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Department of Biological Sciences

Dr. Fabienne Poulain awarded an R21 grant from the NIH

Most neural circuits in the brain are organized into topographic maps to facilitate information processing. In the visual system, for instance, retinal axonal projections transmit a precise and continuous representation of the external world to the brain by maintaining the neighboring relationship of the neurons they originate from in the retina.  While the visual system has been studied for decades, we still do not have a comprehensive list of the factors and receptors at the surface of axons that control the formation and maintenance of retinotopic maps. Dr. Fabienne Poulain and her lab were just awarded a $407,545, two year grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS, NIH) to bridge that gap. Using innovative and unbiased approaches, the proposed studies aim at discovering novel signaling pathways regulating the formation and maturation of topographic maps in the visual system. Results from this work will provide a better understanding of nervous system wiring in hopes of developing new therapeutic strategies in the context of neuro-developmental disorders or after nerve injury.

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