January 21, 2019


Changes in gene expression also hint at how the brains of people with autism spectrum disorder develop differently from those of other people. The study’s findings emphasize the importance of understanding early cell biological events before symptoms manifest.
Researchers found that sleep problems, lack of energy, and physical inactivity may lead to a depressed mood. The findings reverse the conventional wisdom that depression leads to physical inactivity.
Scientists showed that activating cerebellar neurons leads to increased activity in the part of the brain known to be involved in reward processing and encoding. The study sheds new light on brain circuits related to affective and social dysfunction.
Anti-seizure medication doesn’t work for every person with epilepsy. However, a new treatment option is emerging that would spare the need for brain surgery: the select introduction of different genes into the brains of people suffering from epilepsy.
Researchers targeted blindness due to geographic atrophy, the advanced "dry" form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). These findings set stage for the first clinical trial of stem cell-based therapeutic approach for AMD.
A group of scientists studied the mind-blowing effects of Cirque du Soleil shows. It turns out that audience members respond to more than just the show's aesthetics: viewers' reports of the experience of "awe" coincided with reduced brain activity in the pre-frontal cortex.

Calendar of Events

Improve your science communication: better PowerPoint presentations
Speaker: Martha Heil, Science Communicator, Maryland Nanocenter
Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: 1107 Kim Engineering Building
More info

Funding Announcements

Biobehavioral Basis of Chronic Pain (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) (PA-18-944). Application Receipt/Submission Date(s): Standard dates apply, The first standard application due date for this FOA is February 5, 2019.  
Applying a Biopsychosocial Perspective to Self-Management of Chronic Pain (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) (PA-18-945). Application Receipt/Submission Date(s): Standard dates apply, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. The first standard application due date for this FOA is February 5, 2019.  

The Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering program invests in future leaders who have the freedom to take risks, explore new frontiers in their fields of study, and follow uncharted paths that may lead to groundbreaking discoveries. The intent of the fellowship program is to provide support for unusually creative researchers early in their careers. Disciplines that are considered include physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, astronomy, computer science, earth science, ocean science, and all branches of engineering. This is a limited submission opportunity; the University of Maryland application is due February 18, 2019. For more information, please refer to the UMD limited submission portal.

The Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation is awarded for innovative research that modulates neural activity through physical (electrical, magnetic, optical) stimulation of targeted sites in the nervous system with implications for translational medicine. Due March 15, 2019.

NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award (F99/K00) (RFA-NS-19-011). Application Receipt Date(s): December 13, 2018; April 15, 2019; December 13, 2019; April 15, 2020; December 15, 2020; April 15, 2021 , by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

Predoctoral Training in Advanced Data Analytics for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (BSSR) - Institutional Research Training Program [T32] (RFA-OD-19-011) Application Receipt Date: May 25, 2019.

The Maryland Catalyst Fund program – formerly known as the Faculty Incentive Program – is the University of Maryland’s internal faculty research support program and a key resource in the university’s overall effort to expand its research activity, visibility and impact. The program aims to enable innovative research, to incentivize the pursuit of large, complex, and high-impact research initiatives, and to increase our competitiveness for extramural research awards.

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