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Neuroscience Faculty Angela Mabb Is Awarded a Whitehall Foundation Grant

The process of learning requires the making of new proteins, most particularly a set of proteins called immediate early genes. Immediate early genes are produced following diverse forms of learning. It is well known that immediate early genes are also broken down, however the significance of their breakdown in learning is unknown. Dr. Angela Mabb’s group has received a 3-year grant from the Whitehall Foundation to test how immediate early gene breakdown participates in learning.

The Whitehall Foundation is a prestigious not-for-profit organization founded in 1937 that supports young scientists at the beginning stage of their careers and senior scientists who are interested in pursuing new fields of interest. The focus of the foundation is to promote basic biological research on invertebrate and vertebrate neurobiology related to neural output and brain mechanisms of behavior.

Dr. Mabb’s group will determine the specific neural circuitry whereby immediate early gene removal alters cognitive function. She will also be using Ca2+ imaging in a transgenic mouse line to determine how immediate early gene breakdown leads to alterations in neural activity following learning. Findings from her lab’s research might unveil underlying neural mechanisms that are disrupted in memory disorders.