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Grant Funds Schizophrenia Study

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December 27, 2005

CHICAGO --- D. James Surmeier, Nathan Smith Davis Professor and chair of physiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has received a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to study how the brain adapts to drugs used to treat schizophrenia.

The award is part of a larger $12 million grant to form a multi-institutional Silvio O. Conte Center for the Neuroscience of Mental Disorders. The center is headed by Nobel Prize Laureate Paul Greengard of Rockefeller University.

Surmeier and his laboratory group will characterize how neurons in the prefrontal cortex and striatum adapt to neuroleptics, drugs used in the treatment of schizophrenia.

Using a broad combination of optical, electrophysiological and molecular approaches, his group will focus on how the typical and atypical neuroleptics reshape the way in which cortical and striatal neurons process synaptic signals underlying cognition.

Surmeier’s research team draws not only on the resources of the Feinberg School but also those of Nelson Spruston, associate professor of neurobiology and physiology, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, a renowned leader in the neurobiology of synaptic processing.

Topics: University