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Project Information

SPECIFICITY OF SYNAPSE FORMATION

Agency:
NSF

National Science Foundation

Project Number:
1051594
Contact PI / Project Leader:
PLUMMER, MARK R
Awardee Organization:
RUTGERS THE ST UNIV OF NJ NEW BRUNSWICK

Description

Abstract Text:
Cognition in the human brain depends upon extraordinarily precise connections between brain cells (neurons). If neural pathways do not form correctly or become damaged, then impairments of brain function will inevitably result. Although a great deal is known about molecules that comprise connections between brain cells (synapses) there is only a rudimentary understanding of the molecular markers that direct any particular neuron to its correct target destination. The goal of this project is employ electrophysiological, molecular, and immunocytochemical approaches to identify molecules that specify selective synaptic connectivity between brain cells. The brain area to be studied is the hippocampus, a structure known to be important for learning and memory in all mammals, including humans. The hippocampus is highly organized, with clear patterns of connectivity between distinct cell populations. The initial focus will be to build upon preliminary data which indicate that potential "signpost" molecules show cell-type specific distribution patterns. Subsequent experiments will manipulate these molecules to test directly their role in directing synapse formation between specific populations of cells. Student participation will be encouraged throughout all aspects of this work and results will be disseminated at public meetings and via scientific publications. The significance and impact of these studies is clear. In order to fully understand how brains form in embryos and young organisms throughout the animal kingdom, fundamental knowledge must be obtained about how individual cells are able to seek out and form synapses with their correct targets. The work described here will make an important contribution to achieving that goal.
Project Terms:
Animals; Area; Brain; brain cell; cell type; Cells; Cognition; Data; Destinations; Embryo; Goals; Hippocampus (Brain); Human; Impairment; Individual; Knowledge; Learning; Mammals; meetings; Memory; Molecular; molecular marker; Neural Pathways; Neurons; Organism; Pattern; Population; Publications; research study; Role; Specific qualifier value; Specificity; Structure; Students; Synapses; synaptogenesis; Testing; Work

Details

Contact PI / Project Leader Information:
Name:  PLUMMER, MARK R
Other PI Information:
Not Applicable
Awardee Organization:
Name:  RUTGERS THE ST UNIV OF NJ NEW BRUNSWICK
City:  NEW BRUNSWICK    
Country:  UNITED STATES
Congressional District:
State Code:  NJ
District:  06
Other Information:
Fiscal Year: 2011
Award Notice Date: 14-Mar-2011
DUNS Number: 001912864
Project Start Date: 01-Apr-2011
Budget Start Date:
CFDA Code: 47.074
Project End Date: 31-Mar-2014
Budget End Date:
Agency: ?

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National Science Foundation
Project Funding Information for 2011:
Year Agency

Agency: The entity responsible for the administering of a research grant, project, or contract. This may represent a federal department, agency, or sub-agency (institute or center). Details on agencies in Federal RePORTER can be found in the FAQ page.

FY Total Cost
2011 NSF

National Science Foundation

$167,500

Results

i

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