Ethan, Isak Aarrestad (Kim Lab/Olson Lab), and Hongru Hu (Quon Lab) pitched their project idea, submitted a grant proposal, and won funding to seed an interdisciplinary and collaborative project. We are excited to see how this project develops and spurs collaboration across labs!
A recent manuscript from the Nord lab and the Silverman lab at the MIND Institute is now out as a preprint on bioRxiv. This collaborative project describes phenotypes of a preclinical SYNGAP1 model including hyperactivity, deficits in learning and memory, and impairments of sleep. Other major findings include increased network firing activity, greater spikes per burst, and shorter inter-burst intervals between peaks using high density micro-electrode arrays in primary neurons.
Full preprint is available here:https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2023.07.24.550093v1
We are thrilled to announce two of our exceptional undergraduate researchers are part of the Advancing Diversity in Neuroscience Research (ADNR) Program this year. At the Nord lab, we believe in fostering an inclusive and diverse community of aspiring neuroscientists. It is within our mission to inspire and support students from all backgrounds to pursue advanced degrees and research careers in neuroscience.
This year, we proudly recognize two outstanding scholars from our lab who have been selected into the prestigious ADNR Program. Melissa Corea, who has been an integral part of our lab since her freshman year, has been selected for this program in her Junior year and will embark on this enriching journey throughout the summer of 2023 and continue her training throughout 2023-2024 academic year.
Darlene Rahbarian, an ADNR honors awardee since 2022, has continued to excel as a senior ADNR student, dedicating herself to advancing the frontiers of our research. Both Melissa and Darlene are instrumental in our ongoing investigation of the Chd8 gene function within the mouse brain. Working under the expert guidance of our Research Scientist, Dr. Cesar P Canales, their individual projects have made significant contributions to critical areas of our studies.
The ADNR Program not only recognizes the talent and dedication of these exceptional students but also provides them with invaluable opportunities to hone their skills and expand their knowledge in the field of neuroscience. By fostering a supportive and inclusive environment, in our lab we aim to empower aspiring scientists like Darlene and Melissa to make meaningful contributions to the understanding of the brain and neurological disorders. We are immensely proud and grateful to have Melissa and Darlene as part of our research team. Their passion, drive, and dedication serve as an inspiration to us all, and we eagerly anticipate the groundbreaking discoveries they will make in the future.
As we continue to advance diversity and excellence in neuroscience research, we invite everyone to join us in celebrating the achievements of these remarkable students and supporting their journey towards a brighter and more inclusive scientific community
Tracy Warren’s recent co-first author manuscript is now out as a preprint on medRxiv! This collaborative project between the Nord Lab, the Carter Lab at UC Davis Medical Center, and the Sham Lab at the University of Hong Kong, assessed how polygenic risk for schizophrenia that affects different neurotransmitter pathways is associated with different symptom profiles in humans with psychotic disorders. Major findings include that subjects with increased glutamatergic risk variants tended to have more severe cognitive control symptoms, subjects with increased dopaminergic risk were better candidates for antipsychotic medication, and unsupervised clustering on subject phenotypes identified groups that differed primarily by severity of positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms. These clusters showed different profiles of genetic risk and different responsiveness to antipsychotic medication.
Check out the preprint here!
Association of neurotransmitter pathway polygenic risk with specific symptom profiles in psychosis | medRxiv
2nd year Neuroscience PhD candidate Nicolas Seban was awarded the Learning, Memory, and Plasticity (LaMP) T32 fellowship to continue his work in identifying cell-type specific pathology associated with ASD-associated de novo mutations, leveraging using single-cell multiomic methods in a murine model. Congrats!!
Tracy was awarded the Barbara Chapman Neuroscience travel award to attend the Wellcome Trust’s 2023 Genomics of Brain Disorders meeting in Cambridge, UK. At the conference, Tracy presented her findings on differential symptomatology within psychotic disorders that are associated with risk converging upon distinct neurotransmitter pathways. A preprint of this research is available on medRxiv: Association of neurotransmitter pathway polygenic risk with specific symptom profiles in psychosis | medRxiv
Second year PhD candidate Nickolas Chu has been selected for the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP) to investigate the expression and regulation of alternative transcriptional start sites across brain development. Congratulations Nick!
Ethan Fenton, 2nd year Neuroscience PhD student in the Nord lab, traveled to UCSF to learn some genomics techniques from Dr. Susan Lindtner from the lab of Dr. John Rubenstein. A huge thank you to Susan, knowledge exchange across universities and labs is an excellent way to lift everyone up and an important part of learning the field!
With a wide range of topics such as human diseases, anthropology, and genetic engineering, and development employing various methods of investigation such as molecular biology, genome sequencing, artificial intelligence based analysis methods, the Human Genetics Focus Group brings together diverse teams. Sharing your work here is a great way to get expert insight from multiple perspectives and spur creativity!
Melissa Corea is a second-year undergrad in the Nord Lab, majoring in Genetics and Genomics, who has recently been accepted as a scholar in the NSF LSAMP/California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) Program. This program is designed to increase the number of underrepresented students pursuing research in STEM fields by working on faculty-sponsored research projects. As a first-gen, Latina student, Melissa is thrilled to have the resources and support of this program behind her in continuing her undergraduate research experience and in preparing for graduate school.
“I am very grateful to have been admitted into the program and I’m excited to continue my research experience with the Nord Lab”! – Congratulations Melissa!