“I’m really pleased that so many faculty, post-docs and graduate
students representing diverse disciplines with a common interest in
neuroscience came out for the day,” said Anshuman “A.R.” Razdan,
associate vice president for research development.
“We have a great challenge because we do not have a medical school,”
he said, “but there is a unique opportunity to further build UD’s
interdisciplinary neuroscience aspirations in collaboration with our
InBRE and CTR partners on the strong foundations currently represented
here. We have heard great interest in developing an Institute and a
Ph.D. program. I am looking forward to assessments of our current
capabilities and capacities and recommendations for growth as an outcome
of the symposium.”
Doctoral students Nick Heroux, Megan Warren and Tiffany Doherty all said they heard a lot of excitement among participants.
“The idea of creating an interdisciplinary program is really a good
one for the University,” Heroux said. “I didn’t know half of what was
going on here, and I think everybody was excited to talk to each other
about their work.”
Keith Schneider, director of UD’s Center for Biomedical and Brain Imaging and associate professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, agreed.
“It was a great first start to get everyone interested in
neuroscience together,” he said. “There are so many people and so many
departments involved now, we need a central infrastructure to coordinate
everyone and facilitate collaborations.”
Rebecca Brockson, a physical therapist at Christiana Care and a UD
alum, was glad to hear Nudo’s presentation on neuroplasticity and
recovery after stroke. Her work with stroke patients starts within 24
hours of the incident and there is not a lot of research that covers the
earliest phases of treatment.
Nudo said timing is everything in these cases — the sooner the brain
injury is addressed, the better the chance for re-establishing essential
“How soon does that timing effect start?” Brockson said. “These guys are working on it.”
A white paper with findings and recommendations from the event will be developed and submitted to leadership for consideration.
The symposium planning committee included nine faculty members:
Co-chairs John Jeka (chairman, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology) and
Anna Klintsova (Psychological and Brain Sciences) and committee members
Naya Banerjee (Mathematics), Thomas Buchanan (Delaware Rehabilitation
Institute), Deni Galileo (Biological Sciences), Arild Hestvik
(Linguistics and Cognitive Science), Susanne Morton (Physical Therapy),
Keith Schneider (Center for Biomedical and Brain Imaging) and Fabrizio
Sergi (Biomedical Engineering).
Neuroscience at UD
A wide variety of neuroscience-related research is in progress at UD,
including clinical, cellular and developmental, computational,
behavioral and cognitive.
Work includes areas such as stroke recovery, traumatic brain injury,
spinal cord injury, mild cognitive impairment, Parkinson’s Disease,
Alzheimer’s, concussion, gait and balance disorders, chronic pain and
Brain imaging, brain plasticity, studies in learning and memory,
biomechanics and robotics, especially for sensory, motor sensory and
cognitive assessment, along with studies of social behavior and
linguistics all are part of the mix.
Article by Beth Miller; photos by Kathy F. Atkinson and David Barczak