Department/Institution: Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Hawaii
Research Interest: NMDA-JNK Signaling Mediate Fear Memory Elimination
$25,000 RTRN Small Grant 2011
Current RTRN Collaborators
- Morehouse School of Medicine – Morris Benveniste, Ph.D.
“I’m very excited by the successful funding of this proposal. Its aim is to demonstrate that recently acquired traumatic memories can be completely eliminated from memory, rather than merely “hidden” by the extinction of fear responses, as exemplified by existing widely-used exposure therapy. Our work will thus offer a new and highly promising strategy to counter the burden of PTSD. This putative molecular mechanism for erasing recently formed traumatic memories involves crosstalk between the stress-activated proteins c-Jun-N-terminal kinases (JNK), NMDA and AMPA glutamate receptors in the hippocampus. This project involves mentorship/collaboration between myself, Cedomir Todorovic, Assistant Research Professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, and Dr. Morris Benveniste, a leading expert in electrophysiology and Associate Professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine. He and his team will share their well-established expertise in the complex electrophysiological techniques required to carry out an important component of this proposal’s work.
Moreover, this award will greatly enhance the communication between our two institutions the University of Hawaii and Morehouse School of Medicine.”