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Carnegie Mellon University neurobiologist Justin Crowley receives Searle Scholar Award

PITTSBURGH--Carnegie Mellon University neurobiologist Justin Crowley has been named a 2004 Searle Scholar. The Searle program supports the research of junior faculty with outstanding potential in the fields of chemistry, medicine and the biological sciences. One of only 15 exceptional young scientists receiving the award, Crowley is an assistant professor of biological sciences at the Mellon College of Science.

Crowley conducts research on the formation of neural circuits, the intricate network of connections neurons make with one another. The three-year, $240,000 award will allow him to extend his research on the formation of neural circuits in the primary visual cortex, the region of the brain that initially processes visual signals.

"This grant will support my research on understanding what cues direct neurons to form functional circuitry during the development of the visual system and throughout development in general," said Crowley. "Such research ultimately could impact our understanding of how neurons form connections during normal development. It also could lead to treatment options for repairing damage to the circuitry of the nervous system caused by traumatic injury or disease."

"Justin Crowley is a very promising young neuroscientist who bridges well between our college's emphasis on molecular events in biology and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition's emphasis on higher order events in cognition. We are very pleased with the strength and dynamism of the young interactive group of neuroscientists we've recruited into our department," added Elizabeth Jones, professor and head of Biological Sciences at the Mellon College of Science.

To monitor the dynamic structural changes neurons undergo to form connections with surrounding neurons, Crowley uses multi-photon laser-scanning microscopy. This technique tracks fluorescently labeled neurons over hours, days or weeks. Using multi-photon laser-scanning microscopy, Crowl
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Contact: Lauren Ward
wardle@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-7761
Carnegie Mellon University
13-May-2004


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