The McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida e-newsletter

                                                                            Issue 27, Fall 2022

Message from MBI Leadership

Dear Colleagues:

We hope you all enjoyed your summer and found some time to relax and spend time with your loved ones. As you’ll see in this newsletter, it was a busy time at the MBI.

Our labs were bustling with trainees from across the country, thanks to the Summer Neuroscience Internship Program. Known as SNIP, the program hosted 16 undergraduate students from across the country to train with our neuro researchers. Check out our feature story and MBI Day in the Life video about SNIP below.

We had great turnout for our Juneteenth and Pride Month celebrations, and you'll find photo galleries from those events in this newsletter.

You'll also read a bit about some of the great neuroscience and neuromedicine research happening on campus and we thank each of you for your contributions and collaborative spirit.

Here’s to a successful and exciting fall semester!

Steven T. DeKosky, M.D., MBI Deputy Director 
Jada Lewis, Ph.D., MBI Deputy Director 
Kevin St.P. McNaught, Ph.D., MBI Chief Science Officer 

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doctor alvina in the lab reviewing stats with a student

UF’s Summer Neuroscience Internship Program offers unparalleled experience

Undergraduate students conduct neuroscience research in the lab, learn from mentors and build toward future careers.

READ MORE »

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experience a day in the of Mauli Bhogade

MBI Day in the Life:
SNIP Student Mauli Bhogade

Experience a day in the life of Mauli Bhogade, a participant in the UF Summer Neuroscience Internship Program, known as SNIP.

READ MORE »

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HK panel headshot blood

UF researchers identify blood biomarker that could aid in Parkinson’s diagnosis

Discovery of protein changes in blood immune cells could pave the way for a simple screening test for Parkinson’s diagnosis.

READ MORE »

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MBI Rising Stars: Andrew Moore

Andrew Moore, a Ph.D. student working in the labs of Drs. Sara Jo Nixon and Ben Lewis, is the latest investigator to be featured in the MBI Rising Stars video series.

READ MORE »

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woman overseeing another woman piping liquids under a vent in a lab

Brain cancer researcher awarded St. Baldrick’s Foundation grant

Dr. Lan Hoang-Minh seeks to improve adoptive T cell therapy for pediatric brain tumor treatment.

READ MORE »

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woman looking at computer displaying M-R-I information

Neurologist to evaluate changes in Lewy body dementia using novel imaging technique

Dr. Shannon Chiu awarded five-year grant from NIA to investigate changes in LBD using diffusion-weighted MRI and task-based EEG.

READ MORE »

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Shot of a young doctor using a digital tablet during a consultation with a senior woman

Neurology resident awarded grant to improve post-stroke outcomes

Dr. David Mendoza receives Back to Bedside funding from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

READ MORE »

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UF Women of Neuro

Our UF Women of Neuro series shines light on some of the incredible women leading our neuroscience and neuromedicine research initiatives.

• Dr. Katharina Busl: director of UF Health Shands Neurointensive Care Unit

• Dr. Melissa Armstrong: director of the Mangurian Clinical-Research Headquarters for Lewy Body Dementia at the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health

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dcotors Okun and foote in the operating room

Access to deep brain stimulation to treat severe OCD is impeded, experts say

International panel of experts co-led by Dr. Michael Okun says action is needed to improve patients’ quality of life.

READ MORE »

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Behind the Scenes with Jens Rosenberg

Behind the Scenes: Jens Rosenberg

We’re highlighting an employee who plays a key role in the research efforts happening at AMRIS.

READ MORE »

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Pride Month celebration

On June 29, the MBI celebrated Pride Month with rainbow shaved ice from Kona Ice and prizes.

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Juneteenth Luncheon Celebration

On June 17, the MBI celebrated Juneteenth with a catered lunch from Tosh Kitchen and a Juneteenth trivia competition.

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headshots of four diverse male doctors

UF neuroscientists featured in AAIC video interviews

Four UF neuroscientists explained their research during the 2022 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

READ MORE »

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Caregiver – woman helping senior man with shopping

UF study shows DBS may improve gait and balance in some essential tremor patients

Researchers report additional benefits of DBS for essential tremor in study of 17 patients.

READ MORE »

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BIZON pointing to a computer screen with a male colleague standing beside her

Neuroscience department fosters passion for research and pursues solutions for brain health

Collegiality and collaboration spur success under the leadership of Dr. Jennifer Bizon.

READ MORE »

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Sept. 28-30: SENDCon 2022

Registration (in-person or virtual) is open for the Southeastern Neurodegenerative Disease Conference (SENDCon), Sept. 28-30 in Bonita Springs, Florida. Founded by MBI researchers Drs. Jada Lewis and Malú Gámez Tansey and colleagues at Emory University, SENDCon highlights neurodegeneration research in the southeastern U.S.

READ MORE »

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photo of twin patients. They wear matching hairstyles, clothes and accessories

UF deep brain stimulation team featured by UF Health Inspire 

Drs. Justin Hilliard and Michael Okun are featured in UF Health Inspire video about twin sisters treated for essential tremor.

READ MORE »

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stefan prokop in the lab holding a scalpel and working on something that the view cannot see

Neuropathologist receives
UF Excellence Award

Dr. Stefan Prokop earns annual award from Office of the Provost for excellence in research.

READ MORE »

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MBI researchers in the spotlight

Journalists regularly reach out to our MBI members for their expertise on many subjects. If a reporter contacts you, please alert assistant director of communications Todd Taylor or science writer Michelle Koidin Jaffee so we can assist with, archive and promote your media endeavors. Here are recent examples of MBI researchers in the news:

• Dr. Michael Okun (PBS NewsHour)  Artists work next to doctors to help with healing in hospitals

• Dr. Karina Alviña (National Geographic) — New clues are revealing why exercise can keep the brain healthy

• Dr. Steven Munger (The Atlantic) — Paxlovid mouth is real — and gross

SEE MORE EXAMPLES OF MBI RESEARCHERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT»

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Highlight your work with MBI’s Research Snapshots

Showcase your discovery by pairing an impactful image from your latest published research with a written description of your findings. Share with our MBI communications team and work together to convey how this research has influenced your field of study.

Drs. Nikhil Urs and Nicole Horenstein provide new insight into how drug molecules may bind to dopamine D1 receptors. Read the Snapshot »

Dr. Christopher Butson and Chantel Charlebois study indicates that focusing neurostimulation on specific brain networks could reduce seizures in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Read the Snapshot »

READ MORE SNAPSHOTS AND SUBMIT YOUR OWN »

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Reminders from the Communications Team

Please become an MBI member (if you haven’t already), make sure you have a professional headshot, update your UF Health Directory profile and let our communications team know early and often when you have big news or research coming out of your area. All of these efforts will help us shine an even brighter light on neuro research at UF.

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