PPN News

  • 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 (http://alumni.med.sc.edu/awards.asp) .  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.  See http://sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/research/faculty_expertise/featured_scholars/ 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”.