UNC neuroscientist wins federal grant to study neural stem cell genetics

CHAPEL HILL -- Dr. Larysa H. Pevny, assistant professor of genetics at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine and a member of the UNC Neuroscience Center has won a five-year federal grant to advance her laboratory's studies of a trio of genes involved in regulating neural stem cells. These genes (the SOXB1 subfamily) are thought crucial to neural stem cells giving rise to the central nervous system.

Pevny received her doctorate in genetics from Columbia University. She has identified one of the first known molecular mechanisms in neural stem cell regulation. Eventually, results from her work will be applied to transplantation therapy in animal models of human neurodegenerative diseases.

"Only through a thorough understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms will researchers be able to efficiently direct stem cell differentiation into specific cell types needed for transplantation," Pevny stated.

The nearly $1 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health provides $200 thousand for each of four years and $175 thousand in the fifth year.

The UNC Neuroscience Center is an interdepartmental research center. Its mission is to promote neuroscience research with specific emphases on brain development, neurogenetics, and neurological disease. The goal of its research working groups is to make breakthroughs in key areas that are most likely to impact the neurological and psychiatric disorders that are so devastating to individuals and their families.


Contact: Leslie H. Lang
University of North Carolina School of Medicine

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