UNC neuroscientist awarded renewal of federal grant that began in 1957

ength in the neurosciences. Perl served as chairman of UNC's department of physiology from 1971 to 1989. A founder and acting president of the Society for Neuroscience in 1969, he was awarded that group's 1998 Gerard prize for outstanding contributions to the field.

Perl said the grant now focuses on the connection of nociceptors to central nervous system neurons in the part of the spinal cord called the substantia gelatinosa (gelatinous substance) and the relationship of those connections to the organization of messages that get transmitted up to the brain for interpretation.

"At the cellular level the attempt is to define the connectivity of neurons in a particular portion of the spinal cord. We know that several kinds of neurons exist there, we know that nociceptors terminate there, we know that nocicepter activity excites some of these neurons but we don't understand the neural circuitry and what its function is," he said.

"My aim before I die is to sort out the nature of this circuitry and how it works."


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

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