Lillie Award for Collaborative Research

14.03.2014

In close cooperation with University of Utah neuroscientist Erik M. Jorgensen, our lab recieved by the University of Chicago and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) the first Frank R. Lilli Research Innovation Award.

Together with Erik, we will address the fundamental question of how high-level brain processes such as memory are related to changes in the structure and function of neural connections. We will use novel electron microscopy imaging techniques to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity, a fundamental property of the nervous system. Synaptic plasticity describes the changes to structure and function that occur where nerve cells connect in the brain and is thought to underlie learning and memory. Abnormal synaptic plasticity is linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The Lillie Awards will support two years of research for a total of $125,000. Jorgensen and our lab will initiate the projects this summer at MBL.