June 22, 2009

Professor Lisa Gabel Receives Grant from National Student Mentor Organization

She and neuroscience major Natalia Ibanez ’10 are researching brain seizures in mice

Lisa Gabel, assistant professor of psychology, has been awarded a grant to study correlations between susceptibility to seizures and congenitally abnormal neurons in the brains of mice.

Her project is one of four that received funding this year from Support of Mentors and their Students in the Neurosciences from Underrepresented Minority Groups. The program is a national competition with funding provided by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Davidson College.

Gabel’s research will focus on neocortical dysplasias, cellular abnormalities associated with both epilepsy and cognitive impairments in humans. Her study will determine if the severity and location of the dysplasias are correlated with seizure susceptibility in certain mice.

Gabel will be working alongside neuroscience major Natalia Ibanez ’10 (Flushing, N.Y.), who is conducting the seizure study, analyzing the behavior of the mice, performing post-mortem analysis of the brain, taking images of the brain tissue, and performing the statistical analyses.

The $9,000 grant, which is also partially supported by Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience, will cover a supply budget, summer student housing, faculty and student stipends, and travel expenses to the joint annual meetings of the Society for Neuroscience and Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience, where the researchers will present their work.

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