Recent News

Dr. Vikki Weake and colleagues found how blue light kills cells in a fruit fly, and this research could serve as a model for studying degenerative ocular diseases in humans.

December 15, 2017

Lipid peroxides are generated by oxidative stress in cells and contribute to aging and neurodegenerative disease. Dr. Vikki Weake, an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Member of the Purdue Institute for Integrative Neuroscience (PIIN), studies aging in the eye and the genetic mechanisms that lead to vision loss as people age. Along with her collaborators Dr. Donald Ready, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and also a member of PIIN, and Daniel Leon-Salas, an associate professor in the School of Engineering Technology at Purdue, recently published in the npj Aging and Mechanisms of Disease journal. The research shows that exposing Drosophila melanogaster to strong blue light induces oxidative stress including lipid peroxidation that results in retinal degeneration.

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Detailed Analysis of High Frequency Auditory Brainstem Response in Patients with Tinnitus: A Preliminary Study - Dr. Raymundo Munguia-Vazquez

December 15, 2017

Increased spontaneous activity and aberrant neural synchrony is thought to be the underlying cause of tinnitus. The perceived pitch of tinnitus may be dictated by frequency specific neural fibers of the subcortical pathway, or the projection of altered cortical activity by-way-of tonotopic reorganizations. Subcortical neural activity in relation to tinnitus was characterized using ABR measurements. In the present study, 11 patients (21 ears) with constant tonal tinnitus underwent a two-part experiment. Experiment 1 involved click ABR measurements and included two experimental groups: tinnitus with normal hearing from 2000-4000 Hz (GI) and tinnitus with hearing loss within the range of 2000-4000 Hz (GII). Experiment 2 utilized tone burst ABRs matched to each participant’s perceived tinnitus pitch and included two experimental groups: tinnitus with normal hearing at the tinnitus pitch (GIa) and tinnitus with hearing loss at the tinnitus pitch (GIIa). These groups were compared to a control group (GIII) of ten monaurally tested (10 ears) participants with normal hearing thresholds at 250-20000 Hz and no tinnitus. Click ABR results indicate significantly prolonged V-III IPLs for GI and GII and a significantly extended absolute V latency for GII only. Tone burst ABRs matched to tinnitus pitch revealed significantly prolonged absolute latencies and IPLs at three of the seven frequencies for GIIa. ABR threshold seeking was completed and revealed negative eHL values for two of the four different stimuli for GI and GIa and four of the eight stimuli for GII and GIIa. Click ABRs results are suggestive of upper brainstem abnormalities for both groups. While GI demonstrated prolonged V-III IPLs, no significant differences were found for GIa. This suggests that there is no frequency specific subcortical characteristic associated with tinnitus with normal hearing. Frequency specific properties for subcortical activity could not be characterized due to varying results of GIIa.

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Altering D1 receptor activity in the basolateral amygdala impairs fear suppression during a safety cue - Dr. Susan Sangha

December 15, 2017

Using a behavioral task that compares fear and reward-seeking behaviors in response to environmental cues representing fear, safety and rewards this study investigated the role of dopamine signaling in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in this learning. The major finding in this study was both a dopamine D1 receptor agonist and antagonist administered either systemically or intra-BLA disrupted the ability to successfully suppress fear in the presence of a safety cue. Interestingly, systemic administration of the D1 receptor agonist only reduced reward-seeking behaviors in a task that included fear and safety learning and did not affect reward-seeking behaviors in a task that only included reward learning. That is, under the influence of a D1 receptor agonist in a task with fear, safety, and reward cues, fear behavior increased and reward-seeking behavior was reduced. These findings highlight the power a successfully learned safety cue can have on modulating both fear and reward behaviors in an environment that contains both potentially aversive and appetitive cues, and that dopamine signaling within the BLA modulates learning of safety cues.

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Musical Imagery Involves Wernicke’s Area in Bilateral and Anti-Correlated Network Interactions in Musicians- Dr.Zhongming Liu

December 15, 2017

We all experience something like “singing a song” or “hearing a music” in our mind without actually hearing it. This cognitive ability, known as “music imagery”, is mysterious. It has empowered Ludwig van Beethoven to compose great symphonies after he was deaf. Latest research from Zhongming Liu’s lab has shown new insights into what happens in the brain when musicians imagine a piece of a symphony. Using brain scans, his group finds that Wernicke’s area, an area for speech comprehension, plays a key role in creating music in mind. This function is not isolated to Wernicke’s area but emerges through its interactions with other brain areas within and beyond the auditory cortex.

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Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Seminar Series

December 15, 2017

The Purdue Institute of Integrative Neuroscience (PIIN) inaugurated a “Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Seminar Series” in the Fall of 2017.The first season of seminars with eight outstanding speakers from four different colleges at Purdue: Vet Med, Engineering, Science, and Pharmacy. Over 100 PIIN members attended one or more of the seminars.

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Dr. Richard Kuhn named endowed Director for the Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease

December 14, 2017

The first named director for the Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease will be Richard Kuhn, Purdue's Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor of Science. Kuhn's own research at Purdue has focused on viruses, and he was part of the leadership of research teams that were the first to determine the structures of the Zika and dengue viruses.

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Collaborative discipline-based education research leads to $1.2 million NSF Grant

December 11, 2017

Collaborative discipline-based education research in Biological Sciences at Purdue leads to $1,270,155 from the National Science Foundation.

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Carol B. Post was named Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

December 8, 2017

Post is an internationally recognized leader in the regulation and function of protein-protein interactions associated with cell signaling and viruses. She was cited in the recommendation to the board for her exceptional record of scientific research and its impact in such critical areas as cancer biology, therapeutics, and infectious and immune diseases. Post was recognized in 2009 with the Lions Club Award for Outstanding Achievements in Cancer Research, the Chaney Faculty Scholar Award from the College of Pharmacy in 2013, and the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentor in 2016.

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Richard J. Kuhn, the Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor in Science, leads PI4D as the inaugural director. The position will now be known as the Krenicki Family Directorship in Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease.

December 8, 2017

Richard J. Kuhn, the Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor in Science, leads PI4D as the inaugural director. The position will now be known as the Krenicki Family Directorship in Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease. John and Donna Krenicki gave a gift to the Purdue Institute for Integrative Neuroscience in 2016 and recently made an additional $2 million commitment to name the directorship. The title honors their generosity and continued support of life sciences initiatives.

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Researchers determine how alphavirus changes into infectious state

December 8, 2017

A key step in the infectious method of a family of disease-causing viruses has been identified by an international team led by scientists from Purdue University.

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