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The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research

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Emotional Brain Institute Investigator MERITs Renewal

Regina Sullivan, PhD, a member of the NKI Emotional Brain Institute, has received a five-year renewal of her MERIT award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). MERIT stands for Method to Extend Research In Time, and these prestigious awards are given to investigators who have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity during their previous research experience. The title of this grant is "Maternal influence over prefrontal cortex and transition to independence". Dr. Sullivan is the third NKI researcher to receive a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Helen Scharfman Contributes to Neurogenesis Research

Dr. Helen Scharfman coauthored a new Science paper (Luna et al.) examining the role of adult neurogenesis in hippocampal brain circuitry. The authors found that adult-born neurons either inhibited or excited the dentate gyrus, depending on whether synaptic inputs originated from the lateral or the medial entorhinal cortex. The action of adult-born neurons depended on the demands of the environment, which alters cortical and subcortical input to the dentate gyrus. A Perspective article in the same issue provides additional context for the Luna et al. paper.

Link to main article:

Luna VM, Anacker C, Burghardt NS, Khandaker H, Andreu V, Millette A, Leary P, Ravenelle R, Jimenez JC, Mastrodonato A, Denny CA, Fenton AA, Scharfman HE, Hen R. Adult-born hippocampal neurons bidirectionally modulate entorhinal inputs into the dentate gyrus. Science. 2019 May 10;364(6440):578-583.

Link to commentary:

Llorens-Martín M. Adult-born neurons in brain circuitry. Science. 2019 May 10;364(6440):530.

Dr. Efrat Levy Promoted to Full Professor

Efrat Levy, Ph.D., a Research Scientist in the Center for Dementia Research, has been promoted to the rank of Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology at the New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Levy’s laboratory studies the factors that initiate and propagate pathology in neurodegenerative disorders. She is currently the principal or co-principal investigator on five active NIH grants.