Indira Raman, PhD, Bill and Gayle Cook Professor, Department of Neurobiology, has been granted a Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). This is a seven-year research grant given to investigators with a history of exceptional talent, imagination, and preeminent scientific achievement. The NINDS council cited the importance and high quality of Dr. Raman’s research findings, and her record of service to the field and the next generation of neuroscientists.
Raman said the long term funding will allow the lab to “continue research on the cerebellum, from biophysics to behavior. The cerebellum consists of an elegant network of neurons that somehow not only regulates complex, well-practiced movements but also responds to and corrects errors of movement. The work is directed toward figuring out the specific signals between neurons that let the cerebellum accomplish both types of tasks. Experiments will include studying the basic properties of synaptic transmission between neurons in the cerebellum, the changes in neuronal signaling in mice with autism-linked mutations, and the activity of principal cerebellar neurons during walking in mice and swimming in larval zebrafish.”
This distinction only goes to a handful of investigators each year. Established by Congress in 1983 to honor the late Sen. Javits from New York, more than 600 awards have been made since its inception. Raman noted that “it is good to know that for the next few years, we will be able to concentrate more on the science and somewhat less on finding the resources to do the work.”
Javits awards are made to distinguished investigators with consideration of the investigator possessing a record of substantial contributions at the “cutting edge” of neurological science and being a leader in the field. The investigator is also expected to continue to be highly productive during the seven-year award period and has established a record of service to NINDS and/or NIH.