Research Team Briefs for 2013
Dec. 13, 2013
For scientists conducting basic biological research, discoveries often take years before they’re translated into effects on individual patients. Even if they lead to clinical trials, the impact on human health is not a guarantee. Imagine the delight, then, when a scientist sees a research paper have a dramatic effect on a patient less than a year after publication.
Dec. 3, 2013
The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute has received a five-year, $2.8-million grant to study interventions aimed at enhancing self-control among problem drinkers.
Nov. 6, 2013
Real estate agents emphasize location, location, and – once more for good measure – location. It’s the same in a developing brain, where billions of neurons vie for premium property to make connections. Neurons that stake out early claims often land the best value, even if they don’t develop the property until later.
Oct. 16, 2013
Robert Gourdie, a professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and director of the Center for Heart and Regenerative Medicine Research, has compiled, edited, and published a book titled, Wound Regeneration and Repair: Methods and Protocols. The book delves into the molecular underpinnings of the healing of tissues and organs, including the eyes, skin, neural system, and heart. It is a mix of review articles and cookbook-style “how-to” pieces that provide insight into the methodology of carrying out experiments in the field. It also details necessary equipment and tips and tricks not normally included in scientific papers.
Oct. 4, 2013
Warren Bickel, director of the Addiction Recovery Research Center at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, and Pearl Chiu, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, talked with May Lily Lee, host of Virginia Conversations on WVTF Public Radio, about their research on addiction on September 20, 2013.
Oct. 2, 2013
Michael Fox, an associate professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, delivered two talks at the Center for Matrix Biology at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine.
Brooks King-Casas awarded grant for research into the neurobehavioral determinants of adolescent risk-taking
Oct. 2, 2013
What makes the adolescent brain so susceptible to health risks? Virginia Tech scientists have received a $3.9-million grant over five years from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for research into the neurobehavioral determinants of risky behavior in adolescents.
Oct. 2, 2013
Gregorio Valdez, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, was featured in an article about promising research that could slow the onset and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, of ALS. The article appeared on the homepage of the ALS Therapy Development Institute, the top nonprofit biotechnology organization dedicated to developing effective treatments for ALS.
Oct. 2, 2013
William “Jamie” Tyler, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, gave a presentation at the second-annual Next Generation Medical Imaging Workshop, held at Carnegie Mellon University on September 27–28, 2013.
Oct. 2, 2013
Konark Mukherjee, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, gave a talk at the International Conference on Psychology, Autism and Alzheimer’s Disease, the 136th OMICS Group Conference, on September 30.
Sept. 19, 2013
Virginia Tech has been named one of ten academic institutions to receive a first-of-its-kind grant from the National Institutes of Health to help prepare graduate students and postdoctoral scholars for biomedical research careers that could take them beyond conventional academic research. The funding will begin October 1, and the ten institutions will share approximately $3.7 million for the current fiscal year. The awards are for five years.
Spearheading the Broadening Experience in Scientific Training (BEST) award at Virginia Tech are Michael Friedlander, associate provost for health sciences at Virginia Tech and executive director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, and Audra Van Wart, director of education and training at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.
Sept. 16, 2013
Researchers at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have reported the first experimental evidence that supports the theory that a soccer ball-shaped nanoparticle, commonly called a buckyball, is the result of a breakdown of larger structures rather than being built atom-by-atom from the ground up.
Sept. 12, 2013
Harry Dorn, a professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and a professor of chemistry in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been reappointed the Dr. A.C. Lilly Jr. Faculty Fellow in Nanoscience by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
Gregorio Valdez presents lectures at the National Institutes of Health and international conferences in Brazil
Sept. 9, 2013
Gregorio Valdez, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, has had a busy schedule this past month, having traveled the world to give several talks on his research regarding neuromuscular junctions.
Sept. 7, 2013
Warren Bickel, an internationally recognized addiction expert at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, recently received a $3.2-million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for research on improving self-control in smokers seeking to quit cigarettes. The grant will provide between $573,000 and $716,000 a year over a five-year period to develop innovative new ways to enhance the smokers’ ability to abstain from acting on their nicotine cravings.
Sept. 4, 2013
Rosalyn Moran, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, has launched a recruitment campaign for a new study, "Brain Connectivity Supporting Memories Across the Lifespan." Study participants ranging from 18 to 80 years old will perform a simple memory task during a brain scan.
Aug. 28, 2013
The research of Jamie Tyler, assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, is featured in a three-page article in today’s issue of New Scientist magazine on how minute physical perturbations appear to play a large role in how neurons interact with each other. The article is, in part, based on Tyler’s recent article published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience outlining the current state of the field.
Aug. 26, 2013
A new graduate program at Virginia Tech is garnering national acclaim, and it hasn’t even enrolled its first student yet. The Association of American Medical Colleges announced the recipients of its second annual Award for Innovative Institutional Partnerships in Research and Research-focused Training. Out of 35 national submissions, Virginia Tech’s new doctor of philosophy degree program in Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health was a semi-finalist, reaching the top four of an elite, competitive field.
Aug. 22, 2013
Read Montague, director of the Computational Psychiatry Unit at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, will present a talk about his research program on deep phenotyping of human behavior and brain function on August 30, at a workshop, “Mechanism of Brain and Mind,” in Nagoya, Japan.
June 21, 2013
Stephen LaConte, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, was invited to present at the 19th annual meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping in Seattle on June 17.
June 20, 2013
Zhi Sheng, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, and Sarah Young, a first-year medical student in the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, have received the 2013 American Brain Tumor Association’s Medical Student Summer Fellowship. The grant comes with $3,000 for medical students to spend a summer conducting brain tumor research in a mentorship setting to provide introductory learning experiences.
June 17, 2013
Read Montague appeared on Virginia Conversations, a program on Virginia Public Radio, on April 19 to discuss neuromarketing and how the human brain responds to advertising.
June 7, 2013
Rosalyn Moran, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, recently spoke at Rhythmic Dynamics and Cognition, a two-day event on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
May 27, 2013
Deborah Kelly, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, will give the Sydney S. Negus Memorial Lecture at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science.
Alexei Morozov and colleagues discover a protein that regulates synaptic ion channels that have been tied to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia
May 20, 2013
Researchers have discovered a pathway by which the brain controls a molecule critical to forming long-term memories and connected with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The discovery was made by a team of scientists led by Alexei Morozov, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.
May 17, 2013
William “Jamie” Tyler, an assistant professor in the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, recently received the 2013 Innovation Award from the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council. Tyler was honored for pioneering a promising avenue of research that could both provide powerful insights into brain circuitry and yield a novel approach to treating neurological and psychiatric diseases.
May 13, 2013
Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, delivered the spring commencement address for Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke on May 10.
April 22, 2013
Experimental results obtained in the laboratory of Konark Mukherjee, an assistant professor at VTC Research Institute, were recently mentioned in the journal Science.
April 16, 2013
Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, delivered a grand rounds presentation on the neuroscience of effective learning to faculty, residents, and medical students in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas San Antonio Health Sciences Center on April 16.
April 16, 2013
Michael Fox, an associate professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, recently gave a talk at a meeting of the Virginia Blue Ridge Section of the American Chemical Society. His lecture, “The Neurochemical Basis of Autism and Novel Mechanisms Underlying Synapse Formation,” focused on genetic mutations that are linked to autism spectrum disorders and that affect the formation of synapses in the mammalian brain.
April 16, 2013
Robert Gourdie, a professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, delivered a lecture at the sixth annual Carilion Clinic Research Day on April 25. The conference was intended to highlight translational research, one of Carilion Clinic’s continuing focal points. Gourdie was a logical choice to speak at the event, as his research into novel wound healing drugs was spun off into a startup company, FirstString Research Inc.
April 13, 2013
Gregorio Valdez, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, has been awarded a grant in collaboration with Judy Shih-Hwa Liu of the Children’s National Medical Center to search for molecular mechanisms that could prevent the initiation or progression of epileptic seizures.
April 13, 2013
Michael Fox, an associate professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, has been awarded a grant in collaboration with Jason Triplett of the Children’s National Medical Center to investigate how neurons in the brain develop precise connections within a network.
April 10, 2013
Read Montague, director of the Computational Psychiatry Unit at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, will deliver Randolph-Macon College’s Annual Mike McKay Lecture on the Mind on April 11. His presentation, “Can We Phenotype Thought? Modern Neuroimaging and the Effort to Connect Mind to Brain,” will explore connections between neuroscience and social cognition.
April 9, 2013
Stephen LaConte spoke at a one-day symposium on brain injuries and biomechanics in Arlington, Virginia, on April 3.
April 8, 2013
Read Montague, a professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, has been selected to participate in an Institute of Medicine workshop focused on accelerating the development of therapies for a range of disorders that affect the nervous system, including neurological and psychiatric disorders.
April 8, 2013
Konark Mukherjee presents evidence that molecules believed to be benign have an active, important role in neurogenesis
April 3, 2013
Harry Dorn, a professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, has received a grant in collaboration with Anthony Sandler of the Children’s National Medical Center to develop better treatments and diagnosis for neuroblastoma.
March 22, 2013
Warren Bickel was recently appointed to the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
March 19, 2013
Dr. Michael Friedlander was recently named Virginia Tech’s first associate provost for health sciences.
March 11, 2013
Steven Poelzing, an associate professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, recently joined a podcast from the American Journal of Physiology highlighting recent research results in his field of expertise.
Feb. 22, 2013
Zhi Sheng, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, has published a paper in the journal Apoptosis through a collaboration with colleagues in Korea. The paper describes the discovery of the molecular mechanism that splices RNA and, in turn, controls the self-destruction of cells, otherwise known as apoptosis.
Feb. 15, 2013
Craig Ramey, PhD, the founder of a decades-long scientific study that has proved the enduring benefits of early education, today applauded President Obama’s call for universal access to high-quality preschool in the United States.