkB Deletion,” published in Molecular Psychiatry on May 4, 2020.