3 UI neuroscientists win NARSAD Young Investigator awards

Three University of Iowa scientists in the Iowa Neuroscience Institute (INI) have received NARSAD Young Investigator grants from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation for projects focused on addiction, depression, and brain imaging.

The two-year, $70,000 grants help promising young scientists launch careers in neuroscience and psychiatry, supporting either extended research fellowship training or starting a research lab as a junior faculty member.  

Kyle Flippo, PhDKyle Flippo, postdoctoral scholar in the Potthoff Lab, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology
"Mapping a novel endocrine circuit regulating alcohol consumption"
Flippo is working to identify the mechanisms underlying how the endocrine hormone Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 signals in the brain to inhibit alcohol consumption. The goal is to develop novel therapeutic methods for treating alcohol use disorder.


Rainbo Hultman, PhDRainbo Hultman, assistant professor of molecular physiology & biophysics
"Linking Dynamic Brain Network to Single Cell Transcriptomics in a Preclinical Depression Model"
Hultman uses a molecular profiling approach to dissect electrical brain networks of depression. The goal is to develop a brain-network based therapeutic pipeline that could facilitate precision medicine for these disorders.


Merry Mani, PhDMerry Mani, PhD, assistant professor of radiology
“Biomarkers of Acute Target Engagement of rTMS in Major Depression”
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a revolutionary non-invasive neuromodulation technique that is FDA-approved for treating major depression. Mani’s research uses brain imaging to confirm the brain network engagement after TMS application. She uses novel neuroimaging-based biomarkers to measure changes induced in the brain network over the full TMS dose with a goal of elucidating its therapeutic effects.


UI scientists have a strong track record of success securing NARSAD Young Investigator funding. Since 1987, 29 UI scientists have received this award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. NARSAD is the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders, now part of the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.

“These grants are extremely important in supporting the early careers of young neuroscientists across the country and around the world,” says Ted Abel, PhD, INI director. “We are very proud of our young scientists’ success and of the tremendous record we have achieved over the years. This consistent recognition of the high caliber of our early-career scientists reflects the University of Iowa’s thriving neuroscience research community.”

Thursday, September 19, 2019