March 25, 2019

BBI Seed Grant Program

Reminder: Proposals for the FY19 Seed Grant Program are due Monday, April 1.

Submission instructions can be found here. Please feel free to consult our Frequently Asked Questions or to email us at


Researchers have developed the first rapid detector for dopamine, a chemical that is believed to play a role in various diseases such as Parkinson's, depression, and some cancers. Current methods to detect dopamine are time consuming and require rigorous sample preparation. With the new nanotechnology, however, a few drops of blood on a palm-sized chip is all that is needed.
Restrictions in the growth of cerebral organoids have so far limited their potential to model brain functions, such as information transfer between neurons. Now, researchers have developed a method for growing a slice of cerebral organoids that allows the model to mature longer and thus provide greater insight into patterns of connectivity between different regions of the brain.
Serotonin is best known for its role as a chemical messenger in the brain, helping to regulate mood, appetite, sleep, and many other functions; it exerts these influences by binding to its receptor on the surface of neural cells. However, new work suggests the impact of serotonin does not end there, since the molecule also can enter a cell’s nucleus and directly switch on genes.
Investigators have found that, compared with healthy people, people with Parkinson’s disease possess distinct chemical differences in the oil they secrete through their skin. Scientists made the finding with help from a former nurse with a keen sense of smell who noticed a musky odor on her husband one decade before he was diagnosed with the disease.
New work shows that an enzyme inhibitor reduced inflammation in the brains of mice born to mothers with maternal immune activation. Inflammation triggered by the enzyme--soluble epoxide hydrolase--is linked to neurodevelopmental disorders in these mice.
Scientists have recently shown that regions of the brain responsible for processing emotions and controlling the unconscious workings of the body, such as heart beat, breathing, and digestion, do not communicate with each other as well in patients with a heart condition called Takotsubo syndrome.

Calendar of Events

NACS Seminar
Speaker: Kareem Zaghloul (NIH)
Title: "Neural mechanisms of human episodic memory formation across spatial scales"
Date: Friday, March 29, 2019
Time: 10:15 a.m.
Location: 1103 Bioscience Research Building
More info

Notable Conferences, Workshops, & Webinars

Maryland Neuroimaging Retreat
April 9, 2019
Baltimore, MD

5th Annual BRAIN Initiative Investigators Meeting
April 11-13, 2019
Washington, DC

Behaviour 2019
July 23-27, 2019
Chicago, IL

Funding Announcements

NCI Investigators and UMD Faculty are invited to submit collaborative projects for graduate student support. It is anticipated that several graduate students will be supported through NCI Cancer Research Training Award fellowships starting in the Fall 2019 semester and that tuition will be covered by the University of Maryland. Seed awards will be judged based on student qualifications as well as potential impact, relevance to cancer, innovation and synergism between physics, math, bioengineering & biocomputation and cancer biology. Proposals should be submitted to Stephanie Noel ( by 5 p.m. on March 29, 2019.

Neuropathological Assessment of TBI-related Neurodegeneration and Neurocognitive decline - Center Without Walls (NATBI CWOW) (U54 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-NS-19-030); National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; National Institute on Aging. Due April 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 p.m. local time of applicant organization.

Wildlife Acoustics invites applications for Bioacoustic Research Projects focused on using bioacoustics for data collection and/or analysis, advancing scientific knowledge, and contributing to long-term conservation efforts. One or more awards of up to $5,000 each may be made. Applications are due May 15, 2019.

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.

Alcohol and Other Substance Use Research Education Programs for Health Professionals (R25 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (PAR-19-207). Standard application due May 25, 2019.

Next Generation Networks for Neuroscience (NeuroNex) (NSF 19-563). Preliminary proposal due: June 14, 2019; Full proposal due: December 13, 2019.

The Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology is an international research prize of $25,000. Since 2002, it has been awarded annually to one young scientist who is not older than 35 years for the most outstanding neurobiological research based on methods of molecular and cell biology. Application due June 15, 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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