University of Texas at San Antonio Assistant Professor of Biology Gary Gaufo has been awarded a three-year, $225,000 grant from the Whitehall Foundation to support his research in developmental neurobiology.
The Whitehall Foundation is a non-profit corporation focused exclusively on assisting basic research in vertebrate and invertebrate neurobiology in the United States.
Gaufo studies the mammalian brain and his research focuses on identifying the mechanisms that control the growth of nerve cells which in turn control a variety of bodily functions including chewing, facial expression, heart rate, breathing and digestion.
"We would like to understand how simple, evolutionarily conserved mechanisms are used to generate the network of neurons that produce complex behaviors associated with the head, " said Gaufo. "With over 10 percent of birth defects in the US affecting the cranial-facial region, we hope that our research will also provide insight into developmental disorders associated with the genes that we are currently investigating."
Prior to joining UTSA in 2005, Gaufo was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Utahs Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In Utah, he studied under the leadership of Mario Capecchi, one of the technological pioneers of genetic engineering. Gaufo earned his bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in biology at The University of California, Berkeley.