Research

May 14, 2019 at 10:22 am

Nielsen Receives NIH Funding to Study Perivascular Cells in Brain

From left, Subhodip Adhicary (TBS graduate student), Samantha Selhorst (HTC Neuroscience student), Dr. Corinne Nielsen (Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences), shown at lab desk

From left, Subhodip Adhicary (TBS graduate student), Samantha Selhorst (HTC Neuroscience student), Dr. Corinne Nielsen (Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences)

Dr. Corinne Nielsen, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, received an R15 Academic Research Enhancement Award award from the National Institutes of Health.

The R15 AREA supports projects that introduce undergraduate and graduate students to meritorious research; thus, a significant portion of the grant funds will support stipends, experimental allocations, and travel allowances for undergraduate and graduate researchers.

Nielsen’s neurovascular research lab in Biological Sciences is interested in how blood vessels in the brain develop and function—to ensure that brain tissue receives an adequate blood supply to support brain health.

A long-term goal of the lab is to contribute to improved methods for diagnosing and treating diseases associated with the brain vasculature (neurovascular diseases), which often lead to neurological impairment and compromised quality of life. Brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is one such neurovascular disease, characterized by enlarged, tangled vessels that are prone to rupture and are difficult to treat.

Nielsen’s R15 project will investigate specific cellular and genetic changes that are associated with brain AVM. The Nielsen lab will study a population of cells called pericytes, which are tightly associated with brain blood vessels and communicate with cells that comprise those vessels. The lab will study how these perivascular cells are affected—for example, changes in cellular properties, association with blood vessels, gene expression—in the context of brain AVM. Ultimately, the lab hopes to determine whether pericytes may be targeted therapeutically to treat brain AVM related illness and disability.

Title:  Effects on perivascular cells during Notch mediated brain arteriovenous malformation

Amount:  $453,000

Funding agency:  National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

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