PPN News

PPN Good News: Congratulations and Fantastic Job Everyone!!

  • The Department welcomes Kevin LeBlanc, PhD, MNA, CRNA to the department as a Clinical Assistant Professor and Academic Director of the Masters in Nurse Anesthesia Program. We are thrilled Kevin is joining the PPN team!
  • Jim Augustine was Grand Marshall at the 2016 SOM graduation. Britt Wilson was Student Marshall.
  • David Mott receives the M2 Teacher of the Year Award for his efforts in medical education
  • Tad Pedigo receives HRSA grant for Nurse Anesthetist Traineeships
  • Larry Reagan was selected to deliver the M2 “String of Pearls” lecture for 2016. Tad Pedigo was also a nominee.
  • Michy Kelly receives the USC 2016 Distinguished Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. Claudia Grillo was also a nominee for this prestigious award.
  • David Mott receives his Ten Year USC Service Award
  • Susan Wood received an ASPIRE I award as PI: The anti-inflammatory properties of neuropeptide Y
  • Norma Frizzell received an ASPIRE II award as Co-PI with Rekha Patel and Jeffry Dudycha: Mitochondrial ND5 sequence and average lifespan in Daphnia pulex
Graduate Student Awards:
  • Allison Manuel, a graduate student in Norma Frizzell’s lab was the 1st place winner in the Basic Medical Sciences category during the USC-PHR Medical Scholarship Day of Focus for a poster entitled: “Protein Succination Promotes Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in the Adipocyte During Diabetes.”
  • Allison Manuel, a graduate student in Norma Frizzell’s lab, on being selected as the winner of the annual Newton Research Symposium for Biomedical Sciences Graduate Students
  • Julie Finnell, a graduate student in Susan Wood’s lab, received a travel award from ASPET (American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics) to attend the Experimental Biology meeting
  • Victoria Macht, a graduate student working with Sandra Kelly and Larry Reagan, won the poster presentation award during Graduate Student Day
  • PREP student Edem Tchegnon working with David Mott was accepted to the doctoral program at Univ. Texas Southwestern
  • Scott Lanci in Norma Frizzell’s lab completed his Master’s Thesis entitled: "An Investigation of the Succination of the Selenoproteins Thioredoxin Reductase and Glutathione Peroxidase".
  • Lydia Proctor in Norma Frizzell’s lab completed her Master’s Thesis entitled "Investigation of Succinated Protein Turnover by Autophagy"
Three PPN Undergraduate students win awards at USC Discovery Day:
  • Tulsi Patel (Norma Frizzell and Gerardo Piroli mentors): 1st place poster in Biomedical Sciences at Discovery Day: Identification of Novel Protein Targets of Dimethylfumarate Treatment in Neurons
  • Neema Patel (Michy Kelly Mentor) : 1st place in Psychology & Neuroscience Poster session: Identifying which subcellular compartments in the brain express PDE9A and how expression changes with age
  • Cora Petyak (Claudia Grillo mentor): Second place in Oral Presentations: Regulation of feeding behavior: a new role for the raphe nuclei
Other Undergraduate Research Awards:
  • William Capell, an Honors College undergraduate in the laboratory of Michy Kelly, was awarded a highly competitive Individual Summer Research Fellowship from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Will also received both a Magellan Scholar Fellowship and a Magellan mini-grant for his work, “Defining signals that control the subcellular compartmentalization and catalytic activity of the enzyme PDE11A4.” Congratulations, Will!
  • Neema Patel, an Honors College undergraduate in the laboratory of Michy Kelly, received both a Magellan Scholar Fellowship and a Magellan mini-grant for her work, “Identifying which cells and subcellular compartments in the brain express PDE9A and how that expression changes with age.” Congratulations, Neema!

  • Congratulations to Allison Manuel, a graduate student in Norma Frizzell’s lab, on being selected as the winner of the annual Newton Research Symposium for Biomedical Sciences Graduate Students!!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Larry Reagan on being selected for the honor of delivering a “String of Pearls” lecture for 2016.
  • Dr. David Mott was named Teacher of the Year by the MII medical student class. Congratulations, Dr. Mott!
  • Neema Patel, an honors college undergraduate in the laboratory of Dr. Michy Kelly, won the Betty Fundenberg Undergraduate Biomedical Research Award for outstanding biomedical research. She also won a 1st place poster award at Discovery Day for her poster, “Identifying which subcellular compartments in the brain express PDE9A and how that expression changes with age.” Congratulations, Neema!
  • Dr. Michy Kelly received the USC Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year Award. Congratulations to Dr. Kelly on this outstanding achievement!
  • William Capell, an Honors College undergraduate in the laboratory of Michy Kelly, was awarded a highly competitive Individual Summer Research Fellowship from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Will also received both a Magellan Scholar Fellowship and a Magellan mini-grant for his work, “Defining signals that control the subcellular compartmentalization and catalytic activity of the enzyme PDE11A4.”Congratulations, Will!
  • Neema Patel, an Honors College undergraduate in the laboratory of Michy Kelly, received both a Magellan Scholar Fellowship and a Magellan mini-grant for her work, “Identifying which cells and subcellular compartments in the brain express PDE9A and how that expression changes with age.” Congratulations, Neema!
  • Congratulations to Ms. Allison Manuel, a graduate student in Norma Frizzell’s laboratory, on the receipt of a prestigious NIH F31 fellowship from NIDDK entitled ’Succination promotes ER stress and CHOP stability: novel role for CHOP in the metabolic function of adipocytes in diabetes’. Allison was also recently named a 2016 USC Breakthrough Graduate Scholar in recognition of her outstanding achievements. Congratulations Allison!
  • Ms. Tulsi Patel, a Carolina Scholar undergraduate in the laboratory of Norma Frizzell, received a Science Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) for her project ‘Investigating the Action of Dimethylfumarate in Neurons’. Congratulations Tulsi!
  • Dr. Michy Kelly received the 2016 USC Breakthrough Stars Award, which recognizes outstanding early-career faculty for their research and scholarly contributions. Congratulations, Dr. Kelly!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Larry Reagan on his promotion to full Professor!
  • Drs. David Mott and Alexander McDonald have been awarded a 5-year R01 grant award from the National Institute for Mental Health for "Muscarinic Modulation of the Basolateral Amygdala".  Congratulations Drs. McDonald and Mott!
  • Dr. Norman Pedigo is the Principal Investigator on a “Nurse Anesthetist Traineeships” grant award from the US Department of Health and Human Services/Health Resources and Services Administration. Congratulations to Dr. Pedigo and the Masters in Nurse Anesthesia Program!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Britt Wilson on once again being named the recipient of the O’Neill Barrett Teaching Excellence Award for 2015!
  • Cora Petyak (mentor: Dr. Claudia Grillo) received a Magellan Scholarship Award to support her undergraduate research project “Elucidating a new neurocircuitry involved in food intake”.  Congratulations to Cora and Dr. Grillo!
  • Catherine Gutshall, CRNA, DNAP, received the Distinguished Master’s Alumni Award at the recent School of Medicine Black Tie/White Coat gala .  Congratulations to Dr. Gutshall!
  • Yahoo! Health reports on the latest research from PPN graduate student Julie Finnell and faculty member Dr. Susan Wood on the effects of resveratrol, a compound naturally occurring in red wine and the skin of red grapes, on symptoms of depression.
  • Congratulations to Julie Finnell (mentor: Dr. Susan Wood) on receiving a Graduate Student Travel Award to attend and present her research at the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2015 in Boston, MA!
  • PPN Assistant Professor Dr. Michy Kelly has been selected as a USC Featured Scholar. Go here for more about Dr. Kelly’s research.
  • Dr. Susan Wood received a Scientist Development Grant from the National division of the American Heart Association titled "Cytokines in Monoaminergic Nuclei Regulating Susceptibility to a Depressive- and Cardiovascular Disease-like Phenotype”.  Dr. Wood was also recently named as a Target Investigator on an NIH-funded Center for Dietary Supplements and Inflammation grant (led by Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti and Dr. Mitzi Nagarkatti of PMI) for her project entitled “Therapeutic potential of resveratrol in depression-cardiovascular disease".  Congratulations to Dr. Wood!
  • Dr. Lawrence Reagan was awarded a Veterans Administration Special Emphasis Grant for Research on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses entitled “Immune basis for hippocampal cholinergic deficits in pyridostigmine-treated rats.”    Dr. Reagan will direct a team that includes co-investigators Drs. Marlene Wilson, Jim Fadel, Susan Wood (all from PPN) and Jennifer Nyland (PMI).  Congratulations to Dr. Reagan! 
  • Dr. Norma Frizzell is the Principle Investigator for an NIH R03 (exploratory) grant entitled “Detection of S-(2-succino)cysteine (2SC) as a Biomarker of Mitochondrial Disease.”  In addition, Dr. Frizzell was recently named a Target Investigator on an NIH-funded Center for Targeted Therapeutics COBRE grant (led by Dr. Igor Roninson, South Carolina College of Pharmacy) for her project entitled “Targeting Fumarate and Protein Succination for the treatment of Mitochondrial Disease.”  Congratulations to Dr. Frizzell for both of these awards!
  • PPN students continue to achieve recognition and garner awards for their research accomplishments.  Three USC undergraduate students working in PPN laboratories recently received Magellan Apprentice for Capstone awards to support their research.  George Hartshorn (“Biomarkers for Individual Susceptibility to PTSD”) and Daniel Lee (“The Effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on Rat Behavior”) will both be working in the laboratory of Dr. Marlene Wilson.  Cora Petyak (“Regulation of feeding behavior: a new role for the raphe nuclei”) will be working with Dr. Claudia Grillo.  In addition, doctoral candidate Victoria Macht (mentors, Drs. Sandra Kelly and Lawrence Reagan) received a USC SPARC Graduate Research Grant for her project, “Neurochemical bases of attention in a rat model of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.”  Congratulations to these students and their mentors!
  • PPN congratulates our latest doctoral graduates and their mentors for the recent successful defense of their doctoral theses:  Dr. Denise Grosenbaugh (mentor, Dr. David Mott) for “Status epilepticus induced alterations in hippocampal anatomy and neurotransmission”,  Dr. Lei Lu (mentor, Dr. David Mott; co-mentor, Dr. Alexander McDonald) for “Muscarinic modulation of basolateral amygdala”,  Dr. Janel Hagar (mentor, Dr. Jim Fadel) for “Age-related deficits in orexin neurocircuitry lead to dysregulation of the insular cortex and alterations in feeding behavior”, Dr. Terika Smith (mentor, Dr. Sarah Sweitzer; co-mentor, Dr. Claudia Grillo) for “Role of apelin and endothelin systems in the pain associated with sickle cell disease” and Dr. Sherika Smith (mentor, Dr. Sarah Sweitzer; co-mentor, Dr. Claudia Grillo) for “Enhancing peripheral opioid analgesia: development of viral vector and small peptide therapies”.  Best wishes to these individuals as they move on to continue their careers in research and academia!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Michy Kelly on receiving a Young Investigator Award from the Brain & Behavior Foundation/National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) for her proposal entitled “Dissecting the molecular and anatomical pathways of recent versus remote long-term memory”.  This prestigious award provides $60k over two years for young scientists doing promising work in the area of serious brain and behavior disorders.
  • \PhD candidate C’iana Barker (Dr. David Mott, mentor) was selected as a 2014 UNCF/Merck Graduate Science Research Fellow for her project entitled ”Kainate receptor modulation in epilepsy“. This is a prestigious award given to 12 graduate students nationwide and includes 18 months of predoctoral stipend support, $10K for research purposes, travel to Washington, DC for orientation, and mentoring and professional development.  Congratulations, C’iana!
  • Dr. Michy Kelly was recently awarded an NIH R01 grant entitled “Compartmentalization of Cyclic Nucleotide Signaling in the Ventral Hippocampus”.  This 5-year award in the amount of $1,668,750 will support research into the role of the cyclic nucleotide regulatory enzyme phosphodiesterase 11A in neuropsychiatric diseases.  In addition, Dr. Kelly was Principal Investigator/Target Investigator for Project 3 (“Selective targeting of PDE11A transcription and catalytic activity”) on USC’s successful $11.3 million NIH COBRE award entitled, “Center for Targeted Therapeutics” (Dr. Igor Roninson, PI).   Congratulations to Dr. Kelly on these outstanding achievements!
  • Congratulations to Michael Melson, a rising senior in the laboratory of Dr. Susan Wood, on receiving the Magellan Scholar, Magellan Mini-Grant and Magellan Apprentice awards to support his project “The Role of the Locus Coeruleus in Stress Vulnerability"
  • Dr. Britt Wilson has received the O’Neill Barrett Teaching Excellence Award from the School of Medicine Class of 2014.  Congratulations, Dr. Wilson!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Jim Augustine on being named Grand Marshall for the 2014 School of Medicine commencement exercises held on May 9 at the Koger Center. 
  • Dr. Jim Augustine was selected by the first year medical- students for the honor of delivering a “String of Pearls” lecture for 2014.
  • PPN students continue to gain recognition for their outstanding work.  Denise Grosenbaugh (mentor: Dr. David Mott) received the 2014 Dean Barnhart Memorial Graduate Student Award for excellence in research, academics and service.   Geetanjali Pathak (mentor: Dr. Michy Kelly) won a “Best Student Poster” Award at the 2014 Southeast Neuroscience Conference for her presentation entitled, “Homodimerization and N-terminal Phosphorylation Control the Subcellular Localization of PDE11A4.”  Audrey Howard (mentors: Drs. John Baynes and Norma Frizzell) received a Magellan Undergraduate Research Award to fund her proposal entitled “Kinetics of Ascorbate Oxidation in Serum: a biomarker of endogenous oxidative stress”. Hannah Faile (mentor: Dr. Norma Frizzell) received a National Science Foundation ‘SC Steps to STEM’ internship for her undergraduate research project entitled “Turnover of Succinated Proteins in the Adipocyte”.   Finally, Adam Bumgardner (mentor: Dr. Larry Reagan) was awarded funding for a Magellan Apprentice for Capstone proposal entitled “Impairment of Leptin Signaling and Depressive-Like Behavior”. Congratulations to all of these students and their mentors!
  • Mike Gore, PPN Machine Shop supervisor, was named a recipient of the USC Hero Award.  These awards recognize those in the USC community who have made a positive impact in the lives of coworkers and students.  Congratulations, Mike!
  • Congratulations to Heather Eidson, CRNA, MNA, who received the 2014 Distinguished Master’s Alumni Award at the recent Black Tie/White Coat gala.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Jim Augustine, recipient of the 2014 School of Medicine Honorary Life Member Alumni Award.  Dr. Augustine, a charter faculty member of the School of Medicine, will be recognized at the 2014 Black Tie/White Coat Gala on March 7th. 
  • Watch a YouTube video of Dr. Susan Wood explaining her research on comorbidity of depression and cardiovascular disease
  • Congratulations to Allison Manuel (mentor: Dr. Norma Frizzell) and C’iana Cooper (mentor: Dr. David Mott) on receiving 2013-2014 SPARC Research Grants!
  • PPN welcomes our newest faculty member, Dr. Pavel Ortinski.  Dr. Ortinski, who studies the neurobiology of drug addiction, comes to USC from the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Dr. Susan Wood’s research on brain mechanisms underlying stress resilience profiled by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Read Story here
  • PPN is pleased to welcome Dr. Boris Kantor as Director of the Viral Vector Core facility.  Dr. Kantor has extensive experience in viral vector design, production and characterization and joins us after several years with the Gene Therapy Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • Ivory Harding, a Master’s student in the laboratory of Dr. Michy Kelly, has been selected to receive a 2013 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. These fellowships are awarded on the basis of ‘outstanding abilities and accomplishments, and potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise.’ Congratulations Ivory and Dr. Kelly!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Marlene Wilson on receiving a 4-year Merit Award from the Veterans Health Administration for “Modeling Individual Differences in PTSD”.
  • Dr. Britt Wilson has received the O’Neill Barrett Teaching Excellence Award from the School of Medicine Class of 2013.  Congratulations, Dr. Wilson!
  • 2013 Experimental Biology Meeting—Dr. Susan Wood's research profiled in Red Orbit: "Brain-related mechanism could be responsible for depression-heart disease comorbidity"
  • Dr. Susan Wood’s research on depression and cardiovascular comorbidity profiled on Medical News Today
  • Carolina Spotlight features Jim Augustine
  • Dr. Misty Smith (PhD ’01 Biomedical Sciences/PPN), currently an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Utah, has received the USC School of Medicine Distinguished Doctorate Alumni Award. Congratulations to Dr. Smith and her USC doctoral mentor, Dr. Marlene Wilson!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Susan Wood on receiving an American Heart Association grant entitled "Neurobiological Mechanisms of Comorbid Affective-Cardiovascular Disease"
  • Denise Grosenbaugh has been named a University of South Carolina Distinguished Graduate Scholar in recognition of research and scholarly excellence, awards and presentations at national conferences, and publication of papers.  Denise is a Neuroscience PhD student working with PPN faculty member Dr. David Mott.  Congratulations, Denise and Dr. Mott!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Michy Kelly on receiving a PhRMA Foundation Research Starter Grant for “Compartmentalization of Cyclic Nucleotide Signaling in the Ventral Hippocampus”.
  • Dr. Claudia Grillo has been selected to participate in the 2013 BRAINS (Broadening the Representation of Academic Investigators in Neuroscience) Symposium, to be held January 10-13 in Bainbridge Island, WA.  Congratulations,  Claudia!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Larry Reagan for receiving a 4-year Merit Award from the Veterans Health Administration for “Decreased CNS Leptin Activity in Co-morbid Depression and Obesity”.