In the news / Brain

NEWS
Dr. Judith Su runs the UArizona Little Sensor Lab, where researchers are working to sense tiny amounts – down to a single molecule – of everything from doping agents to biomarkers for cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Lyme disease and, yes, even COVID-19. Dr. Su, biomedical engineering and optical sciences professor and a member of the BIO5 Institute, has received a $1.82 million, five-year Maximizing Investigators' Research Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.
 
NEWS
University of Arizona Health Sciences researchers are moving closer to conducting clinical trials on what would be the first therapeutic drug for vascular cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID), the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. Research by Meredith Hay, PhD, a UArizona professor of physiology, and member of the BIO5 Institute and the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, may offer a remedy for vascular dementia. To date, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any drugs that specifically treat vascular dementia, which involves cognitive impairment caused by injuries – often stroke related – to the vessels supplying blood to the brain.
 
NEWS
Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton, director of UArizona Center for Innovation in Brain Science and BIO5 member, is testing whether a drug called allopregnanolone is a safe and effective way to restore cognitive function in Alzheimer's patients. If the results are good, she’ll be one step closer to bringing the world’s first regenerative therapeutic for Alzheimer’s to the millions of people living with the disease.
 
NEWS
Endometriosis is a chronic, often painful, gynecological disorder affecting 15% of U.S. women of childbearing age. This condition often causes higher incidences of infertility, miscarriage and stroke. Dr. Leslie V. Farland of the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health has been awarded federal funding from the National Institutes of Health to study the association among endometriosis, infertility and risk of stroke.
 
NEWS

Through her research, Dr. Renee Duckworth has found that birds' maternal stress can be important for offspring during development. During this episode of Arizona Science on NPR 89.1, she discusses how her work makes parallels about stress from birds to other species like humans.

 
NEWS
New findings by UArizona researchers and BIO5 members Drs. Wolfgang Peti and Rebecca Page provide a start to better understanding Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Peti and Dr. Page have been using NMR spectrometers to explore the interaction between two proteins that are implicated in these neurological diseases.
 
NEWS
Wolfgang Peti, a University of Arizona professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been investigating the interaction between two proteins implicated in Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease for nearly 10 years. Past technological limitations have prevented researchers from determining the precise physical relationship between the two proteins. Peti teamed up with Rebecca Page, professor and interim associate head of research and faculty affairs in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, to address the research question through a new approach .
 
NEWS
With only five available drugs approved by the U.S. FDA to treat Alzheimer's disease, the National Institute on Aging has awarded a $6.1 million grant to the UArizona Center for Innovation in Brain Science to investigate a novel approach to treat the disease. The center is led by a top neuroscientist and BIO5 member, Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton.
 
NEWS
A UArizona team of researchers, including Department of Psychology distinguished professor and BIO5 member Dr. John Allen, has found that a program focused on yogic breathing – a meditative practice that involves slow and fast patterns of breath – improved participants' ability to cope with stress better than a workshop that focused on cognitive approaches to stress.
 
NEWS
The Arizona Board of Regents today confirmed the appointments of five UArizona faculty members, including BIO5 members Drs. Roberta Diaz Brinton and Judith Brown, as Regents Professors. The title of 'Regents Professor' is reserved for full professors whose exceptional achievements merit national and international distinction.
 
NEWS
Dr. Martha Bhattacharya, a UArizona assistant professor of neuroscience and BIO5 member, discusses her research, her career, and her mentor-ship philosophies with the Daily Wildcat. Dr. Bhattacharya's lab recently linked a gene involved in neurodegeneration to the itch sensation that many mammals experience and has drawn interest from the agribusiness industry for her lab's discovery. In future studies, Dr. Bhattacharya hopes to characterize the role of this gene in our understanding of these itch-sensing pathways in adults.
 
NEWS
As we get older, we tend to forget things – where we left our keys, our neighbor’s name or the word for a common household item. While forgetfulness is a normal sign of age, declining memory function can accelerate and lead to irreversible brain damage.
 
NEWS
A UArizona study involving Dr. Meredith Hay, a Department of Physiology professor and BIO5 member, aims to start a comprehensive investigation of the effects of coronavirus on the brain. The UArizona Center for Innovation in Brain Science funded study, will follow subjects over several years to study changes as they age. The center's director and BIO5 member Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton looks forward to continuing to support these critical research endeavors as researchers work to understand the novel virus.
 
NEWS
Dr. Amelia Gallitano, an associate professor in the College of Medicine – Phoenix and BIO5 faculty member, has been included in the Phoenix Business Journal's list of "Outstanding Women in Business." The publication announced this year's Outstanding Women in Business, recognizing 25 women "whose efforts around the region have drawn notice from their peers." Dr. Gallitano studies how genetics and environmental stress affect the development of illnesses such as schizophrenia and mood disorders.
 
NEWS
UArizona Center for Integrative Medicine Research Director and BIO5 member Dr. Esther Sternberg writes about her tips for coping with the stresses and anxieties that come with living through a global pandemic. Chronic stress, which worsens the severity and frequency of viral infections, can be lowered by using various integrative and mind-body techniques; cultivate social support, eat healthy, move, get some sleep, keep a routine.
 
NEWS
New research led by researchers from the BIO5 Institute’s Center for Insect Science shows that crustaceans such as shrimps, lobsters, and crabs, have more in common with their insect relatives than previously thought when it comes to the structure of their brains. Both insects and crustaceans possess mushroom-shaped brain structures known in insects to be required for learning, memory and possibly negotiating complex, three-dimensional environments.
 
NEWS
A team of researchers, including UArizona Biomedical Engineering professor and BIO5 member Dr. Philipp Gutruf, have developed a device that could provide unique insight into the mechanisms of pain, depression, addiction and certain diseases. The ultra-small, wireless, battery-free device uses light to record individual neurons so neuroscientists can see how the brain is working.
 
NEWS
UArizona researchers have found that early morning blue light therapy can help in the healing process of people who have suffered mild traumatic brain injuries, such as concussion. Dr. William D. “Scott” Killgore, psychiatry professor in the UA College of Medicine-Tucson, said the exposure to blue wavelength light each morning can help a person’s circadian rhythm so that people with mild brain injuries can get better, more regular sleep.